Fri, May 22, 12:10 PM
- Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends ...The New York Department of Financial Services is probing more abuse of forex markets by the banks - this time by the use of automated trades driven by computer algorithms, reports the FT.
- Findings could indicate more widespread abuse than what U.S. and U.K. authorities disclosed on Wednesday (along with nearly $6B in fines and a number of guilty pleas). Sources remind that this week's charges related to manipulation performed by bank employees, but this probe covers electronic trading, which accounts for the majority of forex transactions.
- Trading platforms under the scope include those from Barclays (NYSE:BCS) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), and information has been subpoenaed from BNP Paribas (OTCPK:BNPQF), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and SocGen (OTCPK:SCGLY).
- The investigation into Barclays is the most advanced, but DFS has initially reached similar nefarious conclusions about the goings-on at Deutsche too. The probes of the other lenders are at even earlier stages.
- Previously: Lawsky stepping down as New York's top bank regulator (May 20)
Thu, May 21, 7:58 AM
- Just having been hit with $3B over currency-rigging charges yesterday, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) and RBS will have to set aside another $11B within two years, according to JPMorgan.
- For RBS, it still faces billions in potential MBS costs, and Barclays isn't finished with forex-related fines. Both, says JPMorgan, will need to top up reserves to compensate customers for payment protection insurance they didn't want or need.
Wed, May 20, 10:10 AM
- Those facing criminal charges from the DOJ are UBS (already reported, the stock is up 3.4% today), Barclays (BCS +2.5%), Citigroup (C -0.5%), JPMorgan (JPM -0.4%), and RBS (RBS +1.6%).
- Bank of America (BAC -0.4%) faces a $205M fine by the Fed, but no criminal charges. Fines by the Fed for the other banks range from $274M-$342M.
- There are fines from other regulators as well, with the total for all the banks summing to $5.8B. Barclays looks to be hit the hardest on that front, with total monetary penalties of $2.4B.
Mon, May 18, 3:59 AM
- The U.K.s Financial Conduct Authority is expected to fine Barclays (NYSE:BCS) at least £250M to settle allegations of forex manipulation, the Daily Telegraph reports.
- The sum would be a record for the U.K. regulator, outstripping the £234M that UBS had to pay in a deal in November.
- Overall, RBS, UBS, JPMorgan and Citigroup, as well as Barclays, are bracing for total penalties over over $4B that authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are expected to announce on Wednesday.
- That may not be the end of the matter though - New York's Department of Financial Services is looking into allegations that Barclays wrote algorithms to automate the rigging of currency benchmarks.
Thu, May 14, 7:55 AM
- "Guilty" is the new "neither admitting nor denying the charges."
- Yes, the DOJ looks set to extract guilty pleas on felony charges from five big banks over forex rigging, but life will go on for the lenders without much of a hiccup (after paying billions in fines), according to DealBook.
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), RBS, and UBS are the five whose holding companies will plead guilty, according to the report.
- While the guilty pleas are a nice feather in the caps of prosecutors, they seem to me more symbol than substance - too harsh a penalty would imperil banking operations, and behind the scenes, bank lawyers are working the phones with regulators to assure the felons won't be barred from certain businesses.
Fri, May 8, 9:16 AM| 4 Comments
Fri, May 1, 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)
Wed, Apr. 29, 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)
Wed, Apr. 29, 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).
Fri, Apr. 24, 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)
Tue, Apr. 21, 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.
Mon, Mar. 30, 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
Mon, Mar. 30, 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.
Wed, Mar. 18, 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
Tue, Mar. 17, 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.
Fri, Mar. 13, 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.
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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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