Dominic's Feed
Nov 20, 2014
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London gets closer to harsh bonus cap reality

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

London is nearing the stark reality of banker bonus caps. An adviser to the European Court of Justice on Nov. 20 struck down the UK’s legal arguments against a European Union law restricting variable compensation to a maximum of two-thirds of overall pay. If the court agrees with him, the practical consequence will be that banks will hike fixed salaries, and overall industry remuneration may stay higher than it should.

Nov 12, 2014
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FX fines are wake-up call on self-policing

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By Dominic Elliott 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The $3.4 billion regulatory settlement for currency market rigging is a big wake-up call to the banking industry on self-policing. The firms involved – Citigroup, HSBC, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS – are paying 20 percent more than the same authorities have levied from five firms for the Libor scandal. That cannot be dismissed as simple fine inflation. It reflects banks’ failure to learn their lesson. Misdeeds in FX went on as recently as October 2013 – well over a year after Barclays became the first bank to settle over Libor.

Oct 28, 2014
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UBS’ legal pain is beginning to look manageable

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

UBS investors can almost see past the bank’s legal woes. The Zurich-based financial group is still paying for past sins, with a 12 month extension of a U.S. non-prosecution deal and a hefty 1.8 billion Swiss francs ($1.9 billion) addition to litigation provisions in the third quarter. But underlying businesses are now prospering.

Oct 23, 2014
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Credit Suisse’s future is mid-table drabness

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Credit Suisse’s future is more workmanlike than its racy third quarter might suggest. The Swiss group revealed on Oct. 23 that its investment bank had trumped Wall Street: fixed income trading revenue leapt by a half year-on-year, against U.S. peers’ average mid-teens increase. But questions linger over Credit Suisse’s ability to maintain that performance if rates rise.

Oct 21, 2014
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FX business now shares equities’ harsh economics

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Currency trading is taking over from equities as the challenged business in investment banking. Resurgent volatility in foreign exchange markets during September and October is unlikely to offer more than a temporary respite for the business.

Oct 17, 2014
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More is less for Credit Suisse’s three co-heads

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Three looks a crowd at the top of Credit Suisse’s investment bank. The Swiss firm has promoted Jim Amine and Tim O’Hara alongside existing co-chief Gael de Boissard, adding a new twist to the turf wars typical when big sections of lenders are run by co-heads. But the moves could prefigure a more significant succession – that of Chief Executive Brady Dougan.

Oct 15, 2014
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Qualcomm signals $2.5 bln belief in Bluetooth

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Qualcomm’s 1.6 billion pound ($2.5 billion) deal to buy Britain’s CSR sends a positive signal to rivals on Bluetooth. The U.S. chipmaker’s $120 billion market cap means the purchase isn’t a stretch – but it comes at a high price and an odd time.

Sep 24, 2014
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BNP Paribas needs a chair to shake up its board

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A new chairman at BNP Paribas should start by refreshing the board. Baudouin Prot is set to step down as the chairman of France’s biggest bank, with technocrat Jean Lemierre his expected successor. Lemierre is an acceptable, if not quite perfect, replacement. But whoever succeeds Prot, his or her most important task is to shake up BNP’s non-executive directors.

Sep 2, 2014
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Banks risk provoking EU with bonus get-arounds

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By Dominic Elliott

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Investment banks that are too successful in mitigating the impact of Europe’s new bonus curbs could be setting up another fight over pay. Most big banks are now paying so-called allowances to circumvent European Union rules, which bar firms from paying bonuses worth more than double base salary. If policymakers conclude that bankers are still wrongly paid, they could do something about it.

Sep 1, 2014

Credit Suisse/Baer tie-up would have weak logic

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Dominic Elliott

LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The idea that
Credit Suisse should buy Julius Baer looks
like it originated in a Zurich beer hall. The city’s latest
parlour game is to imagine a tie-up between Switzerland’s
second-biggest bank by assets and the country’s largest
standalone wealth manager. The financial and strategic logic of
such a move seems weak.

    • About Dominic

      "Dominic is a London-based columnist covering investment banking. Prior to Breakingviews, he spent two years at moneydealer ICAP, where he brokered equity derivatives trades between investment banks, high-frequency trading firms and hedge funds. He has more than five years of financial journalism experience, including stints as news editor and investment banking editor at Financial News. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal Europe. Dominic holds an MA in Classics from Oxford University and an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics. Follow Dominic on Twitter @DominicElliott"
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