Friday, October 7, 2016

This Week in Bank Failures

Cuts: Bailed-out banking giant ING announced plans to reduce its work force by 12 percent or 7,000 jobs. Half of the cuts are in Belgium and most of the rest are in the Netherlands. Workers in both countries announced strikes to protest the scale of the cuts. The bank says it will improve its digital presence and eliminate jobs through automation. Deutsche Bank has increased its ongoing job cuts in Germany by 1,000 after talks with labor authorities.

Settled: RBS will pay $1.1 billion to NCUA to settle claims related to mortgage-backed securities sold by RBS to two corporate credit unions. The securities were nearly worthless and the purchases contributed to the failure of both credit unions.

Indicted: A court in Milan, Italy, entered charges against executives and managers at Monte dei Paschi and Deutsche Bank along with a few traders at Nomura Holdings, for creating false transactions that boosted the value of Monte dei Paschi. The bank was forced to restate five years of financial statements after the falsifications came to light, and prosecutors spent three years investigating the transactions.

A flash crash in the British pound last night reduced the value of the currency by 9 percent for about one minute. The crash is far from fully explained, but it followed coordinated EU comments about exacting an unspecified “price” from the U.K. as retribution for the country‘s exit from the trading bloc. That is empty talk, as any such action would cost the EU more than the U.K. and no EU country or political body will be willing to fund such a program. Analysts say flash crashes are becoming more frequent and are not simply the result of program trading.