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May 1, 2015, 12:23 PM
- "The malaise from the lackluster investment bank strategy has worsened,” says Berenberg's James Chappell, calling on Barclays (BCS -1.5%) to either commit to a full-service investment bank or dramatically downsize the unit.
- Cost cuts allowed the investment bank to return to profitability in Q1, but growth stalled, with the investment bank reporting a 9.1% ROE. That's up from 2.7% in 2014, but well short of the 12% target for 2016.
- Also a concern to Berenberg is Barclays' U.S. unit which leaves it vulnerable to slowing growth here.
- "Barclays is one of our wild cards for 2015 as it has the potential to emerge as a long-term winner in the sector,” says Chappell. “Unfortunately, that change seems further away than we had hoped.
- Source: Bloomberg
- Previously: Barclays weakness could be buying opp - Accendo (April 29)
- Previously: Barclays puts more aside for forex fines (April 29)
Apr. 29, 2015, 3:44 AM
- Firm notes Barclays' (NYSE:BCS) otherwise strong Q1 was led by strong investment banking numbers. Says shares (£259.40) could rise above £300 this year.
- "In the near term provisions for another £800M will temper enthusiasm, but in doing so create buying opportunities."
- Previously: Barclays puts more aside for forex fines (Apr. 29)
- Related: Barclays Is The Stock I'm Putting Into The IRA (Feb. 15)
Apr. 29, 2015, 3:26 AM
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS) has set aside another £800M ($1.2B) to cover a potential settlement for alleged foreign exchange manipulation, bringing its total provision for resolving the scandal to £2.05B.
- The bank also reported a first-quarter statutory pretax profit of £1.3B (-26% Y/Y), and underlying pretax profit, which strips out the provision, of £1.85B (+9% Y/Y).
Apr. 24, 2015, 4:05 AM
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS) hopes to make "significant" progress this year in resolving a series of misconduct investigations, including the potential manipulation of forex trading markets.
- "I share your frustration as shareholders, and the frustration felt by my colleagues, that legacy matters like these continue to cast a shadow over our business," CEO Antony Jenkins said.
- Last year, Barclays set aside £2.8B ($4.2B) in litigation and conduct charges, including £1.25B related to foreign currency investigations.
- Previously: FT: Next mega forex settlement scheduled for mid-May (Apr. 21 2015)
- Previously: Barclays adds to litigation provisions as pre-tax profit rises (Mar. 03 2015)
- Previously: Barclays hopes to resolve forex probe in one deal (Feb. 27 2015)
Apr. 21, 2015, 1:52 AM
- The U.S. Department of Justice is now pushing for five banks, including JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), RBS (NYSE:RBS) and UBS (NYSE:UBS), to reach a joint mega settlement to allegations they manipulated the foreign exchange markets.
- The deal would see some institutions pay about $1B each and is scheduled for mid-May, FT reports.
- Last November, the banks (except Barclays) agreed to pay $4.3B to authorities in the U.S., U.K. and Switzerland in the first settlements announced in the forex investigation, although the DOJ was not included on that ticket.
Mar. 30, 2015, 9:17 AM
- Unlike last year's stress test which focused on a U.K. property bust, this year's version deals more with how banks would handle a global economic slowdown and market tumble, suggesting lenders like HSBC, Standard Chartered (OTCPK:SCBFF), and Barclays (NYSE:BCS) could have a tougher go of it.
- The seven lenders tested will have to maintain a CET 1 ratio of 4.5% and a leverage ratio of 3%.
- Also to tested: RBS, Lloyds (NYSE:LYG), Santander U.K. (NYSE:SAN), and Nationwide Building Society.
- Results are due in December.
- Sources: Bank of England, WSJ
Mar. 30, 2015, 4:09 AM
- Top European and U.S. banks axed 59,000 jobs last year as they restructured, cut costs and moved further into digital banking, Reuters reports.
- The figure brings the total number of jobs lost across 24 banks in the last two years to 160,000.
- Notables: Barclays (NYSE:BCS) shed 7,300 jobs last year due to a three-year plan to cut 19,000 staff; RBS (NYSE:RBS) slashed 10,000 employees as it sold overseas businesses and trimmed its investment bank further; JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and BofA (NYSE:BAC) also made substantial job cuts as they worked through troubled mortgages and refinanced loans at lower rates.
Mar. 18, 2015, 2:38 AM
- The DOJ is considering revoking years-old settlements and prosecuting banks for manipulating interest rates should they be found to have committed currency-rigging after after deals were negotiated.
- "Where banks fail to live up to their commitments, we will hold them accountable," said the DOJ's Leslie Caldwell. "The criminal division will not hesitate to tear up a DPA or NPA and file criminal charges."
- Banks under investigation: BCS, RBS, UBS, HSBC
Mar. 17, 2015, 3:03 PM
- If there's a better growth industry out there than legal work for the big banks, we haven't heard about it. In another of a long line of settlements over any number of issues, Citigroup (C +0.3%) and Barclays (BCS -1%) are soon expected to come to terms with private investors over forex manipulation charges, reports the WSJ.
- According to sources, the two are expected to pay as much as $800M combined - more than double the amount extracted from JPMorgan or UBS in a similar matter.
- Naturally, there will be plenty more to come as Citi, Barclays, and all the others continue to face probes from the DOJ and other regulators, with the DOJ pressing for criminal guilty pleas.
Mar. 13, 2015, 4:09 PM
- It's looking like $1B is the price the DOJ wants from banks to make the forex manipulation probe go away, according to Bloomberg. Banks, however, are finally starting to feel their oats and pushing back a bit more than in the mortgage probes - the final penalty could be lower, according to sources.
- Among the lenders discussing settlements: Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), RBS, and UBS. The government is also readying cases against individuals.
- In the global investigations, banks have already agreed to pay regulators about $4.3B.
Mar. 12, 2015, 11:53 AM
- Incoming Barclays (BCS +0.1%) chairman John McFarlane earned his nickname as someone not afraid to slash plenty of jobs as he helped restructure financial companies across the globe. "The stock is rallying just because he is coming in," says an analyst. "But he faces a strategic dilemma: does he want to make the investment bank profitable or just run it down?”
- McFarlane has said his primary focus at Barclays won't be on changing the culture at the oft-investigated lender, but instead on boosting returns to its owners.
- Taking the chairman's job at U.K. insurer Aviva in 2012, McFarlane spent weeks with a small team studying every nook of the company, and figuring out whether each one was making enough profit. Since, six board members have left, thousands of jobs were cut, a new CEO has arrived, and the stock has roughly doubled.
- Barclays could prove trickier, says one insider, as this process will be less about cost-cutting and more about a radical strategic overhaul.
- Source: WSJ
Mar. 3, 2015, 4:58 PM
- Putting a number on the dismantling of Royal Bank of Scotland's (NYSE:RBS) investment bank, the FT reports the bank has set a target of cutting up to four out of five jobs in the unit by 2019 - a full 14K positions. A large proportion of those will be in the U.S. and Asia.
- "I am not a very patient person," said Barclays (NYSE:BCS) CEO Antony Jenkins after his bank reported a loss for 2014. "We won't hesitate to optimize the capital allocated to the investment bank." There have been long-running rumors Barclays might spin off or sell its investment bank, as analysts say it's better positioned to do so than RBS, especially as regulators are forcing it to split its U.K. and U.S. operations into separately funded entities.
Mar. 3, 2015, 2:45 PM
- Investigators have asked Barclays (NYSE:BCS) for information on its electronic-trading platform which contains a program allowing traders a "last look" at an order before placement, reports Bloomberg.
- Last-look is a vestige of the old computer era when the lag between an order being placed and confirmed was long enough to expose the market-maker to an unfavorable price movement. The lag has moved to pretty close to zero, but banks still retain the right to halt trades on a last-look basis.
- “Last look is a hangover from a technology problem that no longer exists, yet still allows traders to reject trades and re-quote orders to the disadvantage of clients,” says David Mercer, CEO of LMAX Exchange, a forex platform competing with major banks.
- For its part, Barclays is reserving another £750M for forex probes, bringing the total expected cost to about £1.25B.
Mar. 3, 2015, 3:20 AM
- Despite a 12% uptick in pre-tax profit, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) reported a net loss of £174M for 2014, compared to net profit of £540M a year earlier.
- Over the past year, the bank has been hit with probes ranging from forex manipulation to accusations that it misled customers in its dark pool.
- Barclays, which remains in talks with regulators, put aside an additional £750M in Q4 to deal with the allegations.
Feb. 27, 2015, 2:27 AM
- The NY Department of Financial Services' probe of Barclays' (NYSE:BCS) forex business is holding up a £1B settlement of currency rate-rigging allegations that other U.S. and U.K. authorities are close to resolving, FT reports.
- In November, six banks were fined more than $4B over allegations of price fixing and manipulating benchmarks in the forex market, although Barclays pulled out last minute because the DFS was not involved.
Feb. 24, 2015, 1:56 AM
- U.S. officials are probing at least 10 major banks for the possible rigging of precious-metals markets, even though European regulators shelved a similar investigation after finding no evidence of wrongdoing, WSJ reports.
- The DOJ is scrutinizing the price-setting process for gold, silver, platinum and palladium in London, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has opened a civil investigation.
- Banks under scrutiny: HSBC, BNS, BCS, CS, DB, GS, JPM, OTCPK:SCGLY, OTCPK:SGBLY, UBS
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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