Citi bankers to receive at least half their bonuses in cash
Citigroup is set to pay most of its investment bankers in Europe at least half of their bonuses in cash, as US banks push ahead with moves to hand star employees the most generous pay deals in the industry.
The news is likely to provide more evidence in what is becoming a fascinating case study, which may help settle a long-running debate about whether bankers really do defect to rivals purely for more money. European banks fear they are losing competitiveness after being hit by stricter rules on pay than their US counterparts.
Furious Backlash Forces HSBC To Scrap Large Cash Withdrawal Limit
The bank issued a statement (below) this morning defending their actions – it’s for your own good – but rescinding the decision – “following feedback, we are immediately updating guidance to our customer facing staff to reiterate that it is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals.” After all the last thing the bank, which over the past few years has been implicated in aiding an abetting terrorists and laundering pretty much anything, wants is an implied capital shortfall to become an all too explicit one.
Via HSBC – Statement On Large Cash Withdrawals
25 Jan 2014
As a responsible bank we ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of their account. Since last November, in some instances we may have also asked these customers to show us evidence of what the cash is required for. The reason being we have an obligation to protect our customers, and to minimise the opportunity for financial crime. Large cash transactions have inherent security issues and leave customers with very little protection should things go wrong, by asking customers the right questions, we can explore whether an alternative payment method might be safer and more convenient for them.
However, following feedback, we are immediately updating guidance to our customer facing staff to reiterate that it is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals, and on its own, failure to show evidence is not a reason to refuse a withdrawal. We apologise to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced.
Deutsche Bank AG : Deutsche Bank clears co-CEO Jain in internal Libor probe
Deutsche Bank has concluded co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain is clean after an internal investigation into the role of the bank into the manipulation of global interest rates, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported.
Citing supervisory board sources, the paper reported that the internal probe had cleared Jain of involvement in the Libor scandal after scrutinizing bank documents and interviewing hundreds of Deutsche Bank employees.
A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment.
BofA Swaps Desk Investigated by CFTC, DOJ, Filing Disclosed
Bank of America Corp.’s handling of futures trades has been investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to a regulatory filing in June.
The probe, reported earlier today by Reuters, was disclosed in a June 14 notice included in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority BrokerCheck report on Eric Alan Beckwith, a former employee of Bank of America and its Merrill Lynch subsidiary. Bill Halldin, a spokesman for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, declined to comment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina is examining “whether it was proper for the swaps desk to execute futures trades prior to the desk’s execution of block future trades on behalf of counterparties,” according to the filing, which cites the bank as the source of the information.
Authorities also are investigating whether Beckwith “provided accurate information” for a probe into the matter by CME Group Inc.’s Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The CFTC is conducting a parallel investigation, according to the filing.
Every time a TBTF bank releases its 10-Q, we head straight for the section, usually well over 100 pages in, that discloses the bank’s total profitable trading days.
This is what the most recent Bank of America 10-Q said on this topic:
The histogram below is a graphic depiction of trading volatility and illustrates the daily level of trading-related revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended June 30, 2013 and March 31, 2013. During the three months ended September 30, 2013, positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 97 percent, or 62 trading days, of which 69 percent (44 days) were daily trading gains of over $25 million and the largest loss was $21 million. These results can be compared to the three months ended June 30, 2013, where positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 89 percent, or 57 trading days, of which 67 percent (43 days) were daily trading gains of over $25 million and the largest loss was $54 million. During the three months ended March 31, 2013, positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 100 percent, or 60 trading days, of which 97 percent (58 days) were daily trading gains over $25 million.
In summary, so far in 2013, Bank of America lost money on 9 trading days out of a total 188.
Statistically, this result is absolutely ridiculous when one considers that the bulk of bank trading revenues are still in the form of prop positions disguised as “flow” trading to evade Volcker which means the only way a bank could make money with near uniform perfection is if it either i) consistently has inside information that it trades on or ii) it consistently front-runs its clients.
The most corrupt state(s) in America
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s indictment on charges that he accepted illegal gifts, vacations and loans from a major campaign contributor who sought special treatment is so shocking, in part, because McDonnell is the first governor in the history of the Commonwealth to face criminal charges. Unlike plenty of other states, Virginia doesn’t have a long history of scandals and ethics abuses.
Which states are more used to corruption? Well, depending on how you define corruption, it could be Florida, or Louisiana, or Tennessee, or New York, or Georgia. And then there’s the District of Columbia.
Here’s how each of the above won its dubious distinction:
Georgia: In March 2012, the Center for Public Integrity released a report tracking 330 separate ethics, transparency and accountability metrics in each state. The results showed Georgia had some of the laxest ethics rules in the country and lacked a strong ethics enforcement agency to enforce the laws on the books. More than 650 government employees accepted gifts from vendors doing business with the state between 2007 and 2008, the report showed.
Other big losers in the Center for Public Integrity study included South Carolina, Maine, Michigan, South Dakota, Wyoming — and, yes, Virginia. All seven states earned F grades.