George's Feed
Apr 23, 2013

Breakingviews- Justin Welby’s UK banks sermon welcome but flawed

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

By George Hay

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Justin Welby’s
sermon on UK banks is welcome, but flawed. Britain’s new
Archbishop of Canterbury has called for a big UK bank to be
split up. Welby’s financial literacy means his views are, to an
unusual degree, worth listening to. Sadly, the time for penance
for the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is probably
already past.

Apr 9, 2013

Breakingviews-Greek banks look bail-in proof – for now

(Updates share prices in Context)

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

By George Hay

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Cypriot depositors
will be spitting tacks. Greece’s two largest banks, National
Bank of Greece (NBGr.AT: Quote, Profile, Research) and Eurobank (EFGr.AT: Quote, Profile, Research), need 15.6
billion euros of capital between them. They have been struggling
to attract private funds. But instead of suffering a
Cypriot-style scalping in the form of a proper bail-in, they
will be kept whole. What gives?

Apr 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

HBOS top brass reap what they sowed

Photo

By George Hay

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

HBOS’s top managers are finally starting to reap what they sowed. So far, official blame for the spectacular collapse of one of the UK’s biggest banks has been restricted to its former head of corporate lending Peter Cummings, who was fined 500,000 pounds by the UK regulator in September. A hard-hitting report by Britain’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has rightly begun to point the finger at the very top.

Mar 27, 2013
via Breakingviews

UK’s new bank capital tsar starts as good cop

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By George Hay

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

The UK’s new bank capital tsar has started life as a good cop. The Financial Policy Committee, created to monitor macroeconomic risks facing domestic lenders, has ordered banks to raise 25 billion pounds by the end of the year. That’s a lot, but it could have been worse.

Mar 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

Review: Seeing through bankers’ woolly thinking

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By George Hay

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

How much capital do banks need? Ask the Basel Committee of global banking supervisors, and it will recommend 3 percent of total bank assets. Ask tougher observers like the UK’s banking commission, and you’ll hear 4 percent. But ask Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig, the economists behind The Bankers’ New Clothes, and you’re in for a shock: they’re after 30 percent.

Mar 18, 2013
via Breakingviews

Europe’s bank-run defences have limits

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By George Hay

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

Europe’s defences against bank runs have limits that may be about to be tested. The decision to force insured depositors to fund part of Cyprus’ bailout has sparked fears that their counterparts in Italy and Spain will try to head off hypothetical losses of their own by withdrawing their holdings. If they do so in bulk, the European Central Bank would struggle to hold the line.

Feb 21, 2013

Breakingviews-European insurer dividend angst looks overdone

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Feb 21(Reuters Breakingviews) – The angst that has
gathered around European insurers looks overdone. The shares of
UK insurer RSA (RSA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) tanked 14 percent on Feb. 20 after it cut
its dividend by a third. Then on Feb. 21, Allianz (ALVG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), AXA
(AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and Swiss Re (SRENH.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) respectively held, slightly
increased and substantially increased their own payouts. The
latter trend is the one that matters.

Feb 19, 2013
via Breakingviews

RBS share giveaway: a shareholder writes

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

The UK government is toying with the idea of giving away its RBS shares to the public. It should consider the law of unintended consequences. A putative investor sets out what could go wrong in this unhappy letter to the bank’s chairman, after throwing in the towel in 2015.
To: Philip Hampton, RBS chairman
From: Ivor Duff-Holding
Sent: April 1, 2015

Feb 19, 2013

Breakingviews-RBS share giveaway: a shareholder writes

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The UK government
is toying with the idea of giving away its RBS shares (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) to
the public. It should consider the law of unintended
consequences. A putative investor sets out what could go wrong
in this unhappy letter to the bank’s chairman, after throwing in
the towel in 2015.

Feb 19, 2013

Bank firewalls: a guide for the perplexed

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

By George Hay and Antony Currie

LONDON/NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Regulators
in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States all agree on
the need to protect their lenders from the casino-like antics of
investment bankers. That’s no great surprise: who wouldn’t want
to shield regular customers from the billions of pounds of
losses caused by rogue traders like Kweku Adoboli of UBS
(UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research)? But beyond this shared objective, there’s little
agreement.

    • 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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