European banking correspondent
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Feb 13, 2014

Lloyds Bank looks to sell further $500 mln in shipping loans -sources

LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Lloyds Banking Group is
looking to sell $500 million of shipping loans as the British
bank accelerates its exit from the sector, trade finance and
banking sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The sale is likely to be the final large divestment of loans
from its ship finance portfolio as the British bank cuts the
size of its balance sheet to reduce risk.

Feb 13, 2014

Lean times for investment banks put rates desks under fire

LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Have the mega-buck years of bond
and interest rate trading gone for good, or will normal service
resume after an ugly 2013?

That’s the question facing investment bank chiefs as they
try to squeeze costs and improve returns. Some are clinging to
the hope that diving revenue from a “complex, messy business”
will be temporary, and they need to keep trading teams together
for when the market recovers.

Feb 13, 2014

Lloyds Bank ready for share sale after return to profit

LONDON (Reuters) – State-backed Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it was ready to return to private ownership after reporting a pretax profit for the first time in three years.

Lloyds’ Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has turned around the bank’s fortunes since taking the helm in March 2011, slimming it down to focus on lending to UK households and businesses and meet tougher regulatory requirements on capital.

Feb 12, 2014

RBS will adapt if Scots vote for independence-CEO

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
will adapt its business in the event of Scots voting for
independence from the rest of the United Kingdom, its Chief
Executive Ross McEwan said on Wednesday.

However, McEwan played down comments from UK Business
Minister Vince Cable suggesting it was inevitable the bank would
relocate its headquarters from Edinburgh to London in the event
of a “yes” vote.

Feb 11, 2014

Barclays to cut 12,000 jobs, pays bigger bonuses

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) expects to axe up to 12,000 jobs this year to cut costs and counter falling income at its investment bank, where profits slumped last year.

But it is also paying staff higher bonuses, risking a backlash from the politicians and taxpayers who bailed out much of the industry during the financial crisis.

Feb 10, 2014

Barclays seen cutting more costs after profit drop

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said earnings dropped by a quarter to 5.2 billion pounds ($8.5 billion) last year from the year before, missing analysts’ forecasts and raising expectations the bank will step up cost cutting as investment bank earnings wane.

The British bank will not report its full results until Tuesday, but it released the headline number early on Monday. A preview in the Financial Times newspaper had included numbers close to the figures released by Barclays.

Feb 5, 2014

UK pledges to beef up cyber defences after banks’ “war game”

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial, transport and
energy industries said they will strengthen their defences
against cyber attacks, building on a war-game simulation where
banks came under assault from “a hostile nation state”.

Cyber attacks are increasing in regularity and severity as
“hacktivists” and criminals become more sophisticated. Banks are
frequently targeted by co-ordinated online assaults or hacks on
specific lenders.

Feb 4, 2014

UBS bonus hike slammed for showing lessons not learned

ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) – A jump in bonus payments at Swiss bank UBS AG (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) stoked criticism on Tuesday that a previous cut was short-lived and banks have not learned lessons from the financial crisis.

Banker bonuses drew intense criticism after the crisis which peaked in 2008 and 2009 for creating lucrative short-term incentives, tied to often ill-conceived products, whose failure cost banks and governments billions while leaving the bankers themselves unscathed.

Feb 3, 2014

European banks have $3 trln of exposure to emerging markets

LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) – European banks have loaned in
excess of $3 trillion to emerging markets, more than four times
U.S. lenders and putting them at greater risk if financial
market turmoil in countries such as Turkey, Brazil, India and
South Africa intensifies.

The risk is most acute for six European banks – BBVA, Erste
Bank, HSBC, Santander, Standard Chartered, and UniCredit -
according to analysts.

Feb 3, 2014

Barclays CEO turns down bonus for 2013

LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Barclays Chief Executive
Antony Jenkins has turned down his 2013 bonus, saying it would
be inappropriate given the bank’s hefty bill to pay for past
problems and its need to call on investors for cash.

Jenkins could have received a bonus of up to 2.7 million
pounds ($4.4 million). It is the second year he has waived his
bonus after becoming chief executive in August 2012.

    • 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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