European banking correspondent
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Aug 1, 2014

Europe’s investment banks resilient in retreat

LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Europe’s investment banks are
giving Wall Street a run for its money despite shrinking their
trading arms more aggressively than U.S. rivals.

Buoyant equity markets and a surge in corporate debt issues
have caused a bigger-than-expected jump in investment bank fees
in Europe helping Deutsche Bank, UBS,
Credit Suisse, Barclays, BNP Paribas
and Societe Generale outperform their U.S.
peers in the second quarter.

Jul 31, 2014

Lloyds says case for re-starting dividends strengthened

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – State-backed British bank Lloyds
said it had strengthened its case to restart dividend
payments for the first time in six years after reporting a
one-third rise in profit for the first half of the year.

The bank, which is 25 percent-owned by the government after
being rescued during the 2008 financial crisis, said it would
ask Britain’s financial regulator in the second half of the year
for permission to begin paying “modest” dividends again.

Jul 30, 2014

Barclays profits fall as investment bank income sags

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – Barclays Plc said its
underlying profits fell 8 percent in the second quarter as the
British bank’s attempts to crack down on high-risk trading and
subdued market activity took a toll on investment banking
revenue.

Barclays said it had made good progress in cutting costs and
hiving off assets it no longer wants. It has cut 5,000 jobs this
year, leaving it with fewer staff than at any time since 2007.

Jul 26, 2014

RBS privatisation prospects brighten after surprise profit

LONDON (Reuters) – Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland boosted its chances of an earlier than expected return to private ownership, posting a surprise 1 billion pound ($1.7 billion) second-quarter profit as its painful restructuring begins to bear fruit.

The government has already started selling off shares in its state-backed rival Lloyds Banking Group, but RBS’s privatisation was considered by banking and political sources to be three to five years away despite drastic cost-cuts, asset sales and the shrinking of its investment bank.

Jul 25, 2014

Shares in RBS soar after surprise profit

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland posted a surprise 1 billion pound ($1.7 billion) pretax profit for the second quarter thanks to a turnaround in losses from bad loans, prompting it to release earnings a week early.

The numbers far exceeded analysts’ expectations for the bank that is 81 percent owned by the British government after being bailed out during the 2008/09 financial crisis.

Jul 25, 2014

Shares in Britain’s RBS soar after surprise profit

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland posted a surprise 1 billion pound ($1.7 billion) pretax profit for the second quarter thanks to a turnaround in losses from bad loans, prompting it to release earnings a week early.

The numbers far exceeded analysts’ expectations for the bank that is 81 percent owned by the British government after being bailed out during the 2008/09 financial crisis.

Jul 24, 2014

Barclays files to dismiss New York lawsuit against ‘dark pool’

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) urged the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit from the New York attorney general alleging the bank lied to clients about its high-speed trading venue, saying the complaint had “fatal flaws” because Barclays’ customers were never misled.

The bank’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit against its private trading venue – or “dark pool” – said the attorney general failed to identify any fraud, and did not establish material misstatements, identify victims or actual harm.

Jul 24, 2014

StanChart says no imminent CEO succession plans as heat rises

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Asia-focused bank Standard
Chartered Plc rejected reports it had stepped up
succession plans for its chairman and chief executive, who are
under growing pressure from shareholders after a troubled two
years.

Standard Chartered said its board was united behind both
Chief Executive Peter Sands and Chairman John Peace in restoring
the bank to profitable growth.

Jul 18, 2014

FX probe could be bigger problem than Libor: RBS chief

LONDON (Reuters) – An investigation into alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets could pose a bigger problem for banks than the Libor interest rate rigging scandal, the boss of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday.

RBS paid $612 million last year to settle allegations that it manipulated Libor rates, one of several banks hit with big fines for rigging financial benchmarks. Regulators are now investigating allegations that traders manipulated key reference rates in the $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

Jul 18, 2014

UK banks face break-up threat as watchdog plans competition probe

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s big banks could be broken up after the country’s new competition watchdog said it plans to launch an 18-month investigation into services for small business customers and personal current accounts.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Friday there was a lack of competition among banks and proposals that lenders put forward to increase transparency and make it easier to switch did not go far enough to meet the needs of personal consumers or small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

    • 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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