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).
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.
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)
Feb. 10, 2014, 6:54 AM
- Barclays' (BCS) 2013 adjusted pretax profit of £5.2B ($8.52B) missed analyst consensus of £5.4B and was below 2012's figure of £7.05B.
- Statutory pretax earnings of £2.9B was well above the £246M that Barclays generated a year earlier.
- The bank provided no further details, although it will release full results tomorrow.
- Last month, Barclays said it would take a £330M Q4 charge related to regulatory penalties and lawsuits.
- Shares are +1.3% premarket. (PR)
- Massive data leak
Feb. 10, 2014, 5:24 AM
- Barclays (BCS) earned adjusted pretax profit of £5.2B in 2013 and statutory pretax profit of £2.9B, the bank said, adding that it will release its full results tomorrow morning.
- Barclays' statement follows reports of a major breach in which the data of 27,000 clients was stolen.
- Shares are +0.2% premarket. (PR)
Feb. 9, 2014, 6:07 AM
- A stolen database of 27,000 Barclays (BCS) client files has been sold to unscrupulous dealers who are using the information to pressure investors into scams, Mail Online reports.
- Leaked client data includes earnings, savings, mortgages, health issues, insurance policies, passport and national insurance numbers, and personal data such as clients' hobbies.
- The loss may be a breach of BCS' obligation under the Data Protection Act to keep personal information secure.
- Barclays says it will take all necessary steps to contact and advise affected customers as soon as possible.
Feb. 5, 2014, 12:35 PM
- Ben Lawsky, New York's financial services superintendent, reportedly has opened an investigation into manipulation of the currency markets by large banks and is requesting documents from more than a dozen institutions.
- Lawsky is said to have asked for documents from Barclays (BCS), Credit Suisse (CS), Deutsche Bank (DB), Goldman Sachs (GS), Lloyds (LYG), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Societe Generale (SCGLF, SCGLY) and Standard Chartered (SCDRF, SCBFF).
Feb. 3, 2014, 12:10 PM
Jan. 28, 2014, 11:13 AM
- Lloyds (LYG +3.6%) announces 1K job cuts, mostly in risk, retail, and commercial banking. The bank has previously targeted 15K cuts this year, and the latest announcement brings the running tally to 11,760.
- Lloyds remains 33% owned by the U.K. government and is speedily pushing its restructuring ahead of a possible sale of that stake.
- Barclays (BCS +2.2%) is set to cut several hundred investment banking jobs, reports the WSJ, with most of the reductions expected to be at the managing director level. Last year, the bank said it plans to cut 1.8K investment banking jobs as it seeks to boost segment margins.
Jan. 13, 2014, 7:37 AM
- The Federal Reserve reportedly joins the long list of regulatory authorities probing alleged fixing of benchmark currency rates by the banks, raising the risk they'll be penalized over lax controls as other investigators look for criminal mischief.
- Deutsche (DB), Citigroup (C), Barclays (BCS), and UBS are the gorillas in FX trading - controlling more than 50% of the market, but they're not the only ones under the microscope. A trader who used to work at RBS and is now at JPMorgan (JPM) - where he's on leave - figures prominently in the investigation.
- Citigroup on Friday fired its former head of European spot trading.
Jan. 13, 2014, 5:09 AM
- The Basel Committee for Banking Supervision has eased the way banks will have to report leverage ratios, or the amount of capital they hold against their loans and other assets.
- The regulations will not force banks to count 100% of their off-balance-sheet assets, such as much of their exposure to derivatives, and guarantees and letters of credit.
- That alterations will lower the need for banks to sell assets or raise capital to meet the Basel leverage-ratio requirements, which might be set at 3% or higher from 2018.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index is +1.5%.
- Major banks: RBS, HSBC, BCS, DB, CS, UBS, GS, JPM, C, MS, WFC, USB, BK, SAN, BBVA, LYG, NMR
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, EUFN, IPF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, IXG, KBWB, KME, RKH, QABA, KRU, FINU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, FNCL, PSCF, AXFN, KRS, FINZ, EMFN, KBWX
Jan. 9, 2014, 11:54 AM
- "We continue to see lot of regulatory headwinds for (investment banks) but this is more than discounted in valuations in our view," says JPMorgan's Kian Abouhossein. He and his are overweight the European investment banks, with Buy ratings on UBS, Deutsche Bank (DB -0.2%), and Barclays (BCS -0.1%).
- "We believe the recent underperformance of UBS provides an attractive entry point to investors," says Abouhossein, noting the Swiss lender remains the best capitalized wholesale bank.
Jan. 8, 2014, 2:33 AM
- The SEC and the special inspector general for TARP (Sigtarp) are reportedly probing several major banks over whether they deliberately mis-priced residential mortgage bonds after the financial crisis hit.
- The suspicion is that traders exploited the fog of the crisis to cheat clients by buying or selling the debt at artificially high or low prices from 2009-2011.
- Most of the usual suspects are under investigation, including JPMorgan (JPM), Barclays (BCS), Citigroup (C), Deutsche Bank (DB), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and UBS (UBS).
Dec. 26, 2013, 12:53 PM
- Barclays (BCS +0.4%) gets hit with a $3.75M fine from FINRA.
- The firm allegedly failed to keep proper electronic records over the course of the last decade.
- The regulator claims the bank didn't keep order and trade data in the correct format and also didn't hang on to e-mail attachments and several million Bloomberg instant messages dating from October 2008 to May 2010.
- According to FINRA, these infractions might have interfered with BCS' capacity to answer requests for electronic communications records.
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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