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May 6, 2015

Standard Chartered sees UK bank tax rising again amid HQ review

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said it expected Britain to increase its bank levy again and the rising cost of the tax was a key issue in its assessment of whether to keep its headquarters in London or move to Asia.

Standard Chartered Chairman John Peace told investors on Wednesday the Asia-focused bank had “no current plans to move” but was keeping its domicile under review. Rival HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is formally reviewing the best place for its HQ and will decide whether to move in the next few months.

May 5, 2015

Overhaul, not sale, on the cards for HSBC’s U.S. arm

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is set to extend a six year overhaul of its U.S. business to revive its fortunes rather than add it to the 77 businesses sold in the past four years, the British bank’s boss said on Tuesday.

HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver has said he could sell underperforming businesses in the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey if they cannot be turned around.

May 5, 2015

HSBC warns bank levy puts the brakes on dividend

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) warned on Tuesday that Britain’s bank tax was preventing it from raising dividend payouts and that was a key concern of investors as the bank assesses whether to move back to Hong Kong from London.

Europe’s largest bank has ordered a review of whether it should shift its headquarters because of the cost of operating from London and said it would make its decision in a few months.

May 5, 2015

HSBC pretax up 4 percent as investment bank bounce back

LONDON, May 5 (Reuters) – Europe’s biggest bank HSBC
beat forecasts with a 4 percent rise in first-quarter
pretax profit on Tuesday, after investment banking revenue
bounced back to offset a rise in compliance and regulation
costs.

Like Swiss rival UBS, HSBC’s trading desks
benefited from a surge in market volatility at the start of the
year, which helped its underlying revenue rise 4 percent.

May 3, 2015

HSBC’s HQ rethink: taxes and China relationship hold key to decision

LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – In 1990, an assessment called
Project Rainbow paved the way for HSBC to move from
Hong Kong to Britain. As Europe’s biggest bank now considers
moving back, the same exercise offers clues to its final
decision, say industry sources and analysts.

Project Rainbow assessed HSBC’s future base by considering
whether it was operationally effective, tax efficient,
politically acceptable, consistent with bank regulatory
requirements, in the best interests of shareholders and
compatible with any future merger of HSBC and the Midland Group.

May 1, 2015

Lloyds upbeat on UK growth as profits lifted by drop in bad debts

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – Lloyds Banking Group is
confident next week’s British national election will not derail
healthy UK economic growth, it said on Friday after posting
first-quarter profit up by a fifth thanks to sharply lower
losses on bad loans and wider margins.

The state-backed lender, Britain’s biggest retail bank,
reported an underlying pretax profit of 2.2 billion pounds ($3.4
billion) for the three months to the end of March, up 21 percent
on the year and at the top end of the forecast range.

Apr 30, 2015

RBS sets aside $515 million for looming U.S. forex fines

LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
said it expects to settle with U.S. authorities
investigating alleged foreign exchange manipulation in the
coming weeks and set aside a further 334 million pounds ($515
million) to cover the cost.

The new charge takes the total set aside by RBS for future
foreign exchange settlements to 704 million pounds. The bank was
fined $634 million by British and U.S. regulators last November,
being one of six institutions which paid out a combined $4.3
billion for failing to stop traders trying to manipulate
currency markets.

Apr 29, 2015

Barclays takes extra 1 billion pound hit for potential forex settlements

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) set aside another 800 million pounds ($1.2 billion) on Wednesday to cover potential settlements for alleged foreign exchange manipulation, hitting profits and reflecting its struggle to put past problems behind it.

Barclays said it had now set aside 2.05 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) to cover any settlement, after the extra provision to reflect “developments with certain authorities” since it last reported in March.

Apr 29, 2015

Barclays takes extra $1.2 bln hit for potential forex settlements

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – Barclays set aside
another 800 million pounds ($1.2 billion) on Wednesday to cover
potential settlements for alleged foreign exchange manipulation,
hitting profits and reflecting its struggle to put past problems
behind it.

Barclays said it had now set aside 2.05 billion pounds
($3.2 billion) to cover any settlement, after the extra
provision to reflect “developments with certain authorities”
since it last reported in March.

Apr 28, 2015

‘We’re looking’ at headquarters issues, Standard Chartered says

LONDON (Reuters) – Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said the location of its headquarters was under constant review and a sharp increase in a tax on banks in Britain meant it was watching the situation closely.

“At the moment it’s something we’re watching, we’re looking at, we’re thinking about, but at this point in time there’s no change in our position,” Andy Halford, Standard Chartered’s finance director, said.

    • 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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