European banking correspondent
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Jan 31, 2014

Barclays must hand over more ex-boss emails in Libor case

LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Barclays has been told
to hand over thousands more emails and other documents from its
former bosses in a UK court case tied to the alleged
manipulation of Libor interest rates, which will start in April.

In a case being heard at London’s High Court, Barclays is
accused by a UK residential care home operator of mis-selling
products that were based on Libor rates. The hearing will start
on April 29 or 30 and is expected to last for about six weeks.

Jan 30, 2014

“Fat finger” trade seen costly after HSBC price spike

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – A trader may have lost about
400,000 pounds ($662,100) in under 30 seconds on Thursday after
causing a 10 percent spike in the shares of Europe’s biggest
bank, HSBC, which traders blamed on human error – a
“fat finger” trade.

The jump in the price – a seismic move in a company worth
nearly 120 billion pounds – prompted a “circuit-breaker” to kick
in and suspend HSBC shares from trading for five minutes, after
which an orderly market in its shares resumed.

Jan 29, 2014

Barclays says branches will shut over time as customers change

LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Barclays will close bank
branches in Britain “over time” due to changes in technology and
customer behaviour, but has no plans for significant closures or
a target for how much of its network will shut, it said on
Wednesday.

The bank was reacting to reports it would shut 400 UK
branches, or a quarter of its network, as part of more cost cuts
that would be announced in fourth quarter results on Feb. 11.

Jan 28, 2014

Latest RBS hit may speed up sale of U.S. arm Citizens

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) latest 3 billion pound hit for past misdeeds will leave the state-backed bank low on capital, potentially pushing new boss Ross McEwan to speed up a sale of its Citizens banking business in the United States.

RBS, 82 percent owned by the UK government, revealed the new provisions in a profit warning rushed out on Monday, which is likely to leave the bank with a 7- 8 billion pound ($13.26 billion) loss for 2013.

Jan 21, 2014

Threat to oust bosses in UK stress tests goes too far -banks

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – British proposals to force out
bosses at any bank shown as weak under a new regime of health
checks go too far and need to be reconsidered, Britain’s banks
have warned.

The Bank of England (BoE) has said it could install new
management at any bank where problems are unearthed by more
stringent “stress tests”, due to start later this year and which
go further than regulators elsewhere.

Jan 20, 2014

Co-op Group scraps general insurance sale plan

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Co-operative Group (42TE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has scrapped the sale of its general insurance business following a restructuring deal which means it does not have to contribute as much capital to its struggling bank as initially envisaged.

The business had been expected to fetch several hundred million pounds and was due to have been sold during this year.

Jan 17, 2014

HSBC, Citi suspend traders as FX probe deepens

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) both suspended foreign exchange traders on Friday as a global probe into possible currency market manipulation intensified.

Regulators from the United States arrived in London this week, stepping up an investigation in which they are working with Britain’s financial watchdog to determine whether traders at some of the world’s biggest banks colluded to manipulate the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

Jan 17, 2014

UK’s drive to be offshore hub for Chinese currency gains pace

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – After a patchy two years, London
appears to be making headway in its drive to become Europe’s
main offshore hub for trading in China’s currency, potentially
delivering a big boost to its financial sector and the wider
British economy.

China decided late last year to give UK investors the right
to buy up to 80 billion yuan ($13 billion) of mainland stocks,
bonds, funds and money market instruments directly using its
currency, making Britain the first country outside Asia with
such status.

Jan 13, 2014

Europe banks cheer easing in leverage rules, shares rally

LONDON (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) led European bank stocks on Monday to their highest for nearly three years after regulators watered down new rules aimed at strengthening banks but which could have limited their ability to lend.

Sunday’s decision by the world’s top central bankers was aimed at trying to avoid restricting financing for the global economy, and was seen as a positive for banks, especially those with big investment banking arms.

Jan 10, 2014

After StanChart’s revamp, questions linger over likely benefits

LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Standard Chartered Plc’s
top 500 bankers gather in Singapore next week for their annual
strategy huddle with an unusual degree of uncertainty swirling
around the former stock market darling.

The departure of two top lieutenants and a surprise
reorganisation have deepened concern about the Asia-focused
lender’s ability to restore its double-digit growth rates and
avoid tapping investors for more capital.

    • 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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