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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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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Categorized | Financial

City Insider: Goldman banker makes time for the kids

Posted on November 25, 2016

Michael Sherwood: Greenhouse leave

Michael Sherwood does a good line in looking bored and impatient in meetings. But he has stayed the course at Goldman Sachs. Woody announced his retirement this week after 30 years at the bank, latterly as co-head of GS International. Inevitably his exit, aged 50, begged the question: why now? He says he’d had enough of the 6am-10pm days. But other factors were in the background. Senior colleagues did not like Woody’s involvement with Sir Philip Green, who notoriously owned, then sold, the BHS department store group. Emails had been exchanged with Green and his team despite Goldman having no paid-for mandate — landing Woody with an embarrassing parliamentary committee summons to explain his actions. At least the banker-cum-table-tennis enthusiast will now have more time for his extracurricular interests, principally supporting the Greenhouse sports-for-kids charity he helped set up and where he remains a trustee. “I bought an old church building in Marylebone and gave it to Greenhouse,” he tells City Insider. “It’s a £25m project.” Within a few months, the building should reopen as a sports hall targeted at deprived children. Sherwood will also be busy as a governor at the Harefield Academy and on the board of the Serpentine gallery. The only snag for his collaborators will be communicating with him post-Goldman. “Goldman Sachs has been my life,” he says. “I don’t have another email address.” Clearly.

Barclay brothers: Plans for Nigel

You can’t normally smoke in the Ritz Hotel unless you own it. But on Wednesday night, the Barclay brothers (who do own it) made an exception for Nigel Farage and his merry entourage of Brexiters. A fume-filled party organised by Leave. EU donors Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore was billed as a “thank you” to Farage. Of course, drinking the finest (English) sparkling wine at the Ritz hardly says “people’s revolution”. So one Ukip MEP took to quoting Kipling: “If you can … walk with Kings — Nor lose the common touch.” The interim Ukip leader even served guests Ferrero Rocher chocolates (recalling the “ambassador’s balls” ad), in a nod to Donald Trump’s suggestion that he be appointed Britain’s man in Washington. “I’m stepping back a bit from the frontline of politics!” Farage told a crowd including investor Jim Mellon and erstwhile pornographer Richard Desmond. “Oh no you’re not!” heckled one wise soul.

Matthew Greenburgh: New leaf

He has come a long way from designing RBS’s ill-fated 2008 acquisition of ABN Amro. These days Matthew Greenburgh’s aesthetic is more focused on leaves. Having first devoted himself to tree conservation (he is on the board of the Tree Council), the former Merrill banker has now reinvented himself as a photographer, even embarking on an MA at Central Saint Martins. He talks on his website about the “strong aesthetic and symbolic components” of his large-scale pictures of autumn leaves — “most beautiful at the point at which they begin to decay and hence have a potent symbolic value”. RBS’s management, still struggling for a profit eight years after their £45bn government bailout, may sympathise. Greenburgh has been keen to leave banking behind — he has even got a new look (long-haired hippy rather than follicly challenged City type). RBS and some of its former advisers are facing a £4bn High Court lawsuit by furious investors who believe they were misled ahead of a rights issue in 2008. Just focus on the leaves Matthew, focus on the leaves.