European banking correspondent
Steve's Feed
Mar 26, 2014

Santander fined record 12.4 million pounds for advice failings

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog has fined Santander UK 12.4 million pounds for serious failings in the way it offered financial advice, the biggest ever punishment for poor investment advice to UK retail banking customers.

The Financial Conduct Authority FCA.L said on Wednesday there was a “significant risk” the British arm of Spanish bank Santander gave unsuitable advice to customers two years ago and its approach to investors’ risk appetites was inadequate.

Mar 26, 2014

UK fines Santander record 12.4 million pounds for advice failings

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog has fined Santander UK 12.4 million pounds for serious failings in the way it offered financial advice, the biggest ever punishment for poor investment advice to UK retail banking customers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Wednesday there was a “significant risk” the British arm of Spanish bank Santander gave unsuitable advice to customers two years ago and its approach to investors’ risk appetites was inadequate.

Mar 26, 2014

UK fines Santander record $20 mln for advice failings

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog
has fined Santander UK 12.4 million pounds ($20.5
million) for serious failings in the way it offered financial
advice, the biggest ever punishment for poor investment advice
to UK retail banking customers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Wednesday
there was a “significant risk” the British arm of Spanish bank
Santander gave unsuitable advice to customers two years ago and
its approach to investors’ risk appetites was inadequate.

Mar 26, 2014

UK heads for Lloyds exit by 2015 after $7 billion share sale

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – The UK government has sold 4.2
billion pounds ($6.9 billion) worth of shares in Lloyds Banking
Group to cut its stake in the country’s largest retail
bank to under 25 percent and putting it on course for a complete
exit in the next year.

Finance Minster George Osborne said Wednesday’s sale
“represents good value for the taxpayer” and the proceeds would
be used to reduce the national debt.

Mar 25, 2014

Ukraine crisis forces bank bond investors to rethink risk

* Ukrainian crisis underlined risks in banks’ bond drive

* Banks issuing bonds to boost defences against potential
losses

* Bankers still expect 2014 to be a record year for such
bonds

By Steve Slater and Aimee Donnellan

LONDON, March 25 (Reuters/IFR) – European banks such as
Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and Unicredit will likely have
to pay investors a higher return to buy the risky bonds that
banks use to strengthen their balance sheets after the crisis in
Ukraine forces a rethink about the potential dangers from such
investments.

So far this year, European banks have sold over 7.5 billion
euros of bonds to boost their core financial strength and
bankers expect that tally to reach a record 40 billion euros for
2014 as mainstream investors such as insurers and pension funds,
who need to boost returns, buy more of them.

Mar 24, 2014

HSBC to seek investor OK to sell ‘CoCo’ bonds

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is to ask its shareholders for permission to sell bonds that would convert into shares and bolster its capital if it hits trouble, giving it the option to join a growing group of banks issuing the securities.

More banks are selling the contingent capital securities (CCS), dubbed “CoCos”, which convert into shares in certain circumstances, such as if the capital level falls below a certain level.

Mar 19, 2014

Thomson Reuters launches central registry for bank client data

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp
said it has launched a central register of information
to help banks meet increasing compliance demands on who they
deal with and cut their costs by reducing duplication.

The news and information company said on Wednesday the
product would act as a central clearing house for banks,
corporations, asset managers, hedge funds and others to check
identity documentation for their counterparties.

Mar 16, 2014

Banking’s back room risk cops step into top jobs

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) – Once modest of pay and profile,
risk experts are being reborn as rock stars of the banking world
- their status and salaries soaring as regulators force
financial institutions to clean up.

Industry-wide investigations into alleged exchange rate
manipulation, trading scandals at UBS, Societe Generale and
JPMorgan and HSBC’s $1.9 billion fine for lax money-laundering
rules have upped the ante for banks already under pressure to
curb reckless behaviour that led to the financial crisis.

Mar 14, 2014

Barclays reviews investment bank, more cuts expected

March 13 (Reuters) – Barclays has launched the
third review of its investment bank in as many years, and is
likely to cut more jobs and business areas as it battles to
improve profitability, people familiar with the matter said.

The review, already underway, will be completed by the
summer. It will aim to cut costs and focus on whether the
London-based bank should pull back harder in areas of
fixed-income trading that use a lot of capital and have recently
offered poor returns, the people said on condition of anonymity.

Mar 14, 2014

Lloyds: FSA had no “fatal concerns” over Co-op’s ‘Ferrari’

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) – Lloyds Banking Group
codenamed Co-op Bank as “Ferrari” during its talks to sell it
more than 600 branches, before the mutual’s bid came to a
sputtering halt last year, the bank’s minutes showed.

Lloyds said it chose to sell the branches to Co-op, rather
than a rival bid from NBNK codenamed “Lotus”, because
execution risks were lower for the Co-op and it would have been
more attractive for staff and customers.

    • 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."
    • Follow Steve