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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. 27, 2015, 4:39 AM
- Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privee has agreed to buy Royal Bank of Scotland's (NYSE:RBS) international private banking arm Coutts International.
- "This acquisition confirms our commitment in further developing our wealth management business and represents a significant milestone in our growth strategy," said UBP's chief executive.
- While both parties did not disclose a price, the FT suggested on Thursday that the deal would fetch $600M-$800M.
- Previously: RBS sale of Coutts International getting near (Mar. 26 2015)
Mar. 26, 2015, 3:00 PM
- Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS -0.5%) is soon set to announce the sale of its international wealth management unit Coutts to Switzerland's Union Bancaire Privee, reports the WSJ.
- Analysts figure the sale price will be in the area of $600M.
- The move is in keeping with RBS's (80% state-owned) to focus its energies and capital on being a U.K. retail bank.
- Previously: RBS narrows field of bidders for private-banking business (March 13)
Mar. 26, 2015, 2:28 AM
- Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) has increased the value of shares it's selling in Citizens Financial (NYSE:CFG) to as much as $3.7B after receiving stronger demand from investors to own a stake in its recently listed U.S. subsidiary.
- RBS agreed to sell a further 135M shares at $23.75 per share — plus a potential 20.25M overallotment option, reducing its stake in Citizens to 41.9% if the overallotment is exercised.
- RBS also aims to carry out another share sale later this year to slash its stake in Citizens below a third. That would allow it to say that it no longer controls the U.S. bank and therefore removes the company’s £60B of risk-weighted assets from its balance sheet.
- Previously: RBS slashing Citizens Financial stake (Mar. 23 2015)
Mar. 24, 2015, 3:26 AM
- The Federal Reserve and FDIC have vetoed the "living wills" of the U.S. units of BNP Paribas (OTCPK:BNPQF), HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) and Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS), stating that they could face sanctions by the end of the year if the issues are not fixed.
- Living wills, which are a requirement under Dodd-Frank, spell out how a firm would wind down its operations under U.S. bankruptcy code if it got into trouble.
Mar. 23, 2015, 7:24 AM
- Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG) launches a 115M share secondary offering of stock to be sold by Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS). The underwriter greenshoe is 17.25M shares.
- The sale will take RBS's stake from 384.7M shares of 70.3% of the company to 269.7M shares or 49.3%. If the underwriters exercise their option, the stake would be whittled to 46.1%.
- Previously: Barron's: More room to run for Citizens Financial (March 21)
Mar. 20, 2015, 3:49 PM
- Prior to the financial crisis, UBS's trading floor in Stamford, CT was the world's largest, and RBS's right across the street wasn't far behind.
- It's a different story since, and both banks are busy scaling back trading and U.S. operations. Staff at UBS's Stamford operation numbered just 500 as of last summer, down from a peak of 4K, and RBS has 1.6K, down from 2.4K a year ago - and with hundreds more set to go.
- Current talks would have UBS renting about 25% of the space in RBS's building, with RBS retaining the rest.
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. 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. 13, 2015, 2:56 PM
- Switzerland's Union Bancaire Privee looks to be the preferred bidder for Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS -2.4%) Coutts International, reports Bloomberg, and an agreement could be announced as early as this month.
- Others being considered include Credit Suisse and a joint bid from SocGen and DBS Group.
- Standing in the way of a deal is price - at least in part thanks to the franc's recent surge - a German investigation into Coutts' private bank, and the political storm surrounding HSBC's involvement with tax evasion.
- As of the end of 2013, Coutts had CHF32.6B in AUM and reported a full-year net loss of CHF45.1M. The unit could go for $600M-$900M, according to a Bloomberg source.
Mar. 9, 2015, 3:44 AM
- Despite all thirty-one global banks passing the first round of the Fed's stress test last Thursday, a tougher second round test this week, known as the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR), will either approve or disapprove the lenders' capital return plans.
- Last year, Citigroup (NYSE:C) became the only big U.S. bank to have its plans thrown out, with the Fed citing "insufficient" improvement in areas previously flagged. Other 2014 CCAR losers: Citizens (NYSE:RBS), HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) and Santander (NYSE:SAN).
- Previously: All 31 lenders pass the stress test (Mar. 05 2015)
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.
Feb. 26, 2015, 10:06 AM
- "For RBS [this] marks the end of the stand-alone global investment bank model," says CEO Ross McEwan. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS -5.9%) will "substantially reduce" its investment banking operations in the U.S. and Asia, and fully exit markets businesses in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa - a full 25 countries.
- CFO Ewen Stevenson says more than half of the roughly 2K jobs on the company's vast Stamford trading floor will be cut, and a review is set for whether that base is still needed.
- All that's left in sales and trading outside of the U.K. will be operations in Stamford (for now) and Singapore. There will also be a sales office in Japan and client coverage teams in a number of European countries.
- There are plenty of sellers today, but not everyone's a bear. Some analysts note these moves should improve capital ratios, and RBS's plan to return to being just a bank isn't exactly a new one - today's announcements just point to a speeded up the process.
- Management also warns there could be more fines coming for past misconduct.
- Previously: RBS reports annual loss on Citizens writedown (Feb. 26)
Feb. 26, 2015, 6:45 AM
- Mizuho Financial Group (NYSE:MFG) has agreed to buy Royal Bank of Scotland's (NYSE:RBS) U.S. and Canadian loan commitments in a deal worth $3B.
- The deal is likely to close around the middle of the business year starting in April.
- RBS -3.5% after posting its seventh straight annual loss earlier this morning.
Feb. 26, 2015, 3:26 AM
- Posting its seventh straight annual loss, Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) reported a £3.47B net loss for 2014 after booking a £4B writedown on the value of U.S. offshoot Citizens.
- The bank also named Howard Davies as chairman. Davies, the former head of the now-defunct Financial Services Authority, succeeds Philip Hampton, who is to replace Christopher Gent as chairman of GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK).
- Previously: Sir Howard Davies set to take chairman's role at RBS (Feb. 23 2015)
Feb. 23, 2015, 2:25 PM
- The appointment of Sir Howard Davies as chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) could come as soon as Thursday's quarterly earnings report, says the FT. He's replacing Sir Philip Hampton, who exiting this summer to take the same spot at GlaxoSmithKline.
- Not a banker by trade, Sir Howard moves easily among the regulatory, academic, and consultancy crowd. "Very smart and totally inscrutable; he would work with a government of any color," is how he's described by one former co-worker.
- His start date with RBS is unclear thanks to numerous other chairmanships he holds, and investors and regulators - since the financial crisis - have pressured bank leaders to focus on banking.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The) PLC is an international banking and financial services company. The Company through its subsidiaries provides banking products and services to personal, commercial and large corporate and institutional customers.
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