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Financial Times (July 22)

2020/ 07/ 24 by jd in Global News

“As their booming share prices testify, technology groups have been brimming over with new business during the pandemic. For banks, there has been a special tech awakening…. After years of foot-dragging, many have been abandoning their cautious approach to cloud-based services and signing up with gusto to outsource their storage of data and other activities that demand high-intensity computing power.”

 

Responsible Investor (June 9)

2020/ 06/ 11 by jd in Global News

“Only in finance can a product lose 24% of its value and be celebrated as success. Since traditional benchmarks have lost more than ESG funds since the beginning of the year, ESG is feted by some as a success, a ‘refuge’.” Kudos, however, are not in order. “The rude fact is that, on the whole, ESG risk management frameworks did not prepare us for the inevitability of the pandemic. They did not help investors and banks anticipate the crisis, nor how to navigate it. The pandemic is a failure of mainstream risk management frameworks. Sadly, it is also a failure of ESG risk management frameworks.”

 

Reuters (May 14)

2020/ 05/ 15 by jd in Global News

Banks mainly seem to be provisioning for consumer debt, but “bad-debt risks could easily spread beyond consumer finance. Commercial real estate could face a brutal reckoning if white-collar workers in major cities decide not to return to the office when lockdowns lift.” When stimulus measures wind down, it will leave “over-indebted small and medium-sized enterprises vulnerable. Mass unemployment would lead to increased mortgage defaults.”

 

American Banker (November 5)

2019/ 11/ 07 by jd in Global News

“The closing of three banks in the span of a week should be viewed as a reason to exercise caution — though it is too early to expect a run of failures. Regulators shuttered City National Bank of New Jersey, Louisa Community Bank and Resolute Bank between Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. It had been four years since two banks failed on the same day.”

 

Barron’s (September 12)

2019/ 09/ 14 by jd in Global News

“Be careful what you wish for when calling for zero or negative interest rates, Mr. President.” There’s a downside and the results are not inspiring. “The record of negative rates in the euro zone, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, and Japan has been mixed…. While bond yields have fallen below zero, banks been reluctant to impose negative rates on depositors, resulting in a squeeze on their profits.”

 

Wall Street Journal (September 5)

2019/ 09/ 07 by jd in Global News

“A decade after fueling a crisis that nearly brought down the global financial system, America’s banks are ruling it. They earned 62% of global investment-banking fees last year, up from 53% in 2011.” In 2018, “U.S. banks took home $7 of every $10 in merger fees, $6 of every $10 in stock commissions, and $6 of every $10 paid to hold and move corporate cash.”

 

Bloomberg (June 10)

2019/ 06/ 12 by jd in Global News

“Pity Europe’s banks. For years, they have been in retreat, losing business in their own back yards to Wall Street rivals. Now the battlefront is shifting – but what looks like an opportunity to gain ground may be just the opposite…. Shackled by sluggish economic growth at home and record-low interest rates that are crushing margins, European firms have been unable to compete with U.S. rivals in trading and capital markets. Those same dynamics look set to play out again in transaction banking,” which is set to displace fixed income as the largest revenue driver by 2020.

 

Reuters (August 16)

2018/ 08/ 19 by jd in Global News

“Banks still have to work to rebuild public trust, despite years of restructuring and paying fines and compensation for misbehaviour.” A YouGov survey found that “66 percent of adults in Britain do not trust banks to work in the best interests of society.”

 

Washington Post (August 14)

2018/ 08/ 16 by jd in Global News

“Even in a world where the United States’ military and diplomatic power seems to be in retreat, there is an element of the U.S.-led order that’s as strong as ever — our dominance of the global economy.” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey “may think he can bluff his way through the Brunson crisis, but Turkish banks, construction companies and bondholders know better. In the still-global economy, going it alone really isn’t an option… This summer, as ever, we sink or swim together.”

 

South China Morning Post (April 2)

2018/ 04/ 03 by jd in Global News

Banks and regulators in China have engaged in a delicate dance between reducing non-performing loans (NPLs) and maintaining profits. “That’s why the NPL ratios of the nation’s key banks all hover at about the same level–now around 1.7 per cent of loans,”  though “Fitch estimates that the real ratio could be as high as 20 per cent, implying total NPLs of 19 trillion yuan (US$3 trillion).” But the regulator is now becoming more demanding in NPL reduction and unforgiving of gimmicks previously employed to hide NPLs. “Given Beijing’s focus on the stability of the financial system, the flow of NPLs into the market should pick up considerably in the next two to three years, providing ample opportunity for new investors.”

 

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