Financial

Hard-hit online lender CAN Capital makes executive changes

The biggest online lender to small businesses in the US has pulled down the shutters and put its top managers on a leave of absence, in the latest blow to an industry grappling with mounting fears over credit quality. Atlanta-based CAN Capital said on Tuesday that it had replaced a trio of senior executives, after […]

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Banks

BoE stress tests: all you need to know

The Bank of England has released the results of its latest round of its annual banking stress tests and its semi-annual financial stability report this morning. Used to measure the resilience of a bank’s balance sheet in adverse scenarios, the stress tests measured the impact of a severe slowdown in Chinese growth, a global recession […]

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Property

Zoopla wins back customers from online property rival

Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman has branded rival OnTheMarket “a failed experiment”, and said that his property site was winning back customers at a record rate. OnTheMarket was set up last year, aiming to compete with Zoopla and Rightmove, the UK’s two biggest property portals. It allowed estate agents to list their properties more cheaply […]

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Currencies

Asia markets tentative ahead of Opec meeting

Wednesday 2.30am GMT Overview Markets across Asia were treading cautiously on Wednesday, following mild overnight gains for Wall Street, a weakening of the US dollar and as investors turned their attention to a meeting between Opec members later today. What to watch Oil prices are in focus ahead of Wednesday’s Opec meeting in Vienna. The […]

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Banks, Financial

RBS emerges as biggest failure in tough UK bank stress tests

Royal Bank of Scotland has emerged as the biggest failure in the UK’s annual stress tests, forcing the state-controlled lender to present regulators with a new plan to bolster its capital position by at least £2bn. Barclays and Standard Chartered also failed to meet some of their minimum hurdles in the toughest stress scenario ever […]

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Categorized | Banks

Greybull Capital in steelworks rescue


Posted on April 22, 2016

This file photo taken on March 31, 2016 shows the sun rising above Tata Steel's blast furnaces at their Scunthorpe Plant in north east England. The British government on April 21, 2016 offered "hundreds of millions of pounds" in financial support for potential buyers of crisis-hit Tata Steel's UK operations and said it could even buy up to a quarter of the company.©AFP

Greybull Capital: British fabrication

City Insider

The news that Greybull Capital is swooping to the rescue of one of the UK’s biggest steelworks was cheered by staff in the sector. Tata Steel of India has agreed to offload its struggling European long products unit, which is based in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, to the family investment firm. Not only does the deal offer a lifeline to 4,800 mostly UK-based employees. Greybull has also pledged to resurrect the British Steel name — spawned almost 50 years ago to unite and nationalise Britain’s 14 big steelmakers. That’s a slick marketing wheeze. But the workers at Scunthorpe are about the only British thing about the rescue. Greybull is the family office of the French-born Meyohas family, who made their fortune in finance, and the Swedish Perlhagens, who made their money in medicines. Greybull itself is named after a town near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. A tad more glamorous than the chimneys of Scunthorpe.

António Horta Osório, Group Chief Executive (CEO) of Lloyds Banking Group, addresses delegates at the British Chambers of Commerce in central London on February 10, 2015.©AFP

António Horta Osório: Next challenge

At HSBC’s annual meeting on Friday, succession planning tops the agenda for shareholders. Douglas Flint is expected to be replaced as chairman within a year, and the bank is likely to seek a successor to CEO Stuart Gulliver the following year. Gulliver, the boss since 2011, has said he plans to see through his “pivot to Asia” strategy to the end of 2017. After that, pressure from investors may mean it breaks with its tradition of plotting succession internally. Henri de Castries, Axa’s outgoing boss, joined HSBC as a non-executive director last month. He’s the favourite to succeed Flint. As far as the CEO succession goes, might António Simoes, the European head and an option for the role if it was to go to an insider, give way to a rival António. City Insider hears fellow Portuguese banker António Horta Osório, currently head of Lloyds and a popular figure among investors, may see 2018 as a good time to move to his next challenge.

Britain's ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould visits the site where a Grad rocket fired by Palestinian militants hit in a residential area in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2011 as two Grad rockets fired by Gaza militants slammed into Beersheva, a day after two deadly Israeli raids killed eight Gazans.©AFP

Matthew Gould: Cyber man

The hazy world of cyber security is all the murkier when government gets involved. Last August, the Cabinet Office appointed high-flying diplomat Matthew Gould — until then UK ambassador to Israel — to the role of cyber security director. The job made him a key go-between linking government cyber policy to the City of London and the broader business world. Over the past year or two, cyber has overtaken the likes of credit risk and market risk as a key concern for financiers, though of late has been upstaged by Brexit fears. How appropriate, then, that Gould moved — barely six months into his cyber job — to head the anti-Brexit “referendum unit”. City Insider hears Gould, dubbed the government’s Scaremonger General, will not return to the cyber job. So it’s official. Brexit risk beats cyber risk even after June’s poll.

Chris Saul: Legal high

To the Saatchi Gallery, where Magic Circle law firm Slaughter and May threw a party last Thursday for popular retiring senior partner Chris Saul and his successor, Steve Cooke. As a backdrop for the evening, Saul, a rock fan and inveterate festival goer, had picked Exhibitionism: an immersive exhibition with over 500 original Rolling Stones artefacts. In Keith Richards’ autobiography “Life”, the star recalls that “for many years I slept, on average, twice a week. This means I have been conscious for at least three lifetimes.” The legal eagles admired his stamina. One partygoer joked: “He ought to have been a corporate lawyer.” Keith must be kicking himself.