European banking correspondent
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Jul 18, 2014

FX probe could be bigger problem than Libor: RBS chief

LONDON (Reuters) – An investigation into alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets could pose a bigger problem for banks than the Libor interest rate rigging scandal, the boss of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday.

RBS paid $612 million last year to settle allegations that it manipulated Libor rates, one of several banks hit with big fines for rigging financial benchmarks. Regulators are now investigating allegations that traders manipulated key reference rates in the $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

Jul 18, 2014

UK banks face break-up threat as watchdog plans competition probe

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s big banks could be broken up after the country’s new competition watchdog said it plans to launch an 18-month investigation into services for small business customers and personal current accounts.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Friday there was a lack of competition among banks and proposals that lenders put forward to increase transparency and make it easier to switch did not go far enough to meet the needs of personal consumers or small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Jul 8, 2014

Barclays names investment banking bosses for Asia, M&A -source

LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) – British bank Barclays Plc
has appointed Reid Marsh as co-head of investment
banking in Asia-Pacific and promoted Gary Posternack to global
head of mergers and acquisitions, a person familiar with the
matter said on Tuesday.

Mark Warham, head of M&A in the Europe, Middle East and
Africa (EMEA) region, is leaving the bank, the source said.

Jul 1, 2014

BNP’s capital ratio slips to 10 percent ‘borderline’ after record fine

LONDON (Reuters) – BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said a record $9 billion fine slapped on it for avoiding U.S. sanctions would not force it to rush out and raise cash or sell assets, even though it will wipe out the French bank’s capital advantage over weaker rivals.

The fine will leave BNP with a core capital ratio of 10 percent – above minimum regulatory levels but the floor that investors now expect big banks to hold, and below the 11 percent average that Europe’s bigger banks now hold.

Jul 1, 2014

BNP’s capital ratio slips to 10 pct “borderline” after record fine

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) – BNP Paribas said a
record $9 billion fine slapped on it for avoiding U.S. sanctions
would not force it to rush out and raise cash or sell assets,
even though it will wipe out the French bank’s capital advantage
over weaker rivals.

The fine will leave BNP with a core capital ratio of 10
percent – above minimum regulatory levels but the floor that
investors now expect big banks to hold, and below the 11 percent
average that Europe’s bigger banks now hold.

Jun 27, 2014

Barclays hires WilmerHale, ex-SEC litigator in dark pools probe

LONDON/WASHINGTON June 27 (Reuters) – Barclays Plc
has hired lawyers from the high-profile firm Wilmer Cutler
Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP to help the bank defend itself
against accusations that it deceived investors in its “dark
pool” trading venue, according to people familiar with the
matter.

Matthew Martens, formerly the chief litigator at the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, is among the WilmerHale
lawyers working on the case, the sources said.

Jun 27, 2014

Barclays enlists outside help in dark pools probe

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it is bringing in outside help to speed up an investigation into alleged misconduct in its “dark pool” operations, which have rekindled concerns that the cost of past problems at its investment bank will rise.

More than 2 billion pounds ($3.4 billion) was wiped off Barclays’ market value on Thursday after New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the British bank, accusing it of trying to grab extra profits from its alternative trading system while promising to get the best possible prices for customers.

Jun 26, 2014

Standard Chartered warns on profits as markets arm slumps

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) warned profits would fall in 2014 for the second year in a row after first-half earnings dropped by a fifth due to tougher regulations and low market volatility in its trading business.

The bank also said on Thursday the head of its financial markets arm, Lenny Feder, would take a one-year sabbatical and would not return in the same role. An industry source had told Reuters earlier that Feder would take a sabbatical.

Jun 26, 2014

StanChart warns on 2014 profits as markets arm slumps

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday warned of lower profits this year after a 20 percent slump in first-half earnings, as tougher regulations and low market volatility hit its trading business.

The bank also said the head of its financial markets business, Lenny Feder, was taking a one-year sabbatical and would not return in the same role.

Jun 25, 2014

Wonga to pay $4.4 mln compensation for fake legal letters

LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest payday lender
Wonga will pay 2.6 million pounds ($4.4 million) in compensation
to 45,000 customers after sending them bogus letters from
non-existent law firms that threatened legal action.

The short-term loan industry has come under increasing
scrutiny from politicians, regulators and even the Church of
England for high levels of interest rates that cause hardship
for many of its 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."
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