European banking correspondent
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May 20, 2015

Banks to get SEC waivers following forex guilty pleas – sources

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan
Morgan Chase & Co are receiving regulatory waivers to
allow them to continue to quickly issue new securities and
continue doing business with mutual funds and exchange-traded
funds, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission is expected to
publicly confirm the waivers will be in place once the banks
formally enter criminal guilty pleas to manipulating foreign
exchange rates, possibly near the end of the business day on
Wednesday, the sources said.

May 15, 2015

HSBC Chairman: Should banks be mortgage lenders?

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) – Blue chip banks could provide a
bigger stimulus to Europe’s flagging economy if they pared back
low-return mortgage lending to pump more firepower into small
business and consumer credit, the chairman of HSBC told
Reuters.

Douglas Flint, boss of Europe’s largest bank, said
policymakers and banks needed to reconsider the “natural
long-term holders” of Europe’s multi-trillion euro mortgage
market and debate the case for encouraging other money managers
to play a bigger role.

May 15, 2015

BoE says UK banks making big changes to separation plans

LONDON (Reuters) – British banks are still making big changes to how they will separate their retail businesses from riskier areas by 2019 as they juggle broader strategy shifts with regulatory demands, the UK’s banking supervisor told Reuters.

To comply with a new UK law to better protect depositors and taxpayers, at least six UK banks and building societies must set up firewalls around their retail bank by 2019. Banks have to include basic savings and mortgages in the ring-fenced business and exclude other areas like complex derivatives.

May 14, 2015

HSBC boss says big banks need to show scale matters

LONDON (Reuters) – Being one of the two most important global banks offers benefits to customers and greater resilience, but there is an increasing need to show shareholders that size matters, HSBC’s (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) chairman told Reuters.

Big, complex banks have come under pressure from investors to shrink or break up because the extra costs of managing large institutions, plus a need to hold more capital can outweigh the advantages of scale long considered the holy grail of banking.

May 14, 2015

What’s the worry for Europe’s bank regulators? Low interest rates

LONDON (Reuters) – Low interest rates that have forced investors to pile into riskier assets in the hunt for yield pose the biggest risk to financial stability at present, top banking regulators in Europe said at this week’s Reuters Regulation Summit.

Already historically low interest rates have been pressured further by the European Central Bank’s 1 trillion-euro ($1.1 trillion) bond buying spree.

May 11, 2015

New UK bank Atom eyes 5 pct market share by 2020

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) – New British banking venture Atom
is targeting a 5 percent share of the personal current or
checking account market in Britain over the next five years,
Chief Executive Mark Mullen said on Monday.

Atom, which plans to offer its services online and has no
branches, is one of a number of new banks also including
Aldermore and OneSavings hoping to challenge the dominance of
the country’s biggest lenders, whose reputations have been hit
by a series of scandals.

May 6, 2015

StanChart sees UK bank tax rising again amid HQ review

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it expected Britain to increase its bank levy again and the rising cost of the tax was a key issue in its assessment of whether to keep its headquarters in London or move to Asia.

Standard Chartered Chairman John Peace told investors on Wednesday the Asia-focused bank had “no current plans to move” but was keeping its domicile under review. Rival HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is formally reviewing the best place for its HQ and will decide whether to move in the next few months.

May 6, 2015

Standard Chartered sees UK bank tax rising again amid HQ review

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said it expected Britain to increase its bank levy again and the rising cost of the tax was a key issue in its assessment of whether to keep its headquarters in London or move to Asia.

Standard Chartered Chairman John Peace told investors on Wednesday the Asia-focused bank had “no current plans to move” but was keeping its domicile under review. Rival HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is formally reviewing the best place for its HQ and will decide whether to move in the next few months.

May 5, 2015

Overhaul, not sale, on the cards for HSBC’s U.S. arm

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is set to extend a six year overhaul of its U.S. business to revive its fortunes rather than add it to the 77 businesses sold in the past four years, the British bank’s boss said on Tuesday.

HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver has said he could sell underperforming businesses in the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey if they cannot be turned around.

May 5, 2015

HSBC warns bank levy puts the brakes on dividend

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) warned on Tuesday that Britain’s bank tax was preventing it from raising dividend payouts and that was a key concern of investors as the bank assesses whether to move back to Hong Kong from London.

Europe’s largest bank has ordered a review of whether it should shift its headquarters because of the cost of operating from London and said it would make its decision in a few months.

    • About Steve

      "Responsible for overseeing coverage of the European bank sector and direct coverage of the international UK-based banks, based in London. Have been in current role for three years, and for previous three years was UK banking reporter. Have over 15 years experience as a financial newswire journalist in London and New York."
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