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 […]

Continue Reading


Draghi: Eurozone will decline without vital productivity growth

It’s productivity, stupid. European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has become the latest major policymaker to warn of the long-term economic damage posed by chronically low productivity growth, as he urged eurozone governments to take action to lift growth and stoke innovation. Speaking in Madrid on Wednesday, Mr Draghi noted that productivity rises in the […]

Continue Reading


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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading


Barclays: life in the old dog yet

Barclays, a former basket case of British banking, is beginning to look inspiringly mediocre. The bank has failed Bank of England stress tests less resoundingly than Royal Bank of Scotland. Investors believe its assets are worth only 10 per cent less than their book value, judging from the share price. Although Barclays’s legal team have […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Banks, Financial

UK finance groups face cyber attack surge

Posted on September 21, 2016

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. One of the largest ever cyber attacks is slowing global internet services after an organisation blocking "spam" content became a target, with some experts saying the disruption could get worse. To match INTERNET-ATTACK/ REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files (POLAND - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTXXZVX©Reuters

The number of cyber attacks against financial services groups has soared in the past couple of years, with 75 attacks being reported to the City watchdog this year, compared with just five in all of 2014.

The 1,400 per cent leap in just two years, revealed by a senior official at the UK Financial Conduct Authority on Wednesday, underscores the size of the threat that the financial sector and its regulators are grappling with, particularly after high-profile attacks on the central bank of Bangladesh and related payment-system hacks, among others this year.

    “We know from firms’ reports to us that attacks are on the increase year-on-year — in 2014, we received five reports, in 2015, 27, and 75 so far in 2016. Whilst this significant increase indicates more attacks are occurring, this may also suggest better detection and great reporting to us on the part of the firms,” said Nausicaa Delfas, the FCA’s director of specialist supervision, at the FT’s Cyber Security Summit.

    The FCA’s statistics tally with others that describe a sharp increase in cyber attacks. PwC has previously reported that there had been a 45 per cent increase in the volume of attacks by organised criminal gangs.

    The FCA is stepping up its scrutiny of financial services’ defences against hacks beyond the large banks that have been subject to penetration testing overseen by the Bank of England, which the central bank has described as “close to mandatory”.

    Large lenders have already been put on notice that if their defences are weak, they could be forced to set aside more capital to cover the additional risk.

    The FCA is now turning its attention to a wider group of companies, no matter their size. All companies are obliged to inform the regulator about any known hacks and are expected to be able to identify them in a timely manner.

    “The reality is that even the smallest firm holds large quantities of sensitive data which, if compromised, could then have a ripple effect to other areas of the financial sector and, indeed, businesses more broadly,” Ms Delfas said.

    Special Report

    Cyber attack survival guide

    A close-up on an abstract design of a display, which is warning about a cyber attack

    What to expect, who to tell and how to limit the damage

    She predicted that the City would have to contend with increasing ransomware attacks — where malware installed on a system, normally through a bogus email, locks out users from accessing information, holding it to ransom — forecasting that these attacks will “significantly increase” over the next few years. Such attacks rose 35 per cent last year, according to Symantec.

    Ms Delfas also warned companies about outsourcing and storing data with cloud providers, warning that they “cannot outsource the associated responsibility for the risks”.

    You need JavaScript active on your browser in order to see this video.

    No video