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Nov 24, 2011

Swiss private bank stress forcing consolidation

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

By Margaret Doyle

LONDON, Nov 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The climate has
changed for Switzerland’s private banks. Earnings are being
squeezed by a combination of tax deals, the strong Swiss franc
and turmoil in financial markets. This is why Rabobank is
considering offloading its 46 percent stake in the Swiss lender
Sarasin (BSAN.S: Quote, Profile, Research) to a rival. The Dutch lender doesn’t need the
cash, and merging private banks can be tricky. But the benefits
of integration probably outweigh those of struggling on alone.

Nov 24, 2011

Breakingviews-Swiss private bank stress forcing consolidation

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

By Margaret Doyle

LONDON, Nov 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The climate has
changed for Switzerland’s private banks. Earnings are being
squeezed by a combination of tax deals, the strong Swiss franc
and turmoil in financial markets. This is why Rabobank is
considering offloading its 46 percent stake in the Swiss lender
Sarasin (BSAN.S: Quote, Profile, Research) to a rival. The Dutch lender doesn’t need the
cash, and merging private banks can be tricky. But the benefits
of integration probably outweigh those of struggling on alone.

Nov 17, 2011
via Breakingviews

UBS’s slimming strategy deserves two cheers

By Margaret Doyle and Antony Currie
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Give UBS two hearty cheers for its decision to slim down to a more suitable fighting weight. New Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti told shareholders on Thursday that the Swiss lender is to almost halve risk-weighted assets at the investment bank to 150 billion Swiss francs. Moreover, he is putting UBS’s private and Swiss banking operations front and centre. That’ll please regulators and investors alike.

Oct 14, 2011
via Breakingviews

Deutsche may not escape state grip in forced recap

By Margaret Doyle
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Deutsche Bank is in a bind. The German lender needs to find around 9 billion euros of capital to pass Europe’s latest bank stress test, according to insiders. The German government could put up the cash. But with Deutsche’s market capitalisation at a depressed 26 billion euros, a state-backed recap would see Berlin owning more than a quarter of the bank — raising the prospect of politicians interfering with bonuses, dividends and lending.

Sep 20, 2011
via Breakingviews

UBS rogue trader a chance to test bonus clawbacks

By Margaret Doyle
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Will UBS’s rogue trader leave staff with a “doughnut” bonus? The investment bank’s employees, already facing thousands of job losses, fear the $2.3 billion trading loss will wipe out this year’s payments. Loading the cost onto staff could appease shareholders and regulators, but would risk triggering another exodus. Clawing back deferred bonuses from senior staff might be a better way to spread the pain.

Sep 15, 2011
via Breakingviews

How could UBS not have learnt from SocGen?

By Margaret Doyle
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

It has happened again. UBS has $2 billion of losses from unauthorized trading in the Swiss bank’s supposedly safe “Delta One” equities business. This is the area that spawned a massive fraud at French bank Societe Generale in 2008, leading to $7 billion of losses as the trades were unwound.

Sep 9, 2011

French banks’ funding flames fuelled by Basel

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

By Margaret Doyle and George Hay

LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters Breakingviews) – BNP Paribas
(BNPP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) may be disappointed if
they reckon that their statements this month on funding will
ease investor concerns. While shares in both French banks
enjoyed a relief rally on Sept. 8, they are still down 40 and 54
percent respectively since early July. Both groups want to show
that these sell-offs are fuelled by market hysteria, not
fundamentals. But the Basel Committee’s tough new liquidity
rules suggest the opposite.

Sep 9, 2011

Breakingviews-French banks’ funding flames fuelled by Basel

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

By Margaret Doyle and George Hay

LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters Breakingviews) – BNP Paribas
(BNPP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) may be disappointed if
they reckon that their statements this month on funding will
ease investor concerns. While shares in both French banks
enjoyed a relief rally on Sept. 8, they are still down 40 and 54
percent respectively since early July. Both groups want to show
that these sell-offs are fuelled by market hysteria, not
fundamentals. But the Basel Committee’s tough new liquidity
rules suggest the opposite.

Sep 6, 2011

U.S. mortgage suits inflict super-damages on banks

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

By Margaret Doyle and Agnes Crane

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Just when investors
in European and U.S. banks thought things couldn’t get worse, 17
financial institutions have been sued over $196 billion-worth of
toxic mortgage bonds. Bank shares fell up to 12 percent across
Europe with U.S. markets closed. But it’s hard to rationalise
the falls on the basis of the lawsuit alone.

Sep 6, 2011

Breakingviews-U.S. mortgage suits inflict super-damages on banks

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

By Margaret Doyle and Agnes Crane

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Just when investors
in European and U.S. banks thought things couldn’t get worse, 17
financial institutions have been sued over $196 billion-worth of
toxic mortgage bonds. Bank shares fell up to 12 percent across
Europe with U.S. markets closed. But it’s hard to rationalise
the falls on the basis of the lawsuit alone.

    • About Margaret

      "Margaret Doyle is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist, based in London. She writes about investment banking. She has been a journalist for over 14 years. She has written for The Daily Telegraph and The Economist and presented various radio programmes for the BBC. She began her career as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. She has an economics degree from Trinity College, Dublin and an MBA from Harvard Business School, which she attended as a Fulbright scholar. She is a Conservative Member of Westminster City Council."
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