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Jun 27, 2013
via Breakingviews

EU bail-in rules give taxpayer partial protection

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By George Hay

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

European taxpayers are gradually being insulated from the risks taken on by their banks. An agreement reached in the early hours of June 27 by European Union finance ministers means that future bailouts will be financed to a greater extent by bank shareholders and creditors, rather than via public money. That represents significant progress.

Jun 21, 2013
via Breakingviews

Germany removes one barrier to EU banking union

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By George Hay

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

Germany has removed one of the barriers it had erected to euro zone banking union. The 17 finance ministers of the monetary union agreed on June 20 to allow their 500 billion euro European Stability Mechanism to recapitalise directly the banks of needy member states. That can be taken as a reassuring sign of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pragmatism.

Jun 21, 2013

Breakingviews- UK’s latest political football: the Lloyds in-price

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

By George Hay

LONDON, June 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The UK is about to
start kicking around a new political football. Chancellor of the
Exchequer George Osborne used his annual Mansion House speech on
June 19 to confirm that Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Royal
Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) will be re-privatised, with the former
beginning the process as soon as the Autumn. That immediately
poses a weighty political question: will the government be able
to recover the 65 billion pounds it put in to the two banks in
2008/9?

Jun 20, 2013

Regulator creates fresh uncertainty for Barclays

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

By George Hay

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Britain’s new lead
regulator has just given Barclays’ (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) investors 6 billion
pounds’ worth of fresh uncertainty. The declaration by the
Prudential Regulation Authority that the UK bank needs to find 3
billion pounds of capital to achieve a satisfactory core capital
ratio this year isn’t the problem. The issue is Barclays’
overall leverage.

Jun 20, 2013
via Breakingviews

Don’t bet on RBS good bank/bad bank split

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By George Hay

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

Don’t bet on a good bank/bad bank split at Royal Bank of Scotland. George Osborne, the UK chancellor, used his Mansion House speech on June 19 to announce a study on the possible hiving off the state-held lender’s ropey assets. It doesn’t mean that will happen when the Treasury reports back in the Autumn.

Jun 20, 2013

Breakingviews- Don’t bet on RBS good bank/bad bank split

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

By George Hay

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Don’t bet on a
good bank/bad bank split at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research).
George Osborne, the UK chancellor, used his Mansion House speech
on June 19 to announce a study on the possible hiving off the
state-held lender’s ropey assets. It doesn’t mean that will
happen when the Treasury reports back in the Autumn.

Jun 12, 2013
via Breakingviews

Hester’s early exit is right for RBS – and him

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

It was either now or what might have felt like never for Stephen Hester. Royal Bank of Scotland’s chief executive since 2008 is leaving later this year. Hester had to move on before the process to sell down the government’s 81 percent stake begins in earnest – or stick with the job for at least another five years.

Jun 7, 2013

Partnership’s success hinges on killer data set

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

By George Hay

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Partnership’s
(PA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) IPO pricing isn’t as conservative as it looks. The
insurer’s shares started trading on June 7 over 20 percent above
the 385 pence at which it finally listed – which was near the
top of the range. With the offering oversubscribed almost 10
times, it might look like the advisers left too much on the
table. Yet the pricing could also just reflect how heavily
Partnership’s future growth depends on its much-vaunted set of
mortality data.

Jun 6, 2013

Breakingviews:How lucky SNS wasn’t based in Nicosia

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

By George Hay

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The gory details of
SNS’s nationalisation will leave Cypriots hopping mad. The Dutch
bank has finally unveiled its 2012 accounts, five months after
being bailed out. They show how lucky SNS’s senior creditors
were to be spared a Cyprus-style bail-in.

Jun 4, 2013

UK should stop dithering over Co-op

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

By George Hay

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The UK government
needs to stop dithering over the Co-op (CPBB_p.L: Quote, Profile, Research). Weeks after a
six-notch downgrade to junk status and a self-imposed shuttering
of new corporate lending, the mutual is still waiting for the UK
regulator to nail down how much capital it needs. The continued
uncertainty increases the risk that corporate deposits walk.

    • 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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