European banking correspondent
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Sep 14, 2013

Hedge funds reap rewards from bet on Lehman Europe carcass

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge funds which gambled on how much money would be recovered from the bankrupt carcass of Lehman Brothers are set to make hundreds of millions of pounds from a full payout to creditors of the European arm.

Five years on from the collapse, payouts to Lehman’s creditors in Europe are on course to top 100 percent sometime next year, following a recovery of assets by administrators and legal victories over other parts of the ex-U.S. investment bank.

Sep 10, 2013

Barclays sees new technology driving half its cost savings

LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) – The boss of Barclays
said new technology is ready to transform the experience of bank
customers and help his British lender deliver almost half its
planned annual cost savings of 1.7 billion pounds ($2.7
billion).

Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins on Tuesday said
operations and technology improvements should deliver 800
million pounds of savings in the next three years.

Sep 6, 2013

Banks tap into promising market for “top-up” capital bonds

By Steve Slater and Aimee Donnellan

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters/IFR) – European banks are stepping up plans to raise money via bonds that can top up their capital, following a green light from regulators, potentially opening up a market worth up to 240 billion euros ($317 billion).

The bonds, known as hybrids, have equity-like features but are cheaper than equity and could help banks meet tough new rules to prevent a repeat of the 2007-2009 financial crisis when taxpayers bore the brunt of bank bailouts.

Sep 6, 2013

UK financial advice reforms set to come under MP scrutiny

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters) – British politicians may take a
fresh look next year at recent changes to the way Britons
receive financial advice, which critics say has left people less
likely to get any help.

Mark Garnier, a Conservative Party legislator who sits on
the Treasury Select Committee which scrutinises financial
issues, said he expected the committee to review how the system
is working next summer.

Sep 2, 2013

Barclays may launch cash call on anniversary of U.S. Lehman deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is set to launch its 5.8 billion pound ($9 billion) rights issue in two weeks, possibly on the fifth anniversary of its takeover of the U.S. operations of Lehman Brothers, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The one-in-four offer, priced at 185 pence a share, is expected in the third week of September, they said. Barclays did the Lehman deal on September 16, 2008, a day after the U.S. investment bank collapsed.

Aug 29, 2013

Co-op boss says sorry for big bank loss

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Co-operative Group apologised to customers and investors on Thursday for a 700 million pound ($1.1 billion) loss in its banking business and said sorting out problems there would take four years and involve job cuts.

The losses stem mostly from the Co-op’s purchase in 2009 of the Britannia Building Society, found to hold bad loans that along with costly IT problems, the Co-op Bank’s own losses and regulatory demands now mean the bank needs to find 1.5 billion pounds. The Co-op is relying on bondholders to approve a lifesaving funding proposal – the first major test of a plan asking investors, not taxpayers, to take a bailout hit.

Aug 29, 2013

Co-op Bank takes 700 million pound hit on bad loans, IT woes

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Co-operative Group took a 700 million pound ($1.1 billion) hit on losses for bad loans, technology problems and customer compensation as it battles to draw a line under troubles at its banking business.

Co-operative Bank (CPBB_p.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday it made a pre-tax loss of 709 million pounds in the six months to the end of June, after losing 496 million pounds on loan impairments, writing down its IT systems by another 148 million pounds and setting aside a further 61 million pounds for compensating customers, including for mis-sold insurance products.

Aug 29, 2013

Co-op Bank takes 700 mln stg hit on bad loans, IT woes

LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s Co-operative Group took
a 700 million pound ($1.1 billion) hit on losses for bad loans,
technology problems and customer compensation as it battles to
draw a line under troubles at its banking business.

Co-operative Bank said on Thursday it made a
pretax loss of 709 million pounds in the six months to the end
of June, after losing 496 million pounds on loan impairments,
writing down its IT systems by another 148 million pounds and
setting aside a further 61 million pounds for compensating
customers, including for mis-sold insurance products.

Aug 8, 2013

European banks promise high dividends in low-yield world

LONDON, Aug 9 (Reuters) – European banks redoubled their
commitment to raise dividends this results season, determined to
demonstrate to investors that they have put the financial crisis
behind them.

The ability to pay a dividend has become a badge of honour
among banks since regulators raised the bar on capital
requirements in recent months, requiring some lenders to issue
equity or bonds or to sell assets to shore up their ratios.

Aug 6, 2013

Standard Chartered’s profit hit by $1 billion Korean writedown

LONDON (Reuters) – Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) took a $1 billion hit on the value of its troubled Korean business on Tuesday, dragging earnings down 16 percent and warning of a slow turnaround in its most difficult market.

Standard Chartered has had a hard time in South Korea since buying First Bank in 2005 for $3.3 billion, its largest ever acquisition.

    • 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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