Barclays was slammed with a £72m FCA fine over financial crime risks on Thursday, this time for “ignoring its own process” over how to handle risky very rich clients and basically, allowing the (theoretical) risk of money laundering to creep in via an elephant deal of the century with a “Politically Exposed Person”.
Corporate governance fears aside, the FCA case file makes for fascinating reading (as usual). Read more
Barclays have assessed the Greek banks which, prior to Monday’s “deal,” were in a precarious position.
Since the crisis hit Greece more than five years ago, we estimate that Greek GDP has regressed to levels not seen since 1998 and is still falling. The impact of this has been dramatic on the banking system. The banks have lost nearly 25% of their deposit base since December 2014. Confidence has evaporated on the banking system, leading to the imposition of tight capital controls immediately after the call for a referendum by the Greek government on 26 June, as a fully-fledged bank run hit the banking system. Profitability and asset quality have also turned for the worst in 2015. Despite the super-capitalisation of Greek banks under the second programme, banks will in all likelihood now require further capital injections to deal with rising nonperforming assets
8am on Wednesday sees a resumption of trading in Atlas Mara Co-Nvest, the cash shell that Bob Diamond floated in London last December, with a view to building a chain of banks across the African continent.
Atlas Mara is no longer a shell, of course. The shares were suspended for five months while Bob & Co raised $300m (against an initial target of $400m) and then completed the acquisition BancABC and African Development Corporation. This gives Atlas Mara a base network across Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It’s also trying to buy the commercial arm of BRD, the development bank of Rwanda. Read more
The Group faces legal, competition and regulatory challenges, many of which are beyond the Group’s control. The extent of the impact on the Group of these matters cannot always be predicted but may materially impact the Group’s results of operations, financial results, condition and prospects…
There’s not much that’s actually new in a base prospectus published by Barclays on Thursday, covering a future $60bn debt programme. But what the document does offer is a compendium of all the litigation and regulatory action the bank faces around the world. Read more
Fans of schadenfreude may enjoy the following press release from Barclays, dated February 26, 2013, to publicise that …
Barclays LX now #2 US dark pool
LX is what Eric Schneiderman, the US state attorney-general, describes as a “dark pool full of predators – there at Barclays’ invitation”. His lawsuit alleges that Barclays was putting high-frequency traders in front of institutional investors, while sending bumf to the institutions that claimed the HFTs were being weeded out. Read more
Weird this, so we’ll just share it for now….
Barclays to Announce Full Year Results on 11 February 2014 Read more
From the Barclays press office on Wednesday:
Barclays has today announced changes to the senior management of the Group as a result of the resignations of Head of Compliance and Government and Regulatory Relations, Sir Hector Sants, and Chief Operations and Technology Officer, Shaygan Kheradpir.
Hector Sants has been on sick leave since the beginning of October, suffering from stress and exhaustion.
He has concluded that he will not be able to return to work in the near term. Consequently he has decided to resign from Barclays and not return from sick leave.
That’s Money Service Businesses — bureaux de change, cheque-cashing services… money remitters.
That makes them sound small. But remittances are a big deal for unbanked economies like Somalia. (About £100m from the UK alone, says Oxfam.) Read more
‘Exit Quadrant’ Businesses identified by the Strategic Review that are unlikely to achieve sustainable returns or are operating in markets of low attractiveness. These businesses have a clear path to exit.
What we think Barclays were trying to say there is that these are rubbish assets which they would quite like to get rid of.
That’s from the 14-page glossary to the UK bank’s latest (44-page) earnings update. Read more
The Regulatory and other investigations or proceedings part of the Barclays rights prospectus, published on Monday, is worth reading in full. But first you need to look at this chart, because it provides some context for what happened at Barclays in October 2008. The price of BARC stock more or less halved that month.
You’ve got to admire the audacity of Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, BofA Merrill Lynch and Citi: they’ve agreed to underwrite the £5.8bn Barclays rights issue, pitched at 185p on a 1-for-4 basis. Read more
The Salz Review, looking at business practices at Barclays, is out. Click to read.
We shouldn’t scoff. Barclays’ newish man Antony Jenkins has rolled out fullish details of the much-previewed strategic review. Click here for more:
The big story on Friday concerns the terms and structure of Qatar’s life-saving support for Barclays at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008. As Daniel Schäfer, Caroline Binham and Simeon Kerr report, the key issue is whether Barclays lent Qatar the money to buy shares in the bank. Read more
Quite a victory for open justice on Thursday — senior Barclays bankers involved in the first major test litigation over Libor will be publicly named in court after all, after a High Court judge threw out their application for anonymity.
Full FT story here. (The FT joined other media organisations in challenging the anonymity.) Read more
Amidst a general fiscal-fudge-relief-rally on Wednesday, one sector stood out…
It might not be made public until Monday but the FT reports a fine above $1bn could be landing on UBS’s doorstep to settle allegations of Libor manipulation. Driven largely, it appears, by CFTC and DoJ penalties.
That’s more than double the Barclays record set in June… Read more
“A judgmental structure of supervision that emphasises the big issues has to be matched by proper transparency . . . or it won’t work.” Andrew Bailey, head of prudential regulation at the Financial Services Authority, told that to parliamentarians on Monday.
Too bad there’s seemingly no tradition of transparent supervision in the UK, especially when it comes to banks. Read more
Awkward. One of the newish regulatory probes afflicting Barclays has brought us another batch of inter-trader communications they clearly never thought would see the light of day.
This particular investigation, which could see Barc landed with a record $470m fine over alleged US energy market manipulation, circles around four traders on the bank’s West Coast power desk who allegedly thought it wise to exchange messages explaining how they would “crap on” certain prices in one market to profit in another. Read more
Remember the frustrating old days when a cloud of uncertainty hanging over bank balance sheets was due to illiquid structured products and mortgage security holdings? When one was left to look out the window and wonder just how much of a payout would a bank ultimately get on its credit default swap protection on super-senior CDO tranches from ailing monolines? Sigh. Read more
What do you get when you reveal two new regulatory investigations as part of your slightly disappointing quarterly results? Answer: a 4.4 per cent drop in share price, as Barclays is finding out on Wednesday morning.
From the FT (our emphasis):
Barclays has warned investors that it is facing another fine in the US, this time over its conduct in power trading.
It has also disclosed that it is under investigation by the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission over whether its relationships with certain third parties breached corruption rules.
The Treasury Committee has let loose some letters between its chairman, MP Andrew Tyrie, and the former chief executive of the FSA Hector Sants. The subject matter of the correspondence concerns the original approval by the FSA of Bob Diamond appointment as CEO of Barclays back in 2010.
The freshly released content (see below) provides confirmation that the FSA caveated its approval of Diamond with a warning that it could change its mind if there was an adverse outcome from the Libor investigation. Read more
John Mann, the battler from Bassetlaw, is back with the results of his very own banking inquiry.
The Labour MP set up the alternate inquiry after expressing his displeasure at the omission of fellow committee member Andrea Leadsom and his good self from the specialist Libor inquiry because they were “too outspoken”. The words “whitewash” and “farce” also made an appearance: Read more
Click to enlarge:
It’s the product of all those Select Committee hearings, including appearances by Messrs. Diamond and Tucker. It is only a preliminary report. But it does not have kind words for the authorities who failed to stop the attempted manipulation of Libor before and during the financial crisis. (Barclays management is of course completely coruscated.) As jaded as we’ve all become by the Libor scandal, it’s pretty damning. Read more
The bank beat expectations with an adjusted profit before tax of £4.2bn, cut its eurozone exposures, set aside £450m to compensate small and medium-sized businesses that were mis-sold interest rate hedging products and said sorry again… which was nice.
From the statement: Read more
This is just too easy. Like killing-dodos-with-a-automatic-machine-gun easy. (Not that we ever could, or would, do that!)
The banking industry’s PR arm(y) is the opposite of Britain’s forces, for it only continues to grow and grow, not unlike bacteria. Lob in auxiliary PR, ie industry “awards”, and frankly we’d be surprised if a disgraced chief executive didn’t have at least one “Banker of the Year” accolade to his name by the time of his (or dare we say “her”?) fall. Read more
Some emails between Paul Tucker and Bob Diamond courtesy of John Mann MP. Not as explosive as billed but there is a Libor-headed email to Bob that makes reference to HSBC, RBS “Stuart”, “Johnny” and Mark Dearlove from May 2008.
Click through the pics for the full docs (although there ain’t that much more): Read more
HSBC came in for a kicking in the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations into anti-money laundering and exposure of the US financial system to drug and terrorism financing.
Some of this is old news; as the FT notes, HSBC has not been formally accused of wrongdoing in connection with the most recent investigation, but it has twice been ordered by US regulators to take action on deficient anti-money laundering practices. However investigation by the US Department of Justice, the US Treasury and the Manhattan district attorney, is under way into many of the allegations raised in the Senate report, and some analysts expect fines of up to $1bn to result. Read more