George's Feed
Jul 29, 2013

Breakingviews- Barclays learns that capital delays don’t work

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

By George Hay

LONDON, July 29 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
is the latest big bank to discover that a go-slow approach to
boosting capital just doesn’t work. The UK lender is finalising
a capital increase including a possible 5 billion pound share
issue, Reuters reports. That is in spite of stating in February
that it would bolster solvency over time through profit
generation and other measures. Regulatory caprice over capital
requirements is probably to blame for Barclays’ u-turn – but so
too is management’s lackadaisical approach to balance sheet
strength.

Jul 24, 2013
via Breakingviews

UK bank tsar is inconsistent, not zealous

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By George Hay

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

The main problem with UK bank regulation is inconsistency, not zealotry. Business Secretary Vince Cable, long the scourge of UK lenders, is now claiming that the demands of “capital Taliban” at the Bank of England are stopping banks from lending. But the real issue is regulators who don’t practice what they preach.

Jul 17, 2013
via Breakingviews

Barclays’ $453 mln power-trade spat looks lose-lose

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By George Hay

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

Barclays’ energy-trading spat is shaping up to be a real no-win situation for the UK bank. The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decided on July 16 not to budge from its contention that Barclays and four of its traders should pay a combined $453 million in fines for manipulating energy prices. Barclays strongly denies the charges. But even if the bank wins its case in court, the victory will be Pyrrhic.

Jul 15, 2013

Co-op creditors’ plan B could hurt just as much

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

By George Hay

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Co-op Bank’s
(CPBB_p.L: Quote, Profile, Research) bondholders can salvage more value in the lender’s
restructuring. But more value isn’t always a better deal.

Jul 15, 2013

Banks dodge a bullet with transatlantic swap deal

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

By Dominic Elliott and George Hay

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A deal between
American and European regulators on derivatives has helped banks
dodge a bullet. Before a compromise hatched on July 11, the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) intended to force
swaps involving United States’ counterparties to be cleared in
America. That would have frozen cross-border flows and hammered
volumes by creating separate regulatory jurisdictions.

Jul 5, 2013
via Breakingviews

How regulators can restore trust in bank capital

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By George Hay

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

The Basel Committee just dealt another blow to the self-assessment of banking risk. This powerful group of global supervisors published new evidence on July 5 unmasking shortcomings in the models that tell lenders how much capital they need. For fans of the status quo, it makes gory reading.

Jun 28, 2013

Breakingview- New EU bail-in a great tool for previous crisis

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

By George Hay and Neil Unmack

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Europe’s shiny new
bank bail-in regime looks like the perfect tool for previous
banking crises. The agreement reached this week by European
leaders would force shareholders and creditors to swallow losses
of 8 percent of their bank’s liabilities in a future banking
crash. That would have spared euro zone taxpayers from pumping
in their own resources to protect most of their biggest banks in
2008. But it doesn’t provide a guarantee that public money will
never be used to rescue banks in the future.

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?

    • 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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