Stumpf exit necessary but not quite sufficient

October 12, 2016

The Wells Fargo CEO's "retirement" was inevitable, though it came quickly. It clears the way for his successor to fix the culture that led to millions of fake accounts being opened. Along with the $228 bln lender's board, veteran Tim Sloan has to show he can break with the past.

Wells Fargo circles stagecoaches for Stumpf deputy

October 11, 2016

Management moves give more power to COO Tim Sloan and make him even better placed to succeed boss John Stumpf. It's not clear, however, why the man who was CFO and oversaw retail banking as the fake-accounts scandal unfolded should be CEO. Wells Fargo will have to make the case.

Wells Fargo robs banks of D.C. standard-bearer

October 6, 2016

Big lenders had hoped to piggyback off their influential rival's lack of Wall Street taint to resist proposals to curb pay and ban merchant banking. But the fake-accounts scandal weakens Wells Fargo's ability to lead the charge. That may put JPMorgan back in the hot seat.

Indonesia cashes in on model tax amnesty

September 28, 2016

Citizens have admitted hiding almost $200 bln in what is shaping up to be one of the world's more effective schemes. Success stems from low charges, credible government, and big penalties for abstainers. The global backdrop makes it a good time for other countries to strike.

Exclusive: Wells Fargo case bares regulatory gaps

September 19, 2016

The Justice Department was kept in the dark until the last minute about the San Francisco-based bank's alleged fake accounts and its $185 mln fine. That's why prosecutors are only just now kicking off a probe. The abundance of U.S. financial watchdogs demands better teamwork.

Viewsroom: Wells Fargo stagecoach hits a ditch

September 16, 2016

The bank that steered clear of the financial crisis breaks down after creating 2 mln fake accounts. New evidence undermines Donald Trump's claims few benefit from the U.S. economic recovery. And why Hanjin's corporate capsize may prompt attempts to fix to shipping-industry woes.

Tech giants don’t grow on European soil

September 16, 2016

The region hasn't produced its own answers to tech disruptors like Facebook and Alibaba. That leaves the EU open to accusations of sour grapes when foreign companies like Apple are targeted for unpaid taxes. Regulation and fragmented markets explain Europe's failure to launch.

Smaller fine might still force Deutsche fire sale

September 16, 2016

The German lender insists it won't pay as much as the $14 bln proposed by the U.S. Justice Department. But even two-thirds of that amount would deplete its reserves, a Breakingviews calculator shows. Deutsche may then need to sell assets to meet rising capital requirements.

Wells Fargo puts size to a fresh regulatory test

September 15, 2016

U.S. authorities aren't finished with the $1.9 trln bank's fake-accounts scandal. Top brass at small lenders have been punished harshly in the past, including industry bans, for misdeeds. If Wells Fargo executives slip away, it'll escalate tension over the accountability divide.

Private equity could regret scaling Capitol Hill

September 9, 2016

Buyout firms have successfully promoted legislation to roll back disclosures required under Dodd-Frank even as they settle cases over misleading investors. If the bill passes, however, there's a risk of repercussions. Washington critics may redouble efforts against the industry.