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Saturday 22nd of November 2008

Latest Banking News

The latest news from the banking sector:

November 21, 2008

Alistair Darling on a mission to kick-start lending

by Kay Murchie
Chancellor Alistair Darling is bracing himself to battle with the banks after the £37 billion bailout package for three UK banks has failed to kick-start lending. Mr Darling is considering tough new laws to force banks to lend to small businesses, in particular those who are still feeling the effects of the banking crisis and the economic slowdown. Meanwhile, pressure ...

Citigroup in sell-off and merger rumours

by Kay Murchie
US banking giant Citigroup, Citigroup, is rumoured to be in merger talks with after its shares plunged 26% yesterday amid fears about its financial viability. Shares in the bank were trading at $54 two years ago, however, the shares closed yesterday at $4.71. The bank, which is one of the largest banks in the US, announced plans to slash 52,000 jobs earlier ...

November 20, 2008

RBS apologises for financial difficulties

by Kay Murchie
Sir Tom McKillop, the departing chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has apologised for the bank’s difficulties. The apology came ahead of the shareholder vote for the £20 billion Government bailout, of which shareholders voted by 99% in favour. Earlier this month, the bank said it expected to report its first full-year loss since it was established almost 300 years ago. Sir ...

November 19, 2008

Lloyds TSB shareholders vote in favour of HBOS takeover

by Kay Murchie
Lloyds TSB shareholders voted today on the proposed takeover of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) with 95.98% voting in favour of the deal. Shareholders also approved proposals to raise £5.5 billion by issuing new shares and special preference shares. The takeover will create a new banking giant called Lloyds Banking Group, which will comprise almost 150,000 staff and ...

Lloyds TSB shareholders vote for HBOS takeover today

by Kay Murchie
Shareholders in Lloyds TSB are to vote today on the proposed takeover of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). Lloyds’ shareholders are expected to vote in favour of the takeover, which will create a new UK banking giant called Lloyds Banking Group, which will comprise almost 150,000 staff and 3,000 branches. However, not everyone has been in favour of the ...

November 18, 2008

Barclays puts board up for re-election but still faces shareholder revolt

by Kay Murchie
Last month, Barclays declined financial assistance from the UK Government and instead announced it was to raise £7.3 billion, primarily from Middle East investors. However, Barclays’ shareholders were believed to be infuriated at the generous terms offered to overseas investors and, as a result, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) was asked to get involved in order ...

uSwitch.com: Banks quick to cut savings rate

by Kay Murchie
The Bank of England has made aggressive cut in interest rates in the last two months but lenders have been slow to pass on the reduction to consumers, until the Government intervened and some lenders finally caved in to the pressure. However, according to a study by price comparison service, uSwitch.com, providers have cut their savings interest rates either equal to, ...

Which? asks the Government where is consumer bailout?

by Kay Murchie
Following the Government’s announcement last month that billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money will be pumped into the UK’s struggling banks, consumer group, Which? says now is the time for banks to help out consumers. The group, which has introduced a new campaign to reform banking, said the Government must ensure that the banks are putting consumers at the heart ...

November 17, 2008

Citigroup slashes a further 50,000 jobs

by Kay Murchie
US banking giant Citigroup is to slash 52,000 jobs, far more than analysts had predicted. The job losses are in addition to the 23,000 staff cut already this year and the total 75,000 job losses represent a reduction of approximately 20% of its workforce, leaving it with 300,000 jobs globally. The bank, which is one of the largest banks in the US, has ...

November 14, 2008

RBS to axe 3,000 jobs

by Kay Murchie
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) adds to the thousands of job losses in the UK this week by announcing that it is to axe 3,000 staff from its global banking and markets division. The news of the job losses follows a week of cuts after JCB, one of the largest construction equipment manufacturers in the world, is set to axe almost 400 jobs. Leyland, ...

November 11, 2008

Santander announces €7.2bn rights issue

by Kay Murchie
Spanish bank, Santander, has raised eyebrows today by announcing a €7.2 billion (£5.9 billion) rights issue. The bank, which recently acquired Alliance & Leicester, said the heavily discounted rights issue will allow it to strengthen its capital and provide an investment opportunity for its shareholders. However, just last week the bank insisted it had no need to raise capital and the u-turn has, therefore, ...

November 10, 2008

HSBC hit by further bad debts

by Kay Murchie
Banking giant HSBC has revealed that losses have soared by $700 million to $4.3 billion (£2.7 billion) in the third quarter due to bad debt charges relating to the US sub-prime mortgage market crisis. This takes its total impairment since the US housing market crisis first emerged in late 2006 to approximately $23 billion. Furthermore, the bank added that the turmoil in the ...

Former bank chiefs move in on Lloyds TSB / HBOS merger

by Kay Murchie
Sir George Mathewson, former chief executives of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Sir Peter Burt, former chief executive of Bank of Scotland (BoS), are trying to convince HBOS shareholders they will not benefit from the current Lloyds TSB deal on the table. The merger of the two banking giants, which will create Lloyds Banking Group, was ...

November 7, 2008

Bank bosses summoned to Downing Street to ensure rate cut passed on

by Kay Murchie
Following yesterday’s interest rate cut from 4.5% to 3%, there were concerns that lenders would not pass on the rate cut to customers. However, earlier today the chief executives of Britain’s top banks were summoned to Downing Street to meet with Chancellor Alistair Darling, where he demanded that they pass on the rate cut to customers ...

November 4, 2008

MPs urges banks to pass on interest rate cuts

by Kay Murchie
Last month, in a co-ordinated move with other banks, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) slashed UK interest rates from 5% to 4.5%. Central banks in the US, Japan and China have all cut interest rates in the last week in a bid to fight off a recession. Many analysts believe that the Bank of England and ...

RBS hit by further write-downs

by Kay Murchie
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has today announced an 8% fall in operating profits and stated that the economic slowdown will affect its financial results for the final quarter of the year. Furthermore, the bank has announced further write-downs on credit assets totalling £206 million, on top of the £5.9 billion it reported in the first six months of the year. RBS, which is ...

November 3, 2008

Skipton and Scarborough building societies announce merger

by Kay Murchie
As a result of challenging trading conditions, North Yorkshire-based building societies, Skipton and Scarborough have agreed to merge. The deal, which is expected to be completed early next year, will see Scarborough Building Society become part of Skipton Building Society and will be known as the latter. The two building societies said the merger will create a stronger society which will ...

30,000 jobs at risk in Lloyds TSB / HBOS merger

by Kay Murchie
It was confirmed this morning that the Lloyds TSB and HBOS merger is proceeding and the new name for the company was unveiled as Lloyds Banking Group. According to Lloyds, its acquisition of HBOS would save it at least £1.5 billion a year, far more than originally anticipated. There have been concerns that the cost savings will result in ...

Lloyds TSB/HBOS merger details unveiled

by Kay Murchie
The Lloyds TSB/HBOS merger looks set to proceed after both banks have announced plans to raise up to £17 billion through the Government's rescue scheme. Today, Lloyds said it plans to raise £4.5 billion from investors with the support of the Government and will offer the Government preference shares worth £1 billion. Meanwhile, HBOS said it plans to raise £8.5 billion through investors and ...