European banking correspondent
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Oct 10, 2014

Bank of England had cash ready in case Scotland chose independence

LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – The Bank of England planned to
shore up Britain’s financial system quickly if Scotland voted
for independence last month, with extra banknotes ready in case
of big withdrawals from Scottish banks.

Scots voted on Sept. 18 to keep their centuries-old union
with the rest of the United Kingdom. Opinion polls running up to
the referendum had suggested a tight outcome, and on Friday the
BoE disclosed what might have happened if Scots had voted ‘yes’.

Oct 6, 2014

UK banks have three months to detail protection for high street clients

LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Britain has given its banks three
months to show how they plan to protect their retail customers
from riskier parts of their operations.

The Bank of England is forcing lenders to set up a boundary
around their high street operations in an effort to protect
taxpayers from any repetition of the multi-billion pound
bailouts of investment banking operations that occurred under
the financial crisis.

Oct 2, 2014

UK should investigate if Wonga lending fraudulent: MP

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain should consider more legislation to regulate the short-term loans industry and authorities should examine lending practices by market leader Wonga to consider if they were fraudulent, a UK politician said on Thursday.

Wonga, Britain’s biggest short-term lender, said on Thursday it was writing off the debt of 330,000 customers, worth about 220 million pounds ($355 million), after the financial regulator told the firm it was not properly assessing if customers could pay back loans.

Oct 2, 2014

Wonga writes off debt for 330,000 customers

LONDON (Reuters) – UK short-term lender Wonga is writing off the debt of around 330,000 customers worth about 220 million pounds, after being forced to overhaul its lending practices by Britain’s financial regulator.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Thursday that Wonga had entered into a so-called voluntary requirement agreement to make the changes, which ensures immediate redress for consumers while allowing the regulator to continue investigations and possible enforcement action.

Oct 2, 2014

UK lender Wonga writes off debt for 330,000 customers

LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) – UK short-term lender Wonga is
writing off the outstanding debt for around 330,000 customers at
a cost of about 220 million pounds ($356 million), after being
forced to overhaul its lending practices by Britain’s financial
regulator.

The Financial Conduct Authority said on Thursday Wonga had
entered into a so-called voluntary requirement agreement to make
the changes, which ensures immediate redress for consumers while
allowing the regulator to continue investigations and possible
enforcement action.

Oct 2, 2014

Windfalls for Branson, UK government and staff in Virgin Money IPO

LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Britain’s government, almost 3,000
Virgin Money staff and entrepreneur Richard Branson will share a
multi-million pound windfall when the challenger bank lists in
London in the coming weeks.

Virgin Money intends to raise 150 million pounds ($243
million) from a stock market listing in London, the company said
on Thursday. It will pay 50 million pounds to the UK Treasury
under the terms of its purchase of nationalised lender Northern
Rock in 2011.

Sep 30, 2014

Cautious clients keep hopes low for investment banking

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Political troubles in Russia and
the Middle East added to a summer slowdown in trading activity
and is likely to leave third quarter revenues for investment
banks down from the previous three months, bankers and analysts
said.

Investment bank revenues can be one of the most volatile
aspects of bank earnings. Banks are likely to cut more jobs and
pare back businesses in any areas that remain weak in an effort
to save costs.

Sep 30, 2014

RBS frees up $1.3 billion of provisions as economy improves

LONDON (Reuters) – State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland will release 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) from provisions it had set aside to cover losses on bad loans after an improvement in economic conditions, especially in Ireland.

RBS said on Tuesday it also expected losses from bad loans to be “significantly” lower than its previous guidance of 1 billion pounds this year, helped by improving asset prices.

Sep 26, 2014

UK talking to six banks about settling FX probe-sources

LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial regulator
has intensified talks with six major banks over allegations of
collusion and manipulation in the foreign exchange market,
setting the stage for a group settlement that could cost them
close to 2 billion pounds($3.26 billion).

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the lenders
are keen to draw a line under a scandal that has cast London,
the world’s foreign exchange trading hub, in a negative light,
ensnared the Bank of England and weighed on banks’ share prices.

Sep 26, 2014

EU bankers pay row flares over treatment of allowances

LONDON/BRUSSELS, Sept 25 (Reuters) – A row over how strictly
new rules on bankers pay are enforced in Britain and across
Europe flared on Friday after the European Union banking
regulator was reported to be preparing to clamp down on
allowances being paid to staff.

The European Banking Authority (EBA), which has been
investigating such allowances, is poised to take a much stricter
stance than British regulators on how fixed pay is defined, the
Financial Times reported, citing two sources familiar with draft
recommendations made by the EBA. (on.ft.com/1vjmB9S)

    • 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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