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Oct. 31, 2014, 10:38 AM
- Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS +4.8%) is the latest to do so, today announcing the setting aside of $640M for potential settlements in the currency-rigging investigations.
- In total, seven major U.S. and European banks have boosted their legal reserves by $6.5B in October. Last night, Citigroup (C +0.4%) was forced to cut its Q3 earnings by $600M amid "rapidly-evolving" probes.
- UBS has put aside the most of any single bank this month - $1.9B. Next in line is Deutsche Bank (DB +0.7%) with $1.1B, and JPMorgan (JPM +1.3%) with $1B. None of the lenders disclosed exactly how much was specifically for foreign exchange, and none have yet been formally accused of wrongdoing.
- Barclays (BCS +5.6%) reserved $800M for FX-related settlements, and Credit Suisse (CS +0.5%) $400M.
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, RWW, RYF, FINZ
Oct. 30, 2014, 8:50 AM
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS): Nine months ended Adjusted NOI of £18.12B (-4.1% Y/Y).
- PAT of £3.31B vs. £3.21B prior.
- Basic EPS of £0.161 vs. £0.19 prior.
Oct. 10, 2014, 5:22 AM
- The U.K.'s Financial Services Authority has accused six banks, including JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and UBS (NYSE:UBS), of system and control failures in their forex operations, the FT reports.
- The allegations are part of the FSA's investigation into the possible manipulation of currency markets, which is one of a number of probes by authorities around the world.
- Last month, the U.K. regulator started settlement talks with the two banks, as well as with Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) and RBS (NYSE:RBS). The discussions could lead to fines of £1.5B in total.
- By focusing on an inability to stop staff from engaging in misconduct rather than on actual manipulation, the FSA could help the banks limit the impact of lawsuits that have been filed in the U.S. over forex rigging.
Oct. 8, 2014, 2:18 AM
- Eighteen of the world's largest banks, ranging from Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) to Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), have agreed to give up the right to "close out" deals on derivatives contracts if a financial institution runs into trouble, FT reports.
- The International Swaps and Derivatives Association is due to announce the agreement to change its “protocols”, which govern the $700T market, in the next few days. They will take effect from January 1, 2015.
- Related stocks: HSBC, JPM, OTC:BNPZY, DB, BCS, BAC, SAN, C, RBS,
Sep. 29, 2014, 6:43 AM
- UBS (NYSE:UBS) has entered settlement talks over allegations it was involved in manipulating foreign exchange rates.
- Although the bank did not identify a regulator, Reuters was informed by sources on Friday that Britain's Financial Conduct Authority was talking to UBS and five other banks - Barclays (NYSE:BCS), HSBC (NYSE:HSBC), Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS), JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) and Citi (NYSE:C).
- A settlement could result in each bank being fined hundreds of millions of pounds, depending on the severity of the misconduct.
- As well as the FCA, authorities in the U.S., Switzerland and Hong Kong are investigating the $5.3T a day foreign exchange market.
Sep. 23, 2014, 4:31 AM
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS) is expected to be fined close to £38M ($62.3M) for intermingling billions of pounds of client money with its own funds in its investment bank between 2007 and 2012.
- The fine, a record for this type of misconduct, is expected to be announced by the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority as early as today.
- Meanwhile, CEO Antony Jenkins has announced that the bank will "robustly" defend its dark pool allegations, which accuses the bank of misleading clients about how its dark pool operated.
- BCS -1.2% premarket
Sep. 22, 2014, 2:42 PM
- Akshaya Bhargava will join Barclays (BCS -0.9%) on October 13 as CEO of wealth and investment management, replacing Peter Horrell who stepped down in June. Bhargava spent 22 years at Citigroup, leading teams in India, London, and the Czech Republic. In 2010, he founded his own business which was acquired by State Street last year.
- Barclays is in the middle of a major restructuring which includes the cutting of 19K jobs. Going forward, the bank will focus on four core areas: retail and corporate banking in the U.K., credit cards, banking in Africa, and investment banking.
Sep. 19, 2014, 12:25 PM
- A check of European closing prices finds the euphoric early reaction to the "No" vote from Scotland mostly faded by day's end. The Stoxx 50 (NYSEARCA:FEZ) closed just 0.2% higher, with the U.K.'s FTSE 100 (NYSEARCA:EWU) gaining 0.3%.
- Looking at U.K. bank ADRs: RBS (RBS +1.2%), Barclays (BCS -0.9%), Lloyds (LYG +0.5%), HSBC (HSBC -0.2%).
- Dealing with its own separatist movement, Spain (NYSEARCA:EWP) managed just a 0.1% gain.
- Previously: Euro shares lean green on "No" vote
- Previously: Might Catalonia secession fears ebb following Scotland vote?
Sep. 17, 2014, 3:52 PM
- Though most of the polls give the "No" (to breaking away from the U.K.) camp the lead, the pound (NYSEARCA:FXB) is behaving a bit nervously. It's now slightly lower on the session after being up nicely this morning following a larger-than-expected decline in unemployment.
- Independence would be "an economic trapdoor down which we go, from which me might never escape," says former U.K. PM Gordon Brown in the sort of fear-mongering comment becoming fairly typical from politicians who support the status quo.
- “Secession would be a catastrophe for Scotland,” says Spanish foreign minister Garcia-Margallo. “It would start a process of Balkanization that nobody in Europe wants.” Spain, of course, has its own secession issues in Catalonia.
- The U.K. banks are showing little nervousness, with Barclays (BCS +0.8%), RBS (RBS +0.8%), and Lloyds (LYG +1.5%) all in the green, and HSBC (HSBC) just marginally lower.
- ETFs: EWU, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK, QGBR
Sep. 17, 2014, 2:14 AM
- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has defended his position over the Barclays (NYSE:BCS) dark pool lawsuit, calling the bank's motion to dismiss the case "misguided."
- Schneiderman reasserted allegations that Barclays misled customers by favoring its own dark pool when routing client orders and chose high frequency traders over other investors.
- The bank will have until Oct. 12 to respond, after which the case will go to trial if a settlement isn't reached.
Sep. 12, 2014, 5:56 AM
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS) has named John McFarlane, current chairman of insurer Aviva (NYSE:AV) and transport firm FirstGroup (OTCPK:FGROY), as the bank's new chairman.
- McFarlane will replace Sir David Walker, who will retire next year, after Barclays' 2015 annual shareholder meeting usually held in April.
- The bank has been looking for a strong replacement for Walker, who with CEO Antony Jenkins has aimed to improve the bank's culture after a series of scandals in recent years.
Sep. 11, 2014, 7:45 AM
- There's a lot being made of last weekend's poll showing a majority of Scottish voters for the first time favoring independence, but in the spot where folks need to put money behind their opinions, it's not even close.
- Wagers placed at Betfair Group show an 80% chance of a "No" vote for independence - roughly £4M has been placed on no and just £1M placed on yes. "The big money trades continue to go on no, fueled by significant bets from south of the border," says Betfair.
- The easiest way to play a "No" vote (referendum is Sept. 18) would probably be to buy pounds, but, alas, it's bounced by nearly 200 pips since diving Monday morning in wake of the weekend poll.
- ETFs: FXB, GBB
- Other possibilities would include buying the British banks - BCS, RBS, LYG, HSBC, OTCPK:SCBFF - which have also been under pressure on worry of a break-up.
- Previously: RBS, Lloyds to relocate if Scottish independence announced
Sep. 10, 2014, 5:16 AM
- Standard & Poor's (NYSE:MHFI) and Markit (NASDAQ:MRKT) have been narrowed down as the final bidders for Barclays' (NYSE:BCS) index business, which could go for more than $1B. Sources tell Reuters that a winner can be announced within weeks.
- Barclays launched the auction of its Index, Portfolio and Risk Solutions business this summer, which contains a basket of more than 98 major indexes, including the well-known U.S. Aggregate Bond Index.
- Previously: Bloomberg, Markit eyeing Barclays' fixed-income index unit
Sep. 9, 2014, 7:30 AM
Sep. 8, 2014, 7:59 AM
- "A wall of money has gone out of the banks and into fines and redress," says KPMG's U.K. head of banking Richard McCarthy. "Hopefully the most egregious things have come out and hopefully the banks will be able to move forward."
- Over the last five years, according to KPMG, the U.K.'s largest banks - BCS, RBS, HSBC, LYG, OTCPK:SCBFF - have cut consumer and business lending by $595B, or 14%.
- "There is light at the end of the tunnel," says McCarthy, with the report noting redress costs and fines fell 44% to £2.4B in 2014's first six months from a year ago.
- Meanwhile, the banks are sharply lower premarket over Scottish independence jitters. BCS -3.5%, RBS -4.1%, LYG -4.9%, HSBC -2%.
- Previously: Cable tumbles over Scotland referendum
Sep. 5, 2014, 8:14 AM
- More extensive background checks have forced UBS and Barclays (NYSE:BCS) to pull job offers and push back start dates for new hires, reports Bloomberg. The time it takes readying an application for a new hire to get regulatory permission to work in London "has triple, quadrupled, and quintupled," says a lawyer. "In the old days, it took a day."
- Also tougher is the vetting of existing employees to work in new jurisdictions.
- “The people aren’t crooks,” says the lawyer. In U.K. bank hiring now, there’s “an ultra-conservative view; it’s our version of puritanism and risk aversion.”
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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