Wednesday, December 19, 2012, 7:10 AM
Following a 5-month 43% move higher in the EUFN, the European financial sector is upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Credit Suisse. Earlier this week, Meredith Whitney turned bull on the U.S. financial sector after its torrid 2012 run.
Monday, December 17, 2012, 4:44 AM
The U.K.'s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards is expected to call for banks to be broken up rather than just forcing them to ring-fence their retail operations from their investment banking activities, as recommended in the Vickers Report. The Commission will makes its call in its own report, which is due to be released on Friday.
Friday, December 14, 2012, 8:02 AM
UBS (UBS) doesn't just face a fine of $1B for rigging Libor and other inter-bank rates, it will reportedly become the first major bank in over a decade to admit criminal wrongdoing. A settlement could come on Monday. Meanwhile, prosecutors didn't indict HSBC (HBC) for money laundering due to fears about the effect on the financial system. Senator Charles Grassley was not impressed.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 2:31 PM
Along with a $1.92B fine for allowing itself to be used as a tool for money-laundering by Mexican drug cartels (not to mention sweethearts in the Middle East and elsewhere), HSBC (HBC) will spend $700M on a global "know your customer" program - more or less the implementation of a range of anti-money-laundering safeguards.
Monday, December 10, 2012, 4:01 PM
The U.S. is set to announce a $1.9B settlement with HSBC (HBC) over money-laundering charges with regards to Iran, reports the WSJ. That a settlement was coming was leaked last week (though to the tune of $1.8B). Earlier, Standard Chartered was fined $327M for its own money-laundering scheme with the Iranians.
Monday, December 10, 2012, 6:03 AM
The Bank of England and FDIC unveil the first cross-border plan to deal with too-big-to-fail banks that start...failing. Senior management would be sacked, shareholders would be wiped out, and unsecured bondholders "can expect that their claims would be written down to reflect any losses that shareholders cannot cover," which didn't happen in the financial-crisis bailouts. (PR)
21 Comments[Financials, Top Stories]
Friday, December 7, 2012, 12:18 PM
HSBC (HBC) is downgraded to AA- from AA by Fitch, which says the bank's diversity across businesses and geography may no longer be a strength, and has instead been "neutralized" by the increasing cost of managing the whole operation.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 8:10 PM
HSBC (HBC) may pay a $1.8B fine to settle with the U.S. as part of a money laundering suit alleging the bank allowed clients to move illicit funds from Mexico and Iran among other countries. The potential settlement, which has been in the works for months, could be settled as early as next week. The case could serve as a litmus test for just how far U.S. prosecutors will go to try and halt illicit flows of money moving through U.S. banks.
8 Comments[Financials, Global & FX, U.S. Economy]
Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 2:42 AM
HSBC (HBC) agrees to sell its 15.6% stake in China's Ping An Insurance for $9.38B to Charoen Pokphand Group, which is controlled by Thailand's richest man, Dhanin Chearavanont. Having bought the holding for $1.7B in 2002-2005, HSBC will earn a profit of $7.68B. With the deal part of HSBC's strategy of selling non-core operations, analysts reckon its 19.9%, HK$79B ($10.19B) stake in China's Bank of Communications could be next. (PR)
1 Comment[Financials, M&A, Top Stories]
Thursday, November 29, 2012, 6:34 AM
The Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee accuses British banks of possibly misleading investors about the health of their finances. In its semi-annual report, the panel says banks may be overstating capital levels by not recognizing potential losses on loans and playing down risks. Banks may also not have made enough provisions to cover the costs of compensating customers for the mis-selling of certain financial products.
1 Comment[Global & FX, Top Stories, Financials]
Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 3:56 AM
The Fed is reportedly considering forcing foreign banks to combine their U.S. operations into American holding companies, which would require the units to meet minimum capital standards regardless of the resources of the parent firms. The move could increase costs, force foreign banks to inject billions of dollars into their U.S. ops, limit the movement of capital and even hurt lending.
6 Comments[Global & FX]
Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 7:54 AM
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is upgraded to Buy at UBS, which believes Mark Carney's appointment to head the Bank of England signals a more conciliatory regulatory environment for U.K. banks. Gerard Lane of Shore Capital disagrees: "He strikes us as a hardliner." Citigroup notes average bank core tier 1 capital ratios are lower in Canada than in the U.K.
Monday, November 19, 2012, 2:21 AM
HSBC (HBC) is in talks to sell its 15.6% holding in Ping An Insurance, China's second-largest insurer, as the U.K. bank continues its strategy of selling non-core assets. Chinese analyst Wilson Li says HSBC can reinvest the proceeds in its organic business in China and generate a better return than the Ping An stake, which is worth $9.19B. Comment![Financials, Top Stories]
Friday, November 9, 2012, 4:25 AM
HSBC (HBC) is the target of yet another probe into its corporate controls, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that the U.K.'s HM Revenue & Customs is investigating the bank's offshore accounts in the English Channel island of Jersey held by thousands of British and other citizens. These include a drug dealer, a gun runner, three bankers facing fraud allegations, and suspected tax evaders.
Comment![Top Stories, Financials]
Monday, November 5, 2012, 4:11 AM
More on HSBC (HBC) Q3: earnings aided by a sharp drop in bad debts, as well as by growth in Global Banking and Markets, mainly in Rates and Credit as eurozone conditions stabilized relative to last year, and in Commercial Banking, where net interest income rose. Generates cost savings of $500M, taking total annualized savings to $3.1B. Remains confident in its outlook for growth in China. Shares -1.45% in London. (PR)
Monday, November 5, 2012, 4:02 AMHSBC (HBC):Q3 pretax profit +125% to $5B vs estimates of $5.6B. Underlying revenue +20% to $16.13B. Takes provision of $800M to cover a potential U.S. fine for problems with its anti-money laundering controls - adding to $700M set aside in July - and $353M charge for mis-selling in the U.K., mainly of payment protection insurance. (PR)