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Feb 6, 2013
via Breakingviews

RBS moves away from Libor danger zone

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By George Hay

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

Royal Bank of Scotland is inching away from the Libor danger zone. The UK bank has been fined 390 million pounds for its role in fixing the interbank rate, higher than Barclays’ 290 million pounds but much less than UBS’s 1 billion pounds. It’s a big deal, but less serious than it could have been.

Jan 29, 2013

RBS shares bake in Libor’s known unknowns

(Adds details on share move in paragraphs 1, 4)

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Royal Bank of
Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) shares look to be baking in Libor’s known
unknowns. The UK bank fell 6 percent on Jan. 29 amid fears it
may be found criminally liable for fixing the London interbank
offered rate. The movement – 2.5 billion pounds off RBS’s market
value – strikes a reasonable balance between the likely and
relatively manageable outcome, and the small risk of a really
painful one.

Jan 24, 2013

ICAP’s Libor woe comes at awkward time for broking

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – ICAP’s Libor woe
comes at an awkward time for the broking industry. The
London-based inter-dealer broker is being investigated by the
Financial Services Authority for possible breaches related to
the fixing of interbank interest rates. Amid trading conditions
described in September by ICAP Chief Executive Michael Spencer
as the toughest in his 36-year City career, it adds a decidedly
unhelpful layer of uncertainty to an already troubling picture.

Jan 24, 2013

Dutch headed for good old, 2008-style bank bailout

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – SNS Reaal’s (SR.AS: Quote, Profile, Research)
difficulties show that bank rescues are still stuck in 2008. The
Dutch bancassurer is running out of options to address big
losses on its commercial property exposures. The government has
a chance to test a new law that gives it wide intervention
powers . But even with these, the Dutch taxpayer may have to
contribute – again.

Jan 18, 2013

Breakingviews:Lloyds should change CEO bonus vesting, not size

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A storm is brewing
over at Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) over Antonio
Horta-Osorio’s bonus. Like peers, Lloyds was shamed in 2012 for
past mis-selling of mortgage insurance. Yet there was progress
in restructuring and its chief executive deserves recognition.
The question for UK Financial Investments, which manages the
government’s 40 percent stake, is how it can advocate the award
to its political masters.

Jan 16, 2013

Mervyn King exit may detoxify BoE/bank relations

(Corrects date in final paragraph)

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Mervyn King’s
departure from the Bank of England could well detoxify relations
between the UK central bank and its domestic lenders. The
financial sector and its regulators shouldn’t be best buddies.
But bankers whisper that the outgoing governor’s tough
regulatory stance, seen once again in front of UK lawmakers on
Jan. 15, partly reflects his own previous mistakes.

Jan 15, 2013
via Breakingviews

Regulators must grab chance to bin EU capital ruse

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By George Hay

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

Regulators must seize the chance to ditch one of euro zone banks’ more absurd regulatory wheezes. In the first half of 2013, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision will publish a comprehensive study assessing how global banks risk-weight their assets. The rule-setter should use its platform to name and shame the national regulators and lenders that are still getting away with holding no capital against their euro zone sovereign debt.

Jan 7, 2013
via Breakingviews

Liquidity U-turn is sell signal for bank shares

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By George Hay

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

Global regulators’ great liquidity U-turn is a sell signal for banks. That’s not the way investors chose to look at it on Jan. 7, as the share prices of global lenders rallied. Admittedly, the watering down of rules intended to protect banks against deposit-runs will mean higher short-term profit. But the economic slowdown that has caused formerly macho regulators to roll over is a more enduring negative force.

Jan 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

Bank liquidity reform better delayed than diluted

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By George Hay

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

Delay is better than dilution for bank liquidity reform. Global regulators who make up the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision are set to allow lenders more time to comply with one of the cornerstones of the critically important “Basel III” reforms to stop taxpayers having to bail out the financial sector. In this case, massaging the deadline is the lesser of two evils.

Jan 4, 2013

Too early to call UK bank stimulus a game changer

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – UK banks are having
a happy new year. Fourth quarter data suggests that domestic
lenders are making much more credit available, which in turn
implies that the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme

    • 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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