Wed, Jul. 8, 8:40 AM
- Unveiling the summer budget, U.K. Chancellor Osborne says the government will gradually phase out the bank levy over the next six years, replacing it with a new 8% surcharge on profits. The difference? The new charge applies only to U.K. assets, while the bank levy applied to global balance sheets.
- Osborne may have made the change in response to threats from banks to leave the U.K. because of the levy (which Osborne increased 50% in the last budget).
- The FTSE 350 banking index is higher by 1.6% following the news. Watching with interest: HSBC, RBS, Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Lloyds (NYSE:LYG), Standard Chartered (OTCPK:SCBFF).
Wed, Jul. 8, 2:31 AM
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS) has fired its chief executive, Antony Jenkins, and put its new Chairman John McFarlane in charge until a new head is appointed.
- In a press release, the bank said its non-executive directors, led by Deputy Chairman Michael Rake, had decided that "new leadership is required to accelerate the pace of execution going forward."
- Barclays' interim results are due on July 29.
Mon, Jul. 6, 4:41 PM
- Last year, the Fed and FDIC found most of wind-down plans submitted by twelve of the largest U.S. banks (or U.S. units of overseas banks) had numerous deficiencies, and sent the lenders back to the drawing board.
- The two government agencies today posted public sections of the latest versions of the living wills, and said they will begin reviewing. Feedback is expected before year-end.
- The lucky 12: BAC, BK, C, GS, JPM, MS, STT, UBS, WFC, BCS, CS, DB.
Tue, Jun. 23, 7:17 AM
- Barclays Natural Resources Investments (BNRI) has invested $3B to 28 different companies since its 2006 launch, and the Barclays (NYSE:BCS) last year put the operation in its folder of businesses it planned to sell or run down.
- BNRI's management, reports Reuters, is in talks to buy the unit from the bank.
Wed, Jun. 17, 10:19 AM
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS) will no longer make a market for residential mortgage-backed securities not backed by the GSEs, according to Adam Yarnold, the lender's head of securitized-product trading in the U.S.
- With new U.K. (not U.S. though) regulations requiring the need for more capital to be held against non-agency paper, the move makes sense as Barclays looks to improve its ROE. And Barclays isn't alone - late last year, Royal Bank of Scotland announced its complete exit from the U.S. mortgage market.
- Though plunging in size since the financial crisis, the U.S. non-agency market is still a $700B one, with the biggest dealers trading about $1.6B per day last week.
Wed, Jun. 10, 10:01 AM
- More than six years after the bottom, only four of the globe's biggest banks sport stock prices trading at a premium to book value. Leading the way is UBS at about 1.4x book. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) also trade for north of book.
- Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) - whose ROE of 2% is about one-tenth of what it was pre-crisis - brings up the rear at just about 0.5% of book. Barclays (NYSE:BCS) sells for roughly 0.7x book, and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) only slightly more than that.
- Checking further on ROE, Goldman leads the way at about 12%. Citigroup (NYSE:C) is less than 5%, but stands out as being the only bank with a higher ROE today than before the crisis.
- Looking at total return since the crisis, Goldman again leads the way at about 170%, with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan a close second/third. Citigroup is the only major bank with a negative total return over that time frame.
- Source: Bloomberg
Tue, Jun. 9, 1:09 PM
- Citing the reduced prospect of government support in a times of stress, S&P cuts the credit ratings of Deutsche Bank (DB -2.4%), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS +0.7%), and Commerzbank (OTCPK:CRZBY +0.1%) to BBB+, three notches above junk territory. Barclays (BCS +0.2%) is downgraded to A-, one notch above the other three.
- For RBS, Barclays, and Commerzbank, it was a one-notch downgrade. For Deutshce, two notches.
- Source: WSJ
Mon, Jun. 8, 8:12 AM
- As of May 31, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) had about 180 financial advisors in the U.S. managing about $56B in assets.
- As part of the deal, Stifel (NYSE:SF) will be the U.S. private wealth distribution partner for certain of Barclays' equities and credit new issue securities in the U.S.
- The deal is expected to close in mid-November.
- A conference call is set for 8:30 ET.
- Source: Press Release
- Previously: Stifel is the frontrunner to to buy Barclays' U.S. wealth management unit - Reuters (May 31)
Fri, Jun. 5, 11:46 AM
- Of the $1.1B in assets still disputed by the Lehman trustee, Barclays (BCS -0.4%) will receive all but $80M. The bank expects to recognize a pretax gain of about $750M in Q2 thanks to the settlement.
- Barclays, of course, acquired most of Lehman's North American brokerage assets in a hasty deal crafted in 2008.
Sun, May 31, 12:27 PM
- In February, Stifel (NYSE:SF) agreed to acquire Sterne Agee for $150M. Sterne Agee has about 730 brokers; together with those now working at Barclays Wealth Americas, it would bring Stifel's brokerage force to more than 3,000.
- Barclays' unit is the former brokerage arm of Lehman Brothers.
- Barclays has been reaching out to potential acquirers for the business for several weeks because it views it as non-core.
Fri, May 22, 12:10 PM
- Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends ...The New York Department of Financial Services is probing more abuse of forex markets by the banks - this time by the use of automated trades driven by computer algorithms, reports the FT.
- Findings could indicate more widespread abuse than what U.S. and U.K. authorities disclosed on Wednesday (along with nearly $6B in fines and a number of guilty pleas). Sources remind that this week's charges related to manipulation performed by bank employees, but this probe covers electronic trading, which accounts for the majority of forex transactions.
- Trading platforms under the scope include those from Barclays (NYSE:BCS) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), and information has been subpoenaed from BNP Paribas (OTCPK:BNPQF), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and SocGen (OTCPK:SCGLY).
- The investigation into Barclays is the most advanced, but DFS has initially reached similar nefarious conclusions about the goings-on at Deutsche too. The probes of the other lenders are at even earlier stages.
- Previously: Lawsky stepping down as New York's top bank regulator (May 20)
Thu, May 21, 7:58 AM
- Just having been hit with $3B over currency-rigging charges yesterday, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) and RBS will have to set aside another $11B within two years, according to JPMorgan.
- For RBS, it still faces billions in potential MBS costs, and Barclays isn't finished with forex-related fines. Both, says JPMorgan, will need to top up reserves to compensate customers for payment protection insurance they didn't want or need.
Wed, May 20, 10:10 AM
- Those facing criminal charges from the DOJ are UBS (already reported, the stock is up 3.4% today), Barclays (BCS +2.5%), Citigroup (C -0.5%), JPMorgan (JPM -0.4%), and RBS (RBS +1.6%).
- Bank of America (BAC -0.4%) faces a $205M fine by the Fed, but no criminal charges. Fines by the Fed for the other banks range from $274M-$342M.
- There are fines from other regulators as well, with the total for all the banks summing to $5.8B. Barclays looks to be hit the hardest on that front, with total monetary penalties of $2.4B.
Mon, May 18, 3:59 AM
- The U.K.s Financial Conduct Authority is expected to fine Barclays (NYSE:BCS) at least £250M to settle allegations of forex manipulation, the Daily Telegraph reports.
- The sum would be a record for the U.K. regulator, outstripping the £234M that UBS had to pay in a deal in November.
- Overall, RBS, UBS, JPMorgan and Citigroup, as well as Barclays, are bracing for total penalties over over $4B that authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are expected to announce on Wednesday.
- That may not be the end of the matter though - New York's Department of Financial Services is looking into allegations that Barclays wrote algorithms to automate the rigging of currency benchmarks.
Thu, May 14, 7:55 AM
- "Guilty" is the new "neither admitting nor denying the charges."
- Yes, the DOJ looks set to extract guilty pleas on felony charges from five big banks over forex rigging, but life will go on for the lenders without much of a hiccup (after paying billions in fines), according to DealBook.
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), RBS, and UBS are the five whose holding companies will plead guilty, according to the report.
- While the guilty pleas are a nice feather in the caps of prosecutors, they seem to me more symbol than substance - too harsh a penalty would imperil banking operations, and behind the scenes, bank lawyers are working the phones with regulators to assure the felons won't be barred from certain businesses.
Fri, May 8, 9:16 AM| Fri, May 8, 9:16 AM | 4 Comments
Barclays PLC is a financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management. It operates in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.
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