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Sep 10, 2012

Banker pay reform rests on ROE transparency

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Banks need to stop
putting the cart before the horse on pay. Most universal lenders
are still paying huge bonuses, even though it is commonly
accepted that their investment banking businesses are not
earning acceptable returns for shareholders. The obvious reform
is for banks to work out whether they are exceeding their cost
of equity, and pay out bonuses only if the answer is yes. But
for that to happen, there would also need to be a revolution in
transparency.

Aug 14, 2012

Barclays’ new chair can afford to be bold on pay

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters Breakingviews) – David Walker has a
golden opportunity. Barclays’ (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) incoming chairman wants
to reform the UK bank’s freewheeling bonus culture, epitomised
by the king-sized pay packets of former chief executive Bob
Diamond. Often, the mere talk of pay restraint prompts an exodus
of traders heading for more spendthrift competitors. But Walker
has key advantages.

Aug 10, 2012
via Breakingviews

UK interest in hybrid Libor is on the right track

Photo

By George Hay

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

Martin Wheatley is on the right track. The chief executive-designate of the UK’s new anti-market abuse regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, has published a discussion paper on how to reform Libor. As befits the start of a consultation, Wheatley does not try to give definitive answers. But he is asking the correct questions.

Aug 9, 2012
via Breakingviews

How to take the lies out of Libor

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By George Hay and Agnes T Crane

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Libor has become a dirty word. Attempts to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate benchmark have already claimed the scalps of three Barclays executives. With further fallout likely, regulators need to fast-track reforms.

Aug 2, 2012

Barclays’ Qatari baggage gets even heavier

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own)

By Una Galani and George Hay

DUBAI/LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Barclays’
(BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) Qatari baggage is getting heavier. A costly capital
injection by Gulf funds spared the UK bank from a state bailout
in 2008. But if a probe by the UK’s Financial Services Authority
into the disclosure of fees discredits one of the few remaining
members of Barclays’ top executive team, the bank’s decision to
seek salvation in the Middle East will look even more like a
Faustian pact.

Aug 1, 2012
via Breakingviews

StanChart finds buffer against Asia slowdown risk

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By George Hay

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

Standard Chartered has found a new way to exploit an old advantage. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the emerging markets lender has made considerable hay trumpeting strong growth in its Asian markets. But even investors worried about a slowdown can take comfort from the fact that StanChart is taking a bigger slice of the cake.

Jul 27, 2012

Icahn wins legal fight over Forest Labs books

WILMINGTON, Del, July 27 (Reuters) – Billionaire investor
Carl Icahn scored a court victory in his proxy fight with
drugmaker Forest Laboratories Inc on Friday after he was
granted access to some of the company’s records.

Icahn has accused the maker of antidepressant drug Lexapro
of mismanagement and is seeking court documents to aid in his
fight to elect four members to the company’s 10-member board at
its Aug. 15 annual meeting.

Jul 26, 2012

Lloyds weighed down by familiar bugbears

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

By George Hay

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Chief Executive
Antonio Horta-Osorio will one day be able to present a shiny new
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research), shorn of duff non-core assets and
boasting a dominant position in a recovering UK economy. A 439
million pound first-half loss is evidence that not all of the
engines required to get him there are working.

Jul 25, 2012
via Breakingviews

Deutsche Bank’s profit miss isn’t temporary hiccup

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By George Hay

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

Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen are having a baptism of fire. Investors had been hoping the new Deutsche Bank co-chief executives would unveil roughly 1 billion euros of second-quarter net income when they present the group’s first results under their leadership next week. Instead, the numbers have come early and it’s not good news.

Jul 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

BarCap shrinkage can’t wait for new CEO

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By George Hay

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

Barclays can’t afford to wait around for a new chief executive. Normally, companies that lose their way find a new boss before forging a new strategic direction. Yet the UK bank, which has come horribly unstuck following attempts to manipulate Libor, is doing both at the same time.
 
The scandal has already claimed Chairman Marcus Agius, CEO Bob Diamond and Chief Operating Officer Jerry del Missier. Rather than wait some six months for their replacements, the remaining top brass – Barclays Capital CEO Rich Ricci and the head of retail operations at Barclays, Antony Jenkins – are leading a major internal review, according to a person familiar with the situation.

    • About George

      "George Hay writes about the banking and property sectors. He joined from Thomson Financial News, where he was a companies correspondent. Before that he worked at United Business Media, where he was news editor of Building Magazine. He has a first in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and was nominated in two categories at the 2009 Business Journalist of the Year Awards."
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