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Barclays PLC (BCS)

  • Mar. 30, 2014, 3:02 AM
    • A judge has ruled that a group of banks that includes JP Morgan (JPM), Citigroup (C), Barclays (BCS) and UBS (UBS) must face a class-action lawsuit that they rigged yen-denominated benchmark interest rates from 2006-2010.
    • However, District Judge George Daniels dismissed related claims against the banks for antitrust violations and unjust enrichment.
    • UBS, Barclays and RBS have already reached settlements with authorities for the manipulation of such rates.
  • Mar. 26, 2014, 12:27 PM
    • "You have to be the grit in the oyster, you have to be the person who asks the difficult questions," says "corporate philosopher" Roger Steare, aka "Weirdy Beardy," the man tapped by U.K. lenders like RBS, HSBC, and Barclays (BCS) to help improve banker behavior.
    • He's also been called upon by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority which - after observing that banks simply circumvent many new rules - is trying a new tack: Stop making so many, and instead put the onus on banks to create self-regulatory work environments. "Red tape is more easily hurdled than principles," says FCA boss Martin Wheatley.
    • A former banker who quit because it was too boring, Steare eventually moved into executive coaching. "Banks are medieval institutions, they are not democracies," he says. "Their clients are the peasants."
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  • Mar. 26, 2014, 10:52 AM
    • Shareholders should vote against the re-election of Barclays' (BCS -1%) compensation committee chairman John Sunderland, as well as oppose the bank's pay awards for 2013, says the U.K.'s Local Authority and Pension Fund Forum.
    • “In the year that shareholders had to put in £5.8B by way of rights issue, most of that has left the bank in bonuses," says LAPFF head Kieran Quinn. The group advises local government funds with about £125B in assets. Barclays paid 2013 bonuses at about triple the dividend, he says, vs. about 2.5x at HSBC.
    • Sunderland - who has been asked by the board chairman to serve until 2015 - has pointed to the high resignation rate of senior staff and the lack of "pay competitiveness."
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  • Mar. 19, 2014, 7:26 AM
    • Barclays (BCS) began weighing its options on the unit - Index Portfolio and Risk Solutions - after being approached late last year by MSCI, reports Bloomberg. Expected to make an offer is CME Group, which has also approached the bank about IPRS.
    • The Aggregate Bond Index (ETF: AGG) may be the best known benchmark managed by IPRS, which also has a set of indexes acquired as part of Barclays' purchase of assets from Lehman after the collapse.
    • The business could fetch around $400M, say Bloomberg's sources.
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  • Mar. 18, 2014, 2:45 PM
    • The money includes bonuses, so-called role-based pay, and deferred compensation built up over the last five years. The payouts come as Barclays (BCS +1.9%) draws plenty of criticism for boosting 2013 bonuses after reporting a big Q4 loss, and after announcing up to 12K job cuts this year, or about 8% of its workforce.
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  • Mar. 17, 2014, 2:47 PM
    • Ouch. Pending internal investigations into rate-rigging, Barclays (BCS +0.4%), Citigroup (C +1.7%), and RBS (RBS +1.5%) have put a hold on the bonuses of several members of their foreign exchange trading teams, reports the FT. Individual members have not been singled out - instead payouts have been frozen across entire teams until the probes are concluded.
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  • Mar. 14, 2014, 3:07 PM
    • Acting as receiver for 38 failed lenders, the FDIC  claims banks sitting on the U.S. Libor panel "fraudulently and collusively suppressed" the rate.
    • Among those sued: BAC, BCS, C, CS, DB, HSBC, JPM, RBS, UBS. Also named as a defendant is the British Bankers Association.
  • Mar. 13, 2014, 4:15 PM
    • Calling it a radical overhaul, the FT reports the move will result in thousands of job cuts and boost pressure on the unit's heads - Tom King in the States and Eric Bommensath in Europe. The shakeup comes amid shareholder unrest following the bank's increasing bonus payments by 10% last year despite declining profits, and some investors have indicated they will vote against the compensation package at next month's annual meeting, putting pressure on Barclays (BCS +0.4%) CEO Antony Jenkins to take action.
    • The new strategy is expected to be unveiled before summer and could include replacing King and Bommensath, though Barclays denies plans for a leadership change. Both of them were appointed just one year ago.
  • Mar. 5, 2014, 10:40 AM
    • New York resident Kevin Maher files suit against the five banks who set the London gold fix each day, accusing them off price manipulation. The five: Deutsche (DB), Barclays (BCS), Scotiabank (BNS), HSBC, and SocGen (SCGLY).
    • The setting of the benchmark occurs twice a day in a teleconference through something resembling open-outcry. There are, of course, a number of investigations ongoing about illegal manipulation, and an academic study has found what it deems to be good evidence of collusion in the afternoon fix.
  • Mar. 4, 2014, 11:08 AM
    • Boston-based Charles River Associates was hired by Deutsche Bank (DB +1.7%) several months ago, reports the WSJ, to assess the extent of the bank's participation in the alleged rigging of the London gold fix.
    • Gold is traded around the clock, but there is no central source for prices, and a group of five meets twice a day in London to determine a snapshot, or fix. Other than Deutsche, the others are Barclays (BCS), HSBC, Scotiabank (BNS), and SocGen (SCGLY).
    • Deutsche last month announced its exit from the group, and Standard Chartered (SCBFF) reportedly is the front-runner to replace it.
    • Last week: A draft research paper finds strong evidence of mischief.
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  • Feb. 24, 2014, 8:32 AM
    • One of Europe's investment banking lions, Hans-Joerg Rudloff is stepping down from the chairman's role at Barclays' (BCS) investment bank, reports the WSJ. Rudloff has been in the position since 1998, and - in his 50-year career - has held the both the chairman and CEO roles at Credit Suisse and First Boston.
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  • Feb. 19, 2014, 4:56 AM
    • The Federal Reserve has passed regulations for foreign banks on capital, debt levels and annual "stress tests" that could force 15-20 of them to raise billions of dollars in capital.
    • Overseas banks with U.S. assets of over $50B would have to form special holding companies in the country and maintain higher capital buffers than other countries require.
    • Deutsche Bank (DB), for example, would have an estimated hole of $7B under the new rules.
    • However, European Commissioner Michel Barnier said the EU wouldn't be able to accept "discriminatory measures."
    • Other banks to be affected include Credit Suisse (CS) and Barclays (BCS).
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  • Feb. 12, 2014, 3:13 PM
    • There have been a number of suits against the global banks over claims of forex manipulation, but this latest by the City of Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement is the first to include research highlighting unusual movements in major currencies.
    • Using data compiled by Fideres, the plaintiffs analyzed daily trading right around the 4 PM fix of currency prices ... curiously, anomalous price movements became rarer and less pronounced after the initial reports of rigging surfaced last summer.
    • Morgan Stanley has spent some time looking at euro/dollar spikes at 4 PM and also concluded they were unrelated to economic events. Instead of collusion though, Morgan pins the blame on computerized trading programs.
    • The seven banks sued by Philadelphia which is seeking damages as high as $10B: Barclays (BCS), Citigroup (C), Deutsche Bank (DB), HSBC, JPMorgan (JPM), RBS, and UBS.
  • Feb. 11, 2014, 4:45 AM
    • Barclays' (BCS) Q4 net losses rose to £514M ($843.9M) from £364M a year earlier, partly due to increased restructuring costs, a higher levy related to riskier financing, and a £331M charge for litigation and regulatory penalties.
    • Adjusted pretax profit dropped to £191M from £1.4B.
    • The investment bank swung to a pretax loss of £329M from a profit of £760M a year earlier, with the division's performance hurt by higher operating costs, a decline in its fixed-income business and £87M in restructuring costs.
    • The retail bank's pretax profit dropped to £212M from £275M; Q4 2013 included £119M in restructuring expenses.
    • Barclays' Tier 1 capital ratio rose to 13.2% by the end of 2013 from 10.8% in 2012.
    • Shares are -2.1% in London.
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  • Feb. 11, 2014, 3:49 AM
    • Barclays (BCS) intends to axe 10,000-12,000 jobs this year, including 7,000 in the U.K.
    • CEO Antony Jenkins said the bank has notified around half of the affected workers in Britain.
    • The bank employed 139,600 staff at the end of last year.
    • Barclays announced the job cuts as it revealed in its FY report that its bonus pool rose 10% to £2.38B.
    • The firm said its 2013 earnings were hurt by legal costs and restructuring, including its withdrawal from some businesses.
    • Shares are -1.25% in London.
    • 2013 results
  • Feb. 11, 2014, 3:02 AM
    • Barclays (BCS) swung to a full-year net profit of £540M from a loss of £624M in 2012.
    • EPS 3.7 pence vs a loss per share of 4.8 pence.
    • Total income rose to £28.44B from £25.61B; adjusted income -4% to £28.16B.
    • Barclays plans to reduce its balance sheet by up to another £105B by next year.
    • Profits at the investment bank tumbled 37% to £2.5B and income declined 9% to £10.7B, mainly due to a drop in fixed income. Nonetheless, Barclays increased bonuses at the business by 13% to £1.57B.
    • Barclays' compensation to income ratio rose to 43.2% in 2013 from 40% in 2012 even though the bank's target is in the "mid-30s."
    • As disclosed yesterday, pretax profit fell 32% to £5.2B. (Results announcement)
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Company Description
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.