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,
Oct. 7, 2014, 11:51 AM
- New U.K. rules on the accountability of senior bank management and board members are set to be implemented by the end of the year. The "senior managers regime" will assign specific responsibilities to those within banks, and holds out the possibility of criminal liability if a decision contributes to a bank's failure.
- Maybe not wanting any part of that, HSBC Bank board member Alan Thomson has submitted his resignation after taking over a director spot about 18 months ago. Also expected to resign is Deputy Chairman John Trueman who has been on the board since 2004.
Oct. 1, 2014, 12:22 PM
- Responding to U.S. small and medium size business clients looking to export or expand internationally, HSBC adds $3B to its international program, bringing total funding to $5B.
- The initiative was launched (at $1B in size) last year, and the bank is impressed with the pace with which clientele have responded. It was doubled to $2B at the start of this year, and brought to $5B today.
- Source: Press Release
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. 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. 12, 2014, 3:21 PM
- HSBC looks like it's become the 16th lender to settle mortgage claims with the FHFA as Bloomberg reports the bank will pay as much as $600M over soured MBS.
- The FHFA filed 18 lawsuits in 2011 over about $200B in MBS. If HSBC does settle, it would leave Nomura as the lone bank not yet coming to terms with the agency (Goldman last month became #15 to settle).
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. 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, 3:41 AM
- U.S. Federal Judge Denise Cote has ruled that investors may press claims against 12 major banks for violating antitrust law by limiting competition and fixing prices in the $21T CDS market, even though improved liquidity should have driven costs down.
- The defendants include BofA (NYSE:BAC), Barclays (NYSE:BCS), BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPZY), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), HSBC (NYSE:HSBC), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), RBS (NYSE:RBS) and UBS (NYSE:UBS).
Aug. 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
- The FHFA launched 18 lawsuits in 2011 against banks over about $200B in MBS. Many have settled - the latest being Goldman Sachs last week - but HSBC, Nomura (NYSE:NMR), and RBS (which is a defendant in the Nomura case) are among a group which hasn't.
- The ruling from federal Judge Denise Cote sets up a Sept. 29 trial start date for HSBC, and the bank has estimated $1.6B in possible exposure.
Aug. 27, 2014, 2:08 AM
- HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) declares that it will fight the $250M Keydata lawsuit that alleges it aided a major international fraud.
- Thousands of U.K. investors lost their money when Keydata collapsed in 2009. The company invested many of its funds in bonds that were issued by Luxembourg-domiciled SLS Capital, which was later liquidated.
- HSBC is accused of doing little to correct the misleading marketing material that displayed the bank as the bonds’ trustee, and that it did not properly investigate claims that Keydata was an alleged Ponzi scheme.
- HSBC -3.7% AH
Aug. 18, 2014, 3:47 AM
- Eurozone banks are expected to borrow about €250B in cheap four-year money from the European Central Bank in September and December under the ECB’s "targeted long-term financing operations".
- The new loans would come on top of the more than €1T in cheap finance the ECB pumped into the financial system between late 2011 and 2012 to avert a financial crisis.
- The new funds are expected to boost lending to the region’s credit-starved businesses.
- Europe’s economic outlook has not been pretty. Last week, figures outlined a slowdown in Germany and France and Italy in recession.
- Related stocks: SAN, DB, IRE, CS, ING, BBVA, BCS, RBS, HSBC, LYG
- ETFs: EUFN
Aug. 12, 2014, 11:59 AM
- Brazil's money laundering probe linked to state-run Petrobras (PBR -1.2%) is spreading to financial institutions as prosecutors investigate whether they met compliance requirements.
- Court documents cite units of banks including Citigroup (NYSE:C), Banco Santander (NYSE:SAN) and HSBC, as well as Brazil-based Itau Unibanco (NYSE:ITUB) and Banco Bradesco (NYSE:BBD) as holding accounts or executing operations linked to the alleged laundering of 10B reais.
- The refining division at Petrobras already is under investigation for runaway spending including alleged inflated contracts to suppliers, and is cited as one of the possible sources of cash being laundered in the case dubbed “Car Wash” by police.
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