Looking back on 2013
We’re moving towards end of year mode, so it’s time to put a wrap on 2013. In the usual way, this is achieved by looking back over the year and seeing what news has hit the headlines; the key developments in commercial, retail and investment banking; and the big technology movements.
Let’s start with the big headlines of the year, which I monitor via Things worth reading. Every day, we send out the big news items of the day, and each day we see which one is viewed the most.
So here are the ten major headlines of 2013 that have been most viewed by the Financial Services Club community at large:
Number 10: RBS executive John Hourican tells colleagues 'not to waste my death', The Telegraph, 12 February
Royal Bank of Scotland's outgoing executive John Hourican has warned colleagues not to waste "my death" after ordering them to get angry over the Libor scandal that led to his resignation.
Number 9: The TSB – the history of a new bank with an old name, The Telegraph, 24 April
Lloyds has said that more than 600 of its branches will soon be part of a new high street bank that will trade under the TSB name. This brand has been around for more than 200 years in some form or another.
Number 8: Man who created own credit card sues bank for not sticking to terms, The Telegraph, 8 August
When Dmitry Argarkov was sent a letter offering him a credit card, he found the rates not to his liking. But he didn't throw the contract away or shred it. Instead, the 42-year-old from Voronezh, Russia, scanned it into his computer, altered the terms and sent it back to Tinkoff Credit Systems.
Number 7: Iceland's 'tenacity' lifts economy out of crisis, BBC, 7 January
Whisper it – Iceland's economy is on its way back. The frozen island on the edge of the Arctic, which had 10 straight quarters of shrinking GDP, is suddenly on a steady run of seven quarters of growth averaging at 2.5% per annum – something that few European countries can boast.
Being a porn star might not meet the approval of everyone you meet but you might think your bank manager would be one person who wouldn't have cause to complain. Adult film actress Chanel Preston has starred in close to 150 porn flicks and is well compensated for her time, but now it appears she is having trouble keeping a bank account.
A culture that developed in the City of London under which bankers accepted hospitality including strip club outings, holidays, prostitutes and even drugs from brokers helped created conditions under which the Libor rate could be fixed, it was claimed.
Number Four: HSBC eyes 14,000 job cuts as it looks for $3bn cost saving, The Telegraph, 15 May
I n a strategy update to investors, Britain’s largest bank said its global headcount could fall to as low as 240,000 by 2016, having been close to 300,000 just three years ago. Stuart Gulliver, chief executive of HSBC, said the bank had already achieved annual cost savings of $4bn since he took over running the bank in 2011.
Number Three: Barclays Wealth division 'out of control', says secret report, The Telegraph, 20 January
Barclays has moved swiftly to part company with a senior executive after investigators alleged that he shredded a highly critical analysis of the maverick culture and bullying at the bank's one-time flagship Barclays Wealth business.
Number Two: £750m sale of 632 Lloyds branches to Co-op collapses, The Independent, 24 April
After more than a year of negotiations the £750 million deal for the Co-op to buy more than 600 branches from taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group has collapsed. Lloyds said it will now float the 632 branches rebranded as TSB separately on the stock market. It will also have to rebrand its remaining 1200 branches, dropping the TSB name off the end.
Number One: All aboard for Europe's shrinking bank branch network, Reuters, 11 August
Banks have shut about 20,000 branches across Europe in the last four years, including 5,500 last year and 7,200 in 2011, according to a Reuters analysis of European Central Bank data. That represents the closure of about 8 percent of Europe's branches since the financial crisis, and the cull is expected to continue for many years.