European banking correspondent
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Mar 20, 2015

Bank tax rise stokes pressure for StanChart, HSBC to quit UK

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) – Asia-focused banks Standard
Chartered and HSBC could be tempted to abandon
their London headquarters to avoid a jump in the UK bank tax set
to cost them a combined $2 billion a year, investors and
analysts said.

Investors in both banks, but particularly Standard
Chartered, have in the past encouraged their boards to consider
leaving Britain, and this week’s jump in the UK bank levy is
building pressure.

Mar 18, 2015

UK to raise 9 billion pounds through Lloyds sales in coming year

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will raise at least 9 billion pounds ($13 billion) selling shares in Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) in the coming year as it looks to recover 66 billion pounds of taxpayers’ money spent bailing out banks in the financial crisis.

The government also said it would sell 13 billion pounds worth of home loans held by bailed out Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley.

Mar 18, 2015

UK to raise $13 billion through Lloyds sales in coming year

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will raise at least 9 billion pounds ($13 billion) selling shares in Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in the coming year as it looks to recover 66 billion pounds of taxpayers’ money spent bailing out banks in the financial crisis.

The government also said it would sell 13 billion pounds worth of home loans held by bailed out Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley.

Mar 17, 2015

Money, scouts and speed dating: banks fight for technology edge

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) – Hoping to link with tech
entrepreneurs and get ahead of a wave of digital innovation,
Europe’s top banks are setting up multi-million dollar
investment funds, hiring scouts in Silicon Valley and hosting
“speed dating” sessions.

Financial technology, or fintech, is shaking up the sector,
allowing savers and borrowers to bypass traditional banks with
smartphone apps and websites for loans, payments and all areas
of financial services.

Mar 12, 2015

New Credit Suisse boss faces stiff challenge in Asia

HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters) – Incoming Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam is expected to focus on private banking in Asia while aggressively cutting jobs at its investment bank, as he aims to repeat the success in the region of his old employer, Prudential.

Thiam could slash 3,000 jobs from Credit Suisse’s investment bank, or 15 percent of staff globally, and cut 150 billion Swiss francs ($149 billion) of assets from the bank’s fixed income, commodities and currencies business as part of that shift, analysts at JPMorgan said.

Mar 9, 2015

I’m the right person to fix HSBC, says CEO Gulliver

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said he was the right person to run Europe’s biggest bank and fix problems of the past after British lawmakers berated it for allowing “industrial-scale tax avoidance” at its Swiss arm.

Gulliver faced more than two hours of hostile questioning from the lawmakers on Monday, along with a former head of HSBC’s private banking and one of its non-executive directors, over a tax evasion scandal that has rocked the bank.

Mar 8, 2015

European banks’ profitability gap shows big cost cuts needed

LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) – Europe’s banks need to cut costs
by a fifth and simultaneously grow revenues by 15 percent just
to get their profitability to match their cost of capital, a
study said on Monday.

European banks’ return on equity (RoE), a key measure of
profitability, is likely to average less than half their cost of
capital again this year, lagging well behind U.S. rivals as
lenders struggle with high costs and weak economic growth,
according to a study by consultancy EY.

Mar 4, 2015

Standard Chartered rules out share sale as profit plunges 25 percent

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) ruled out plans to raise capital on Wednesday despite reporting a 25 percent slide in annual pretax profits on the back of soaring bad loans.

The Asia-focused bank instead vowed to cut costs and shrink its loan book in an effort to quell lingering concerns of balance sheet weakness, underlining the challenge facing incoming Chief Executive Bill Winters.

Mar 4, 2015

StanChart rules out share sale as profit plunges 25 pct

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – Standard Chartered
ruled out plans to raise capital on Wednesday despite reporting
a 25 percent slide in annual pretax profits on the back of
soaring bad loans.

The Asia-focused bank instead vowed to cut costs and shrink
its loan book in an effort to quell lingering concerns of
balance sheet weakness, underlining the challenge facing
incoming Chief Executive Bill Winters.

Mar 3, 2015

Barclays takes $1.2 billion charge as FX settlement looms

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) took a 750 million pound ($1.2 billion) charge in the fourth quarter as it prepares to settle allegations its traders manipulated foreign exchange markets, overshadowing the bank’s efforts to slash costs and boost profits.

Past conduct problems continue to dog Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins, but despite the burgeoning budget for litigation he accepted his first bonus since taking charge three years ago, helping to boost his total pay to 5.5 million pounds from 1.6 million in 2013.

    • 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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