Nov. 12, 2014, 2:24 AM
- Global regulators have fined six major banks, including UBS (NYSE:UBS), HSBC (NYSE:HSBC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and BofA (NYSE:BAC), a total of $4.3B over allegations of price fixing and manipulating benchmarks in the $5T-a-day foreign exchange market.
- The penalties were imposed by Britain's Financial Services Authority, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Swiss regulator FINMA.
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS) had been expected to be part of the settlement but the FCA said its investigation into the U.K. bank was continuing.
Nov. 3, 2014, 5:38 AM
- HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) set aside $1.7B to cover one-off charges, including $378M for a possible settlement with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority over alleged forex manipulation.
- HSBC also booked a $701M provision to compensate customers for mis-sold products and $550M for a deal with the Federal Housing Finance Authority.
- Pretax profit of $4.61B missed estimates of $5.47B.
- Adjusted revenue flat at $15.58B.
- Net profit increased to $4.53B from $3.2B as provisions for bad loans dropped.
- Costs rose 6%, with HSBC having to hire ever more risk and compliance staff.
- Share are flat premarket.
Nov. 3, 2014, 3:35 AM
- HSBC's (NYSE:HSBC) pretax profit rose 2% in Q3 to $4.61B, although underlying earnings fell 12% to $4.41B.
- EPS $0.23 vs $0.16 a year earlier.
- Revenues increased to $15.775B from $15.08B
- HSBC declared a Q4 dividend of $0.10 a share.
- "Revenue continued to grow in Commercial Banking, dominated by growth in our home markets of Hong Kong and the United Kingdom," says CEO Stuart Gulliver. "Global Banking & Markets contributed a strong revenue performance with its differentiated business model. Global Private Banking has attracted net new money of $10B in areas targeted for growth since the start of the year." (PR)
Oct. 24, 2014, 2:44 AM
- Thirty-one banks are set to participate in the Fed's 2015 stress tests, which will see how they can withstand pressures such as a spike in oil prices, a rise in the U.S. unemployment rate or an increase in risky corporate loans. The capital plans are due in January.
- Among the bank's that failed last year's tests are Citigroup (NYSE:C), and the U.S. units of HSBC (NYSE:HSBC), Santander (NYSE:SAN) and RBS (NYSE:RBS).
- Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) will participate for the first time, and has already felt pressure from the NY Fed, which has told it in a private letter that its regulatory reports were "low quality, inaccurate and unreliable".
- This Sunday, the ECB will release results for stress tests of 130 eurozone banks amid a deteriorating economic outlook for the region.
Oct. 17, 2014, 2:50 PM
- Among the lenders now charging clients who want to park euros with them are Bank of New York Mellon (BK +0.2%), Goldman Sachs (GS +1.8%), and JPMorgan (JPM +1.5%), reports the WSJ. The banks themselves must pay to deposit money with the ECB after it imposed a negative rate on deposits last summer (and then made it more negative last month).
- Next up is HSBC which reportedly will son begin charging customers who deposit more than about €10M, and Credit Suisse (CS +1.1%) is set to do the same.
- Clients most immediately affected are investment firms, but multinationals with sizable European operations may soon face these costs.
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
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