Bank of America, which is trying to board on to banking after battling through several legal and mortgage troubles, on Wednesday said that its second-quarter profit more than doubled from previous year's profit.
Profit posted by the Bank of America even surpassed analysts' expectations. But analysts cautioned that although the good results reflect progress in cutting expenses, drop was also seen in litigation costs and other one-time items, like adjustments to the value of certain debt holdings, thanks to a rise in interest rates in the quarter.
According to reports, British lender Barclays' shares have been affected by heavy fines because of past misconduct in addition to a strategic drift. Now, the bank has expelled its Chief Executive Antony Jenkins after three years of his joining as executive.
The bank said that it believes that the new appointment would help speed up change in strategies at the bank and enhance shareholder returns.
According to analysts at brokerage Shore Capital, "This announcement was not something that we have expected, but given John McFarlane's history as a 'hands-on' chairman, it is perhaps not a big surprise". They said in a note that the decision will only prove good if it acts as a way for an increased improvement in financial performance of Barclays.
Federal banking regulators said in a statement that 12 largest banks of the United States have resubmitted their plans for navigating a bankruptcy that would not require a taxpayer bailout.
This is the third time that banks were forced to resubmit their plans, which clearly details their strategy for a rapid and orderly bankruptcy as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) said Monday that they will start review of their new plans as soon as possible.
The Export-Import Bank charter expires on Tuesday for the first time since it was created to help United States businesses during depression to export their products.
The bank on which several local companies were dependant has to face the situation as congress failed to renew the bank's charter because of opposition from Republicans who say it amounts to corporate welfare.
The federal Export-Import Bank's principal role is to guarantee commercial bank loans made to foreign businesses to buy US products. The bank also makes direct loans and provides export credit insurance to protect against losses to companies from non-repayment of loans.
The Bank of International Settlements has stated that central banks have used almost all of their tactics to tackle the last crises. Therefore, if the next global financial crisis comes then they will not be able to tackle it.
Bank of International Settlements has assessed the conditions in its annual report. Central banks have repeatedly slashed interest rates in order to save their economies.
Claudio Borio, head of the organization’s monetary and economic department, said, “Persistent exceptionally low rates reflect the central banks’ and market participants’ response to the unusually weak post-crisis recovery as they fumble in the dark in search of new certainties”.
Federal regulators have imposed restrictions on the mortgage businesses of six banks. The restrictions were announced on Wednesday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) against JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, US Bank, HSBC, Santander and EverBank.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) imposed restrictions on the mortgage-servicing operations of six banks who failed to fully comply with enforcement orders related to past home foreclosure abuses.
The penalties on the six banks involve restrictions on mortgage-servicing operations, including limits on the banks' ability to acquire residential mortgage-servicing rights or outsource their existing mortgage-servicing rights.
HSBC has reduced its one and two-year fixed home loan rates to 4.95%. Last day, they made a cut to the official cash rate.
Though the rate has been dropped, there are some conditions as well. Borrowers need to be HSBC Premier customers. It means that they should be having at least combined home loan of $500,000 or $1000 in savings and investment with the bank.
People should be having a deposit of minimum 20 or 30% if it is the case of new investment lending in Auckland.
Earlier, the bank's one and two-year fixed rates were set at 5.20 and 5.30%. The bank also announced it has dropped its floating rate to 6.60% from 6.84%. It has also cut its revolving credit rate from 6.99% to 6.75%.
US banks are soon coming up with a big change. They are working on a concept of replacing old magnetic strip credit and debit cards with new type of cards. These new cards have computer chips allowing the storage of account data more securely.
Magnetic strip card is almost five decades old technology. Majority of the nations have changed the technology, but in the US it is still present and its benefit is taken by thieves. A data stated that almost 50% of the credit card frauds take place in America.
The British bank HSBC said on Tuesday that it will lay off nearly 50,000 jobs as it is selling its several underperforming businesses.
The bank said that it would eliminate 22,000 to 25,000 full-time jobs, or about 10 % of its work force, by the end of 2017.
The bank has said it is also planning to reduce it head count by another 25,000 through the sale of its underperforming businesses in Turkey and Brazil.
It is also looking forward to increase its investment in Asia, where it generates more than half of its earnings.
The bank said it would complete a review of whether to move its headquarters from Britain by the end of the year.
Swiss financial services giant UBS said that it is in advanced talks with the US Department of justice to settle allegations that it attempted to rig foreign exchange markets.
The Zurich headquartered bank has been investigated in the US and around the world for possible market manipulations.
It has been told that UBS has already suspended at least five traders in relation to the allegations.
The current UBS allocations to cover settlements with the Departments of Justice and other authorities are adequate, said UBS in its quarterly results.
It reported a pre-tax profit of 1.98bn Swiss francs for the first three months of the year, more than double for the same period last year and beating analysts' expectations'.
A Los Angeles lawsuit that echoed a Times investigation has revealed that rigid sales quotas at Wells Fargo Bank has driven employees to open unauthorized accounts for customers.
The civil complaint was filed on Monday in state court in Los Angele by City Atty. Mike Feuer stated that the largest California-based bank encouraged its employees to engage 'in unfair, unlawful and fraudulent conduct through a pervasive culture of high-pressure sales.
The lawsuit alleged that the employees misused customers' confidential information and often failed to close unauthorized accounts even after customers complained about the issue.
Some employees even raided client accounts for money to open additional accounts, the suit alleges.
Westpac, an Australian bank and financial-services provider, is going to apply tougher tests to new property investor borrowers while assessing how they would manage with higher interest rates in response to regulators' attempts to prevent the housing market from overheating.
The bank is also tightening its lending to foreign investors in housing because banks have pressure to slow the booming growth in investor home loans. The country's second-largest bank provided information about how the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's actions to slow investor credit growth are affecting bank lending practices.
According to the British bank Barclays, its first-quarter profit dropped 52% mainly due to legal costs that mainly related to investigations into the possible manipulation of foreign currency trading markets.
Barclays has taken other legal provisions of 800 million pounds in the quarter for potential fines and litigation costs. These costs were related to the currency market investigation that is still ongoing. According to Barclays, it took £1.03 billion in total litigation and conduct costs in the quarter.
German banking and financial services company Deutsche Bank has planned to reduce annual costs by about 3.5 billion euros. In addition, the bank has decided to cut back its ownership in the Postbank consumer unit.
In a statement on Monday, the company headquartered in the Deutsche Bank Twin Towers in Frankfurt stated that the bank has targeted to achieve a return on tangible equity of about 10% in the medium term. As per plan, the company will reduce its local presence and number of countries by about 15% by 2020.
Goldman Sachs Group has reported surge in its quarterly earnings for the first quarter. According to the investment banking and financial services major, it has registered the best quarterly profit in five years. The company gained from trading bonds and currencies as global market rose and fell in the first quarter of 2013.
According to reports, trading volume improved after the Swiss central bank scrapped a cap on the franc, the United States Federal Reserve moved to tighten monetary policy and the European Central Bank announced about its quantitative easing program.
According to recent earnings report shared by Bank of America, during the first three months of the current year, the financial services major has earned a profit of $3.4 billion. The latest results mark a turnaround from the loss, which was reported by the bank a year ago, when much higher legal costs were posted by it.
During the first quarter, the bank reported lower revenue since its income dropped in four of its five business segments. However, it also posted much lower legal expenses compared to a year ago. During that time, an agreement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency led to adverse results on one time charge.
Fair Issac, the company that provides credit scores, is coming up with a new score especially for those who currently do not have the same. The program will be rolled out in next few months making it easier to get a Visa or MasterCard.
On Thursday, FICO announced that it will launch a pilot program to help a number of Americans to have an easy access to credit. Basis of the same will the record of paying utility bills and not the history of loan repayments.
It is estimated that the reach of the program will be massive. It has been said so as around 53 million Americans do not have FICO scores created by the company Fair Isaac. It is vital as 90% of the lending decisions are based on that score.
The New York Federal Reserve officials who have been tasked to determine the interest rates have been meeting with bankers and traders to plan their next course of action.
Officials are facing troubles due to uncertainty over how much control interest rate will actually have over short-term lending markets.
Simon Potter and his team of market experts have been assigned with a tough task to assign higher rates using some new and lightly tested tools. They will be operated under the intense market scrutiny that is centered on the prospects of the world's biggest economy. Testing new methods means sweeping up several trillions of dollars of reserves from financial markets, said experts.
There is a question about when policy makers of the Federal Reserve System will raise interest rates. But before that question, it is important to know if the policy makers have figured out how to do that. And the answer is: they haven't quite figured it out.
Since 2008 financial crisis, the United States central bank has been trying to control near-term borrowing costs, but in that case, the central bank has faced troubles. While the bank's main new tool has enabled the Federal Reserve System to exert more influence over money-market rates in the last year, experts at investment banking companies like Barclays to Goldman Sachs said that the bank's program is too small to stop rates from falling.
Bank of New York Mellon has agreed to pay $714 million to settle federal and state allegations. The allegations are that the bank defrauded pension funds and other clients by wrongly representing how it managed their foreign exchange transactions.
According to the US Department of Justice and New York's top legal official, the investment services and management company said that it wrongly informed customers that it would give them the `best rates' available in a process. The process was designed to maximize the proceeds of every trade in the foreign currency exchange market.