European banking correspondent
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Oct 27, 2014

Under full capital rules, 36 EU banks would have flunked test

LONDON (Reuters) – Europe’s banking health check has shown countries and lenders are implementing global capital rules at vastly different speeds, and 36 firms would have failed if new capital rules were fully applied.

The euro zone is lagging behind countries outside the bloc in implementing the Basel III capital rules that are due to come into full force in 2019, potentially adding another challenge for the European Central Bank when it takes over supervision of euro zone lenders next month.

Oct 27, 2014

Monte dei Paschi drags Europe’s banks lower after stress test

LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Shares in Italy’s Monte dei
Paschi slumped on Monday after an industry health
check found it had the biggest capital hole to fill among
European banks.

In all, 25 euro zone banks failed landmark health checks
that were released on Sunday, and 14 still had a capital
shortfall at the end of September, although the results were
generally better than analysts had expected.

Oct 26, 2014

EU says 24 banks fail stress test, capital hole of 25 bln euros

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) – A health check of banks across
the European Union showed that 24 lenders, all from the euro
zone, were too weak to withstand a three-year recession in a
test aimed at drawing a line under the single currency’s area’s
protracted debt crisis.

Italy’s Monte dei Paschi had the biggest capital
hole to fill at 2.1 billion euros even after its money raising
efforts so far this year.

Oct 24, 2014

UK bank stress test capital measure changed late in process-sources

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Britain’s regulator told banks
this week they must use a stricter measure of how they measure
capital under a health check of lenders that will be released on
Sunday, people familiar with the matter said.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) is assessing how 123
European banks would cope under a recession scenario and will
release its findings of their capital strength on a so-called
transitional basis.

Oct 21, 2014

HSBC boss says EU banker bonus cap a ‘retrograde’ step

LONDON (Reuters) – European rules to cap bankers’ bonuses at twice fixed pay are “a retrograde step” that could add to difficulty in recruiting staff to the industry, the head of Europe’s biggest bank HSBC said on Tuesday.

Europe has said banks can only pay bonuses to staff equivalent to twice their fixed pay and last week said new ‘allowances’ introduced by many to meet the rules counted as variable pay, so would need to be restructured again. Banks say changes already made would reduce risk-taking by staff, with bonuses to be paid in future years or potentially taken back.

Oct 16, 2014

Monte dei Paschi leads euro bank falls as stress tests loom

MILAN/LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Shares in Italy’s
third-biggest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena slumped
to an all-time low on Thursday, as fears it could fail European
stress tests combined with a fraught global economic backdrop
which weighed on the sector.

The European Central Bank (ECB) will unveil the results of
its balance sheet review and stress tests on Oct. 26 and Monte
dei Paschi is seen by many analysts as one of the banks most at
risk of failing, despite raising 5 billion euros ($6.4 billion)
from shareholders in June to bulk up its balance sheet.

Oct 15, 2014

EU watchdog says bankers’ allowances breach bonus rule

LONDON (Reuters) – New types of allowance paid to bankers are nearly all in breach of the European Union’s cap on bonuses and must be changed by the end of the year, the EU banking watchdog said on Wednesday, raising the prospect that banks will have to bump up basic pay or risk losing top staff.

The sight of bankers pocketing hefty sums at a time when many people are hit by pay freezes and high unemployment across Europe prompted the EU to cap the bonuses of bankers earning more than 500,000 euros ($630,000) a year.

Oct 14, 2014

Social media: More hindrance than help in banks’ cyber crime fight

LONDON (Reuters) – Banks are fighting an uphill battle to protect themselves and their client accounts from cyber attacks, and the sometimes careless use of social media by customers and staff isn’t making the fight any easier.

British police and banks this week warned customers about the rise in criminals using social media to strike up a relationship and then try to get money from them.

Oct 12, 2014

Britain’s ring-fence a new hurdle for bank directors

LONDON/DUBLIN, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Britain’s major lenders
may find it hard to hire dozens of directors that are required
as part of a radical reshape of the industry aimed at protecting
it from future investment bank crashes.

Britain wants banks such as HSBC, Barclays
and the UK arm of Spain’s Santander to ring fence their
retail units from their wholesale operations, including creating
a separate board for their retail divisions that would be
independent of the parent group.

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’.

    • 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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