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UK watchdogs fine Barclays CEO in whistleblower case; RBS settles with US DOJ

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week.

UK: Regulation & Brexit

* The Bank of England maintained its key interest rate at 0.5% in a 7-2 vote.

* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority have fined Barclays PLC CEO Jes Staley a total of £642,430 for his attempts to unmask a whistleblower. Meanwhile, Barclays' board has also decided to reduce the awarded value of Staley's 2016 variable compensation by £500,000.

* Britain's House of Lords approved a measure removing a proposed fixed Brexit date of March 29, 2019, by a vote of 311-233, from the draft law that will formalize the U.K. withdrawal from the EU, various media outlets reported.

Italian issues

* The Italian Treasury has started the process of getting approval from the European Commission for a six-month extension for its state-guarantee program for banks' nonperforming loans, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

* Shares in Italy's UniCredit SpA fell after news broke that London-based hedge fund Caius Capital LLP wrote to the European Banking Authority's Chair Andrea Enria claiming the bank had misclassified a significant part of its common equity Tier 1 capital for the past decade.

Earnings snapshot

* Dutch financial group ING Groep NV reported first-quarter net result of €1.23 billion, up 7.2% from €1.14 billion in the same period of 2017.

* In Denmark, Nykredit Realkredit A/S and Jyske Bank A/S reported first-quarter group net profit attributable to shareholders of 1.61 billion Danish kroner and 579 million kroner, respectively, down from 2.29 billion kroner and 957 million kroner, a year earlier.

* In Portugal, Millennium BCP reported first-quarter group net income attributable to shareholders of €85.6 million, up from €50.1 million in the same period of 2017.

* In Italy, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA reported first-quarter net income after minority interests of €1.25 billion, up from €901 million in the year-ago period. UniCredit SpA's net profit attributable to the group rose to €1.11 billion in the first quarter from €907 million a year earlier.

* Türkiye Halk Bankasi AS reported first-quarter net income of 790 million Turkish lira, down 35.2% from 1.22 billion lira in the same period of 2017.

* Greek lender Piraeus Bank SA reported a first-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders from continuing operations of €80 million, compared to a break-even result in the year-ago period.

Aareal Bank AG, Credito Valtellinese SpA, Banco BPM SpA, ABANCA Corporación Bancaria SA, BPER Banca SpA and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA also reported their first-quarter earnings.

U.S. regulator disciplines European banks

* The U.S. Department of Justice is considering whether to press charges against the former CEO of Rabobank's U.S. arm Rabobank NA, John Ryan, among others who are suspected of trying to cover up deficiencies in anti-money-laundering processes, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC has agreed in-principle with the U.S. DOJ to pay a civil penalty of $4.9 billion to settle the watchdog's investigation into the alleged misselling of U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities.

Executive moves

* French lender Natixis appointed Kevin Alexander as deputy CEO of its corporate and investment banking business in the Americas, Reuters reported. The bank also named John-Charles van Essche as its new global head of restructuring and workout, replacing Carol Le Chevallier, Thomson Reuters LPC reported.

* Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. President and CEO Barry Bausano is set to leave the business, where he also oversaw relationships with hedge fund clients, Deutsche Bank AG said in an internal memo.

* SG Corporate & Investment Banking named Alexandre Fleury head of equities and equity derivatives within its global markets division, effective June 1. Fleury previously served as global head of equities structured products and structured financing at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

* Stefan Schmittmann was elected chairman of Commerzbank AG's supervisory board, the German lender said. Schmittmann, who has previously served as the bank's chief risk officer, succeeds Klaus-Peter Müller, who was named honorary chairman of Commerzbank's supervisory board.

* UBS Group AG recruited Marco Illy from Credit Suisse Group AG to become its investment banking head for Switzerland, beginning in December, finews.com reported.

In other news

* The European Central Bank imposed a €1.6 million administrative penalty on Spain's Banco de Sabadell SA for breaching own-funds requirements for its buyback of common equity Tier 1 notes.

* Standard Life Aberdeen PLC said it is in dispute resolution talks with Lloyds Banking Group PLC and its unit Scottish Widows Group Ltd. regarding the termination of long-term asset management arrangements between the three parties.

* ABLV Bank AS and its largest shareholders asked the EU Court of Justice to review previous decisions by the ECB and the Single Resolution Board that the Latvia-based lender said forced its shareholders to decide on its voluntary liquidation.

* Spanish lender CaixaBank SA plans to delist and take full ownership of Banco BPI SA after it agreed to acquire Allianz Group's 8.425% stake in the Portuguese lender for roughly €178.0 million.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

UK 'challenger' banks' financials in focus following CYBG-Virgin Money deal news: Chart Watch: CYBG, Virgin Money and several other challenger banks saw improvements in fiscal-year 2017 profits, while Secure Trust Bank reported a lower bottom line compared to 2016.

Large European banks face £50M costs to comply with new EU data rules: The biggest banks could spend £50 million or more to make sure they comply with the EU's upcoming General Data Protection Regulation.

Data Dispatch EMEA: Deal on misselling paves way for RBS privatization but taxpayer still faces loss: Chart Watch: RBS moved closer to reprivatization following a long-awaited settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over residential mortgage-backed securities misselling.

French bank cap set to slow lending, but long-term impact may be positive: French authorities are worried that the credit market is overheating and are taking measures to limit banks' exposure to highly indebted companies, which could slow the pace of lending in the second half of 2018 but have a positive long-term impact.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.