Financial Regulatory Forum

Senators lift US financial reform talks back on track

Dodd snubs Shelby

Dodd snubs Shelby

   By Kevin Drawbaugh
   WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – In an unusual move that cut a senior Republican out of the loop, bipartisan U.S. Senate negotiations resumed on Thursday on financial regulation reform, a top priority of the Obama administration. (more…)

Regulatory cloud hangs over bank hybrid bonds

   By Jane Merriman
   LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) – European regulators want banks to boost their capital to protect against shocks but uncertainty about what type of hybrid bonds will qualify as Tier 1 capital is keeping a lid on new issues. (more…)

ANALYSIS-Europe’s banks face harsh reality of Basel III jolt

By Steve Slater, European Banking Correspondent

LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – New rules on bank capital will jolt the industry and could force European lenders to raise more cash and restrain returns, dividends and pay for at least the next two years, analysts and industry sources say.

The impact of the proposals — dubbed Basel III – has been underestimated by investors and banks, and clarity on the new rules could be a shock, several analysts said.

The rules could drive the core Tier 1 ratios — a measure of a bank’s strength — at Lloyds Banking Group and Credit Agricole down to near 4 percent, require Barclays to plug a 17-billion-pound capital gap and hurt HSBC and BNP Paribas harder than peers.

Big banks’ risky trading should be curbed-Volcker

volcker 2 WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) – White House adviser Paul Volcker will urge Congress to curb the risks taken by large banks to help prevent them from being treated as “too big to fail,” according to testimony obtained by Reuters on Monday.
Detailing a recent proposal known as “the Volcker rule,” the former Federal Reserve Chairman will tell lawmakers that commercial banks’ proprietary and speculative activities should not be protected by the government.
He will also urge international consensus on “appropriate” actions to restrict commercial banks’ activities.
Volcker — an adviser to President Barack Obama whose star has risen in recent weeks — will appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday to defend the administration’s latest proposal to rein in the banks.
In January, Obama proposed limiting commercial banks’ ability to engage in proprietary trading, to end their ties to hedge funds and private equity funds and to restrict the future growth of large banks beyond a new market share cap.
In his testimony, Volcker will say there are strong conflicts of interest inherent in participation by commercial banks in proprietary or private investment activity.
(more…)

ANALYSIS – Tough Basel rules to boost banks’ long-term allure

By Dominic Lau

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Stricter global banking rules will add to short-term headwinds facing European banks and hurt their shares, yet details being hammered out could make them more alluring for more risk-averse long-term investors.

The Basel Committee of central bankers and financial supervisors is seeking to avoid a repeat of the credit crunch and reduce the industry’s cyclical volatility by raising the quality of banks’ capital, after many of the assets they were using crumbled during the crisis.

U.S. President Barack Obama has also laid out rules to restrict some banks’ most lucrative operations.

Dutch to support U.S. bank plan, seek EU support

    AMSTERDAM, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos has backed the plan from U.S. President Barack Obama to limit the scope and size of banks and reduce their risk taking and will push to win support of the plan among EU leaders. (more…)

Obama plan could hurt U.S. banks-Swiss banker

   ZURICH, Jan 25 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposals to split traditional banking activities from riskier areas will harm U.S. banks without international co-ordination, a prominent Swiss banker said in Monday’s Financial Times. (more…)

Germany’s Merkel says G20 needs to act on big banks’ influence

Merkel warning    BERLIN, Jan 20 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 economic powers need to develop a set of rules to prevent banks becoming so big that they can hold governments to ransom, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday. (more…)

UK finance executives worried by regulation – CBI

LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) – London’s status as a world financial centre is at risk due to a combination of rising regulation and global economic shifts, according to senior executives polled by Britain’s biggest business lobby.

London has emerged from the 2008 banking crisis but it faces fresh threats from a transfer of economic power to Asia, as well as potential unilateral regulatory action aimed at prevening a repeat of the financial meltdown, the Confederation of British Industry quoted company executives as saying in a report.

“London will lose market share, though it won’t diminish in importance,” Stephen Green, chief executive of HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, told the CBI. “This is not because of the financial crisis, but because of shifts in the global economy.”

Obama proposes U.S. bank fee, slams Wall Street

By Caren Bohan and Alister Bull

WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday proposed Wall Street banks pay up to $117 billion to reimburse taxpayers for the financial bailout, as he slammed bankers for their “massive profits and obscene bonuses.”

Striking a populist tone, Obama called for a fee on the biggest U.S banks to “recover every single dime” the government spent rescuing the financial sector from its worst crisis since the Great Depression.

“My determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at some of the very firms who owe their continued existence to the American people,” Obama said, reflecting increasingly harsh rhetoric toward the financial industry.

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