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Friday, 20th July 2018

Financial Services Briefing



Prepare for hard Brexit, FCA tells banks

Nausicaa Delfas, head of international strategy at the Financial Conduct Authority, has warned Britain's banks and insurers to plan for a "hard" Brexit in case a transition period is not in place next March. Speaking at an event organised by TheCityUK, she said: "Across the FCA, together with colleagues from the Bank of England and the government, we have been working to develop a number of safeguards and contingencies, in the event of a hard Brexit, to ensure that day one works smoothly".

Daily Mail Financial Times


WH Ireland boss to step down

Cantor Fitzgerald's head of fixed income in Europe Phillip Wale is to replace WH Ireland boss Richard Killingbeck, who is standing down at the end of the month. WH Ireland has reported that revenue rose 7.5% on an annualised basis, though changes to the business resulted in a £1.6m loss for the period.

City AM Evening Standard





Two former traders jailed in Euribor rate-rigging case

Two former traders have been jailed for plotting to rig the Euribor global interest rate. Former Deutsche Bank employee Christian Bittar was sentenced to five years and four months. Philippe Moryoussef, a former Barclays trader, was sentenced to eight years after a jury unanimously convicted him last week. The Serious Fraud Office said it would seek a retrial of three former Barclays traders after the jury failed to reach a verdict following the 11-week trial.

City AM The Daily Telegraph Financial Times The Times


HK regulator fines HSBC

Hong Kong’s securities regulator has fined a local unit of HSBC HK$9.6m (£940m) for systemic deficiencies in its bond selling practices. The Securities and Futures Commission said HSBC Broking Securities (Asia) did not conduct proper and adequate product due diligence on individual bonds before making recommendations to its clients, and did not have an effective system in place to assess its clients’ risk profile and to ensure that its recommendations were suitable and reasonable.

Daily Mail Financial Times


Whistleblower wins Royal Bank of Canada case

An employment tribunal has ruled that John Banerjee, a former City trader at Royal Bank of Canada turned whistleblower, was unfairly dismissed after he raised concerns about compliance. The tribunal stated: "Using his late arrival at work as a pretext, the bank sacked the claimant. The main reason for his dismissal was his public interest disclosure." The firm has defended its actions, saying it disagreed with the ruling.

The Times Financial Times


FCA’s Bailey receives £75,000 bonus

Despite criticism over his handling of scandals at RBS and Co-op Bank, Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, received a £75,000 bonus in 2017.

Daily Mail


Sabadell agrees €3.9bn sale of property portfolio to Cerberus

Spain’s Banco Sabadell is to sell most its real estate portfolio to private equity investor Cerberus in a €3.9bn deal. This comes after a €7bn deal which saw Lone Star buy much of CaixaBank’s portfolio.

Financial Times


Post-crisis repairs still needed at European banks

Gillian Tett, writing in the Financial Times, discusses US and European banks’ respective performance ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse.

Financial Times





Edmonds says advertisement insults Lloyds Bank victims

Former Deal or No Deal host Noel Edmonds has said Countdown presenter Rachel Riley is "insulting" fraud victims by appearing in a Lloyds Bank television advertising campaign. Mr Edmonds, who is seeking £60m in damages following a fraud at an HBOS branch in Reading, subsequently taken over by Lloyds Banking Group, wrote: "Apparently Rachel has been paid £20,000 to lend her name to the campaign. Lloyds Bank is responsible for the destruction of lives and livelihoods on a military scale."

Independent I Daily Mail





MoneySupermarket looks to mortgage market

MoneySupermarket is investing £1m in Podium, a start-up aimed at digitising the process of taking out a mortgage. The Times notes that the move, a 50/50 joint venture with entrepreneurs Matt Denman and Mark Hawkins, puts MoneySupermarket in competition with fintech firms such as Trussle, Habito and Dynamo, who are also developing digital mortgage broking services.

The Times Financial Times





Blackstone prepares for fundraising round

Exceeding analysts’ expectations with a second-quarter $1.1bn profit, Blackstone has signalled the beginning of a “fundraising supercycle”, with net economic income up 56%.

Financial Times City AM


Mifid leads to BofA analyst departures

As Mifid markets regulations affect investment bank research departments, at least 24 analysts have left Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s London office this year, with many joining asset managers.

Financial Times





One in 10 retiring this year ‘plan to withdraw all their pension pot’

One in 10 people retiring this year expect to withdraw their entire pension savings pot as a single lump sum, a survey has found. This could cause a shock tax bill for some of the 10% planning to take out the whole amount, according to Prudential, which made the findings. Stan Russell, of Prudential, said: "Those taking all their fund in cash not only face paying more tax but put their security at risk." The study also reveals that one in five will get slapped with tax bills for withdrawing more than their 25% tax-free sum.

Daily Mirror Yorkshire Post


MPs urged not to ditch pensions dashboard plan

The Association of British Insurers has written to the Commons' work and pensions select committee urging it to ensure that the new pensions dashboard initiative is not abandoned.

Financial Times





First-timers lead the market

The Lloyds Bank Homemover Review shows that the proportion of first-time buyers buying homes has overtaken the number of existing homeowners moving house for the first time since 1995. The report, which only looks at properties bought with a mortgage, shows that the first half of 2018 saw 170,000 home-movers and 175,500 first-time buyers. Andrew Mason, of Lloyds, said: “Despite continuing low mortgage rates, the home-mover market has stabilised in the first half of this year to leave first-time buyers now driving housing activity.”

Daily Mail The Times The Daily Telegraph The Scotsman


Buyers misled into using in-house brokers

Consumer watchdog Which? says a number of estate agents are misleading homebuyers into using their in-house mortgage brokers. Three out of ten high street estate agents told researchers posing as first-time buyers that using their in-house mortgage broker would make a difference to the property purchase.

Daily Mail


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