European banking correspondent
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Mar 6, 2014

StanChart reassures on capital in face of ‘challenging’ 2014

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered Plc reassured investors about its capital strength on Wednesday, raising its dividend despite reporting its first drop in annual profits for a decade and giving a weak outlook for the first half.

Once feted for its exposure to Asia which helped generate years of record earnings, StanChart is now under pressure to show it can adapt to slowing growth and rising bad loans.

Mar 5, 2014

Barclays pays nearly 500 bankers more than 1 million pounds

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) paid almost 500 staff more than 1 million pounds ($1.67 million) last year, prompting criticism that pay is still too high and that banks have not changed their ways since the financial crisis.

Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) also revealed in their annual reports that their chief executives could each earn more than 7 million pounds this year and that both banks were seeking approval from shareholders to pay some staff bonuses of double their fixed pay.

Mar 5, 2014

StanChart says performance to remain ‘challenged’

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) warned its income and profits would remain “challenged” in the first half of the year, after the Asia-focused bank on Wednesday reported its first drop in annual profits for a decade.

The London-listed bank, which makes 90 percent of its profit in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, had a torrid 2013 after a decade of record earnings and is under pressure to prove it can continue to generate strong profits in the face of a slowdown in key markets.

Mar 5, 2014

Lehman Europe creditors in line for extra $8 billion payday

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge funds, asset managers and other creditors of Lehman Brothers’ European arm will next month be fully paid out from money recovered from the carcass of the bank and could get an extra 5 billion pounds ($8.4 billion).

PwC, the administrator of Lehman Brothers International Europe (LBIE), is paying a fourth dividend of 7.8 pence in the pound to unsecured creditors on April 30, which will lift payouts to 100 percent after three bigger dividends in the past 15 months.

Mar 4, 2014

Six banks team up in plan for shared customer data register

LONDON (Reuters) – JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and four more major banks have signed up with an industry group to develop a central register of information on other banks they deal with to help to meet increasing compliance demands and costs.

Swift, a Brussels-based group used by thousands of banks to exchange financial messages, said on Tuesday that six banks had agreed to develop and use the register, which will collect and share standard information required by banks as part of their due diligence processes.

Mar 4, 2014

UK prosecutor says has “vast amounts” of documents in Libor case

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – British fraud prosecutors have
sifted through “vast amounts” of documents in their case against
three former Barclays traders alleged to have rigged
crucial Libor benchmark interest rates over a two year period, a
London court heard on Tuesday.

James Hines, a senior lawyer for Britain’s Serious Fraud
Office (SFO), told a short hearing at Southwark Crown Court that
much of the evidence against Peter Johnson, 59, Jonathan Mathew,
33, and Stylianos Contogoulas, 42, was in email form.

Feb 27, 2014

RBS seeks to regain trust after post-crisis losses hit $77 billion

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) sought to shake off its reputation as Britain’s pariah bank on Thursday with plans to cut more costs and reposition itself as a UK-focused retail and commercial lender.

New chief executive Ross McEwan is under pressure to restore RBS’s standing with its political masters and the general public after a year of fines, customer complaints and technology problems.

Feb 27, 2014

RBS seeks to regain Britons’ trust after $13.6 billion loss

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) launched a campaign to transform itself from pariah to trusted British lender by slashing costs and repositioning itself as a UK-focused retail and commercial bank.

New chief executive Ross McEwan is under pressure to restore RBS’s reputation with the general public and its political masters after a torrid year of fines, customer complaints and technology problems.

Feb 27, 2014

RBS seeks to regain Britons’ trust after 8.2 billion pound loss

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland launched a campaign to transform itself from pariah to trusted British lender by slashing costs and repositioning itself as a UK-focused retail and commercial bank.

New chief executive Ross McEwan is under pressure to restore RBS’s reputation with the general public and its political masters after a torrid year of fines, customer complaints and technology problems.

Feb 26, 2014

Hunting credit, firms look beyond wary EU banks

LONDON (Reuters) – When David Armitt needed to refinance loans last year for his 153-year-old manufacturing company in Yorkshire, he found British banks reluctant to lend. So he took the nuclear option.

The finance director in Huddersfield turned instead to San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, borrowing $28 million after putting up as collateral the gearboxes that his firm, David Brown Gear Systems, makes to propel nuclear submarines.

    • 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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