Friday, July 8, 2016

This Week in Bank Failures

The post-Brexit decline in London banking threatens to burst the London real estate bubble, but investors cannot all cash out of their real estate at once. Standard Life Investments UK Real Estate Fund suspended redemptions on Monday, and within two days a dozen other property funds followed. Real estate is not a liquid investment on any business day, so it could be three years before investors can take all their money out. Meanwhile, foreign investors who have a high risk tolerance are snapping up London real estate that is suddenly cheaper because of the decline in the British pound.

German state-owned shipping lender Bremer Landesbank has €400 million in nonperforming loans and desperately needs capital, but the two states that own 96 percent of the bank have not been able to find a workable rescue formula.

Brazilian police say they have questioned employees and an executive of Panama-based FPB Bank in connection with money taken from state-owned oil company Petrobras. Investigators followed leads obtained from the Panama Papers leak. Prosecutors say the bank was carrying on a clandestine operation in Brazil to make it more difficult to trace large money transfers. FPB Bank in a statement says this is all a big mistake. It has no operations or workers in Brazil and no employees have been questioned, it says.

Regulators replaced executives and directors of Skye Bank, the eighth largest bank in Nigeria. The bank had failed to meet liquidity requirements over an extended period of time.

A former UBS employee has pleaded guilty in a tax fraud scheme in France. The bank, which also faces a possible criminal trial later this year, says it was not involved in the scheme.