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.”
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).
Sep. 1, 2014, 2:11 AM
- Caixabank (OTCPK:CAIXY) has announced that it will buy Barclays’ (NYSE:BCS) Spanish operations, including its retail bank, wealth management business and commercial banking business for €800M ($1.1B).
- The deal will cement Caixabank’s position as the largest retail bank in Spain by adding 250 branches and 550K new clients, along with assets worth €21.6B.
- The acquisition will not include Barclays' Spanish credit card and investment banking arms.
Aug. 29, 2014, 8:57 AM| 2 Comments
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. 13, 2014, 1:32 PM
- The fixed-income index unit of Barclays (BCS +0.2%) - containing widely used benchmarks for fixed-income portfolio managers - could go for about $1B, reports the WSJ, and rival financial data players Bloomberg and Markit (MRKT -2.7%) are among those sniffing around.
- Previously: Markit beats by $0.04, beats on revenue
Aug. 12, 2014, 10:29 AM
- Adding to Wall Street's migration the hedge fund and private equity industries, a Barclays (BCS +1.4%) trading team leaving to start a quantitative operation will take 60 of the bank's employees with it, reports Bloomberg.
- Amid a restructuring of its investment bank, Barclays is exiting businesses where there is no client interaction, and NQuants - originally started at Lehman Brothers - is among the noncore operations on the block.
BCS vs. ETF Alternatives
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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