European banking correspondent
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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.

Jun 24, 2014

HSBC to halve countries served by private bank, sells assets

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is halving the number of countries its private bank serves after selling a portfolio of Swiss banking assets, the latest bank to narrow its wealth management focus in a bid to improve profitability and cut compliance risk.

HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank by market value, said its private bank served customers from about 150 countries but that was being reduced to about 70.

Jun 13, 2014

Barclays to issue $4 bln more CoCo bonds after swap offer

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) – Britain’s Barclays Plc
is to issue almost $4 billion of bonds that can convert into
shares if the bank hits trouble after an offer to debt
investors to exchange old bonds had much higher than expected
take-up.

The new bonds are the latest move by Barclays to adjust its
balance sheet structure to improve its capital and leverage
ratios to meet stricter new regulations.

Jun 6, 2014

JPM investment bank boss says ‘laser focus’ on costs cuts

LONDON (Reuters) – JPMorgan’s new solo head of its investment bank said he would be “laser focused” on reducing costs as the industry is likely to face a tough couple of years in terms of growing revenues.

“For the next year or two the industry’s top-line will probably struggle. The long-term trends are good, but in the short term we need to adjust to the new reality,” said Daniel Pinto, London-based chief executive of the corporate and investment bank (CIB) at JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets.

Jun 6, 2014

Looming BNP fine unnerves bankers hoping for calmer times

LONDON (Reuters) – A prized collection of French paintings and furniture at a London museum provided a fitting backdrop this week for a dinner attended by 40 big bank bosses, where the conversation buzz was the huge fine potentially facing France’s biggest bank.

BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) may have to pay a fine of about $10 billion for allegedly evading U.S. sanctions, sources say, a penalty that executives from banks in Europe and the United States fear marks a step-change in the scale of punishments on offenders in the financial services industry.

Jun 4, 2014

Bank regulation issues seen settled in six months – Osborne

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne voiced confidence on Tuesday that politicians and regulators from major economies will achieve a framework for sorting out problems with bank regulation within six months.

The Financial Stability Board, the regulatory arm of the Group of 20 leading economies (G20) that is chaired by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, is targeting a G20 meeting on Nov. 15-16 in Brisbane, Australia, for resolving questions such as how to handle big, multinational banks if they hit trouble.

    • 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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