Home / Blog Index / The Finanser’s Week: 28th May – 10th June 2012

The Finanser’s Week: 28th May – 10th June 2012

Our biggest stories of the past fortnight are …

Is the Queen worth it?

After two days of a jublicious love-in for our Queen, you have to ask: is she really worth it? And, according to British Airways Business Life Magazine, the answer is a resounding yes. The article discusses how much the Queen costs the economy …

Russia's greatest challenge is still to come

Just spent a few days in Moscow. It’s my third visit here, and each time I find the country intriguing, enlightening, engaging and frustrating. By way of example, the society is still very rules-based but everyone ignores the rules because… 

Dropping guano on the Angry Banker

Whilst in Russia last week, I was lucky enough to be there when good friend Daniel Gusev launched a new bank initiative for OJSC Promsvyazbank (PSB). PSB is a privately-owned universal commercial bank. Founded in 1995, PSB currently ranks 10th…

Toxic Debt or Credit Crunch: the App

I was just alerted to a new game app for the iPad and iPhone on the iTunes store. It’s called “Toxic Debt or Credit Crunch”. I downloaded the app and started playing it just to make sure it’s real. The…

The only solution for the euro: full fiscal and financial union

I’m desperate to be positive about Europe, the European Union, the Eurozone and the European Community.  I’ve been an advocate of Europe to a certain degree, as it’s been my main focal point for over a decade in finance: building the Eurozone, the Single Euro Payments Area, the implementation of MiFID and EMIR, the whole Financial Services Action Plan thingamajing, but …

Why the branch vs branchless debate is futile

I’ve been struck by many nuances of culture and creed lately. There are many examples, but it all comes down to dealing with the customer as a unique entity, not some mass market. For example, why does Spain have so…

This house believes the City is rife with greed and corruption

Thirty years ago, Gordon Gecko delivered his memorable speech in Wall Street that ended with three little words: “Greed is good”. Greed is good. It’s a theme that has rippled through my blog and presentations ever since as, in banking,… 

Clearing & Settlement: a coagulation of regulation

Yesterday marked another milestone in the progress of the Clearing & Settlement Working Group (CAS-WG), with our second plenary meeting. This time it was held at the London Stock Exchange … … and discussed the progress of the four Subject…

Banks take IT efficiency gains in bonus payments

As mentioned, we had a keynote presentation at the Financial Services Club from Andrew Haldane, Executive Director responsible for Financial Stability with the Bank of England, last week. The presentation was delivered under the Chatham House Rule, so I cannot…

Things worth reading, the European View (8)

This week's view from Europe, courtesy of Edith Rigler:

  • Michel Barnier advocates EU banking union – Business Week, 29 May 2012
  • Inflation down across eurozone and the EU – Eurostat, April 2012
  • Commission launches 'Your First EURES job' project to help young people find jobs -European Commission , 21 May 2012
  • Harsh criticism of Deutsche Bank for its alarming investments -  Bankmagazin, 31 May 2012
  • No credit squeeze for German medium-sized businesses, despite the euro crisis – Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau, 31 May 2012


The major general news stories of the past fortnight include 




UK banks sitting on £40bn of undeclared losses – The Telegraph
Britain's banks are sitting on a £40bn black hole of undeclared losses, which could force RBS back to the taxpayer for another rescue, warns PIRC.

British banks among the most unprofitable in the world – The Telegraph
The British banking industry was the second most unprofitable in the world in 2011, according to an analysis of lenders in major economies.

RBS share price to jump but don't get excited, it's only a share consolidaton – The Telegraph
It might not quite be the way the taxpayer would have wanted it, but from Wednesday Royal Bank of Scotland's share price will return to a level more suitable to one of Britain's largest lenders.

RBS shareholders will never recover money they lost - The Telegraph
Shareholders in Royal Bank of Scotland will never recover the money they lost in the wake of the lender's collapse more than three years ago, according to the taxpayer-backed bank's chairman.

RBS faces $100m action after trader caught lying - The Telegraph
Royal Bank of Scotland is facing a $100m (£64m) court battle in America over allegations it lied to clients and committed fraud.

Government 'damaged' Barclays with disclosure on £500m tax avoidance scheme - The Telegraph
Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has attacked the Government for causing the bank "unnecessary damage" in its handling of a multi-million pound tax row.

Speculation grows on Marks & Spencer bank launch plans – The Independent
Speculation was growing today that Marks & Spencer is planning to shake up the financial services industry by launching a chain of bank branches.

NBNK gets approval to buy Lloyds branches – The Telegraph
NBNK's bid to buy 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group and create a major competitor to Britain's established high street lenders has got approval from the Financial Services Authority.




'No countries ready to join euro' - BBC
The European Central Bank says that none of the eight countries that are supposed to join the euro are ready yet.

Spain caves in to market pressure and asks Europe for bank bailout – The Independent
Spain dropped its opposition to external funding and for the first time yesterday appealed to Europe for help in overcoming its worsening financial crisis, after Germany proposed a banking union to stabilise the Continent's economy and ease eurozone turmoil.

Günter Grass attacks Merkel for Athens policy - The Independent
The world's leaders and economists, having put in their euro's worth on Greece and currency union – to no great discernible effect, so far – yesterday, one of the planet's most respected literary figures joined in. Germany's Nobel literature laureate Günter Grass criticised the treatment of Greece in the debt

Qatar goes on European shopping spree - The Telegraph
While most investors have either been choking back the tears or avoiding the beleaguered, recession-hit eurozone, one wealthy Arabian emirate has been on a trolley dash.

Ancient Greek solution for debt crisis – BBC
How the Ancient Greeks would solve the financial crisis




Hedge fund 'liar' fined record £3m and banned - The Independent
A London hedge fund manager accused by the Financial Services Authority of lying to investors about "catastrophic losses" has been fined a record £3m by the watchdog.

City lawyer jailed afterstealing £1.2m - The Independent
A senior City lawyer has been jailed for three years after stealing £1.2m from his former firm Hogan Lovells through travel expenses.

Revealed: Saudi royals'secret $1bn US empire – The Independent
A secret $1bn US property empire amassed by members of the Saudi royal family is the subject of a bitter legal dispute that threatens to reveal the extent of the family's American business interests.

Anger over Lagarde's tax-free salary - The Independent
It was called her "Let them eat cake" moment. Now Greece will be saying: "Make her pay tax".




The banks that are too complex to exist – Financial Times
The real danger is that financial institutions and markets are becoming “too big to understand” – and thus need to be shrunk and simplified

VIDEO: Is it possible to live on mobile money? - BBC
BBC Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tries to live without cash for a few days using just mobile phone payment applications instead.

Vampire Squid tweets from the shallows – The Independent
Breaking news on Goldman Sachs: a space shuttle is floating past the bank's Manhattan headquarters.


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About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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