HSBC will close 114 UK branches and is considering selling its New Zealand business
HSBC has announced plans to close 114 of its UK branches as it tries to improve returns following criticism from a major investor.
The bank also announced the possible sale of its New Zealand business.
As banking moves online and low-cost rivals enter the scene, retail banks are under increasing pressure.
– Hannah Ward-Glenton
Time to sell ECB bonds is tough, says chief economist
Raphaël Gallardo, chief economist at Carmignac, said it was very difficult for the ECB to decide when to sell European bonds.
Gallardo commented on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Wednesday.
Stocks on the move: Argenx down 6%, Avanza down 6%
Shares of Dutch biopharmaceutical company Argenx rose 6.7 percent by mid-afternoon to lead the Stoxx 600 after the company announced it had secured a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Preliminary Review Case for $102 million.
Under the European blue chip index, Swedish bank Avanza fell more than 6 percent after suggesting that the Riksbank’s latest policy rate hike would not have a positive impact on its net income.
– Elliot Smith
Short-term rally in European markets could be an opportunity to short equity, says fund manager
Maria Municchi of M&G Investments says the rally could be “a tactical opportunity to pull back from some of this equity exposure.”
Julius Baer accepts £18m fine by UK regulator for ‘provider fee manipulation’.
A pedestrian in front of the office of Julius Baer Group Ltd. runs in Zurich, Switzerland.
Stefan Wermuth Bloomberg | Getty Images
Swiss private bank Julius Baer on Wednesday accepted £18 million ($21.62 million) from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority in connection with “arrangement of supplier fees” for one of its clients between 2009 and 2014.
The board also announced on Wednesday that it will also appoint Gustavo Raitzin, former regional head of Bank Julius Baer (BJB), Thomas Seiler, former BJB sub-regional head for Russia and Eastern Europe, and Louise Whitestone, former managing director. prohibit communication on Julius Baer International. Russian and Eastern European table.
The FCA investigation concluded that JBI facilitated supplier fee arrangements between BJB and an employee of several Yukos Group companies, Dimitri Merinson.
“This is based on the understanding that the Yukos Group companies will then leave large sums of money with Julius Baer for which Julius Baer can provide significant revenues,” the FCA said.
“In particular, non-commercial FX transactions were carried out in which Yukos Group companies were charged much higher than standard rates, with profits being shared between Mr Merinson and Julius Baer.”
The FCA’s Director of Enforcement and Supervision, Mark Steward, said there were “clear signs that the relationships here were deteriorating, which senior people saw and ignored.”
“These vulnerabilities create the conditions in which financial crimes of the most serious kind can flourish,” Steward said.
In a statement, Julius Baer International said it “deeply regrets and apologizes for the events and omissions that led to today’s announcement.”
JBI CEO David Durlacher said, “We have taken full responsibility for these historic mistakes and fully reimbursed our client. Since this mistake occurred, we have made significant organizational changes.”
– Elliot Smith
Euro zone inflation is falling, raising expectations of an ECB rate hike
Eurozone inflation fell more than expected in November, fueling market hopes that record-high price growth across the bloc has peaked and the European Central Bank will begin tapering interest rate hikes next month.
The consumer price index grew 10% year-on-year, up from 10.6% in October and well below the consensus forecast of 10.4% in a Reuters poll of analysts.
However, food price inflation, a key concern for policymakers, continued to accelerate, with falling energy prices accounting for most of the decline.
– Elliot Smith
UK to relax banking sector rules on marketing and investment ring, says minister
The UK is ready to roll back some of the ring-fence rules imposed on banks in response to the financial crisis, City minister Andrew Griffith told the Financial Times.
From 2019, banks with more than £25 billion ($29.9 billion) in deposits will be required to formally separate their client services from their investment banking arms, including holding separate assets for protection against losses in each and have different boards.
The FT reports that lenders with limited UK trading activities such as Santander UK, Virgin Money and TSB Bank are soon to be exempt from the measures, with supporters saying this will make them more competitive.
Griffith said it would “make the UK a better place to be a bank,” and “release some … stuck capital over time.”
The largest investment banks, including HSBC and Barclaysare still required to ring-fence their operations to reduce the risk to consumers from shocks in other parts of the business.
The government is introducing the reform as part of a package of measures to strengthen the UK’s financial sector.
– Jenny Reid
British business confidence falls in two surveys
A decline in British business confidence was recorded in two surveys published on Wednesday.
A survey from Lloyds bank showed business confidence at the lowest level since February 2021 and below the long-term average.
It also found that general economic optimism fell for a sixth month and employment intentions fell to an 18-month low.
Wage expectations for businesses fell slightly, but they said they would continue to target higher prices for their goods and services to offset higher operating costs.
Meanwhile, a survey of the services sector by the Confederation of British Industry found a decline in optimism for the third consecutive quarter. The fall was the sharpest since May 2020, when the UK was in lockdown.
– Jenny Reid
Stocks on the move: SBB down 5%, Avanza down 7%
SBB shares rose 5% in early trade to lead the Stoxx 600 after the Swedish company agreed to sell 49% of its education unit to Brookfield for 9.2 billion Swedish kroner ($870.42 million).
Under the blue European symbol, the bank of Sweden Avanza It fell 7% after suggesting that the Riksbank’s latest policy rate hike would not have a positive impact on its net income.
– Elliot Smith
French inflation was slightly higher than expected in November
France was the first major European economy to report inflation data on Wednesday.
The French consumer price index rose 0.4% from October and 6.2% year-on-year, according to preliminary figures from the statistics office INSEE, unchanged from October and slightly above forecasts of 0.3% month-on-month and 6.1%. per annum.
On an EU-adjusted basis, the annual rate was unchanged at 7.1% in November, in line with forecasts.
– Elliot Smith
CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs’ Currie says oil stocks are trading “well below” their long-term trend
Goldman Sachs Head of Commodities Research Jeff Currie told CNBC that historically, oil stocks have sold at a much higher premium to crude oil prices than current price levels..
For example, the price difference between SPDR Oil & Gas ETF and ICE Brent Crude The futures contract was at about $66.60 on Tuesday. According to Koyfin data, as the chart below shows, that is much lower than the $104 gap recorded in early January 2017.
CNBC Pro: These high-margin growth stocks could be safe bets as Wall Street surges
Wall Street pros are concerned about the outlook for stocks, and are urging investors to remain defensive. These stocks with marginal growth can be safe bets.
Pro subscribers can read more here.
– Zavier Ong
European Markets: Here are the opening calls
European markets are headed for a higher open on Wednesday as local markets await the latest inflation data from the eurozone in November.
According to IG data, it is expected that the FTSE index of England will increase by 23 points to 7536, the DAX of Germany will increase by 68 points to 14414, the CAC of France will increase by 29 points to 6697 and the FTSE MIB of Italy will increase by 119 points to 24597.
The data releases included preliminary inflation figures for the single currency area, final third-quarter readings of gross domestic product for France and Italy and Ireland’s unemployment rate for November.
– Holly Elliott