European banking correspondent
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Oct 2, 2014

Windfalls for Branson, UK government and staff in Virgin Money IPO

LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Britain’s government, almost 3,000
Virgin Money staff and entrepreneur Richard Branson will share a
multi-million pound windfall when the challenger bank lists in
London in the coming weeks.

Virgin Money intends to raise 150 million pounds ($243
million) from a stock market listing in London, the company said
on Thursday. It will pay 50 million pounds to the UK Treasury
under the terms of its purchase of nationalised lender Northern
Rock in 2011.

Sep 30, 2014

Cautious clients keep hopes low for investment banking

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Political troubles in Russia and
the Middle East added to a summer slowdown in trading activity
and is likely to leave third quarter revenues for investment
banks down from the previous three months, bankers and analysts
said.

Investment bank revenues can be one of the most volatile
aspects of bank earnings. Banks are likely to cut more jobs and
pare back businesses in any areas that remain weak in an effort
to save costs.

Sep 30, 2014

RBS frees up $1.3 billion of provisions as economy improves

LONDON (Reuters) – State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland will release 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) from provisions it had set aside to cover losses on bad loans after an improvement in economic conditions, especially in Ireland.

RBS said on Tuesday it also expected losses from bad loans to be “significantly” lower than its previous guidance of 1 billion pounds this year, helped by improving asset prices.

Sep 26, 2014

UK talking to six banks about settling FX probe-sources

LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial regulator
has intensified talks with six major banks over allegations of
collusion and manipulation in the foreign exchange market,
setting the stage for a group settlement that could cost them
close to 2 billion pounds($3.26 billion).

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the lenders
are keen to draw a line under a scandal that has cast London,
the world’s foreign exchange trading hub, in a negative light,
ensnared the Bank of England and weighed on banks’ share prices.

Sep 26, 2014

EU bankers pay row flares over treatment of allowances

LONDON/BRUSSELS, Sept 25 (Reuters) – A row over how strictly
new rules on bankers pay are enforced in Britain and across
Europe flared on Friday after the European Union banking
regulator was reported to be preparing to clamp down on
allowances being paid to staff.

The European Banking Authority (EBA), which has been
investigating such allowances, is poised to take a much stricter
stance than British regulators on how fixed pay is defined, the
Financial Times reported, citing two sources familiar with draft
recommendations made by the EBA. (on.ft.com/1vjmB9S)

Sep 25, 2014

U.S. repair job for BNP Paribas’ new chairman

PARIS/LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Jean Lemierre, a former
head of Europe’s reconstruction bank and a veteran of
international debt negotiations, will need all his diplomatic
skills to repair BNP Paribas’ relations with the
United States as chairman of France’s biggest bank.

BNP’s board is expected to name him on Friday as replacement
for Baudouin Prot, people familiar with the matter said.

Sep 19, 2014

Lloyds keeps door open for move south despite Scottish ‘no’ vote

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Scotland-based Lloyds Banking
Group left the door open for a move to London amid
uncertainty over the future shape of the United Kingdom despite
Scottish voters’ rejection of full independence.

British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to devolve more
power to Scotland and other regions after the referendum made it
clear that Scotland wants a greater say on spending and
taxation, which could complicate the tax affairs of companies
with offices across the United Kingdom.

Sep 18, 2014

Two small Russian banks taken off Canada sanctions list

OTTAWA/LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Canada, one of the
harshest critics of Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, this week
quietly cancelled sanctions against Expobank and RosEnergoBank,
two small Russian banks on which it imposed the measures earlier
this year.

The cancellations were put into effect at the same time as
new sanctions were announced by Foreign Affairs Minister John
Baird on Tuesday, including adding Russia’s Sberbank
to the list, but his news release made no mention of lifting the
measures against Expobank and RosEnergoBank.

Sep 13, 2014

UK banks slam leverage plans as too complex, may increase risk

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Britain’s banks have slammed
plans to impose new capital rules for lenders and said the
“leverage ratio” proposals are far too complex and could
encourage banks to take more risks.

“There is a risk that the current proposals will increase
costs for bank customers and conflict with other rules that seek
to make banks safer,” said Simon Hills, a director at the
British Bankers’ Association (BBA).

Sep 12, 2014

Lending to Scots could pause with ‘yes’ vote amid currency concern

LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Scots may find it harder to get
mortgages and other loans if they vote to separate from the
United Kingdom next week, with banks likely to cut lending while
they assess currency and other economic risks, bank industry
sources said.

The sources, who asked not to be named due to the
sensitivity of the matter, said it was impossible to say how
long any pause or reduction in lending might last, but it could
be lengthy if the currency question was not quickly clarified.

    • 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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