Why bailouts can do more harm than good

Andrew Sheng, who advises the mainland banking regulator, says there is no free lunch when it comes to managing deficits. Photo: May Tse

Beijing should not bail out all domestic financial institutions that get into trouble, particularly the smaller ones that might face a squeeze as the risk of credit default rises in the world's No 2 economy.

Monday, 5 August, 2013, 9:00am

Japan banking body to tighten interbank rate monitoring

Central bankers in Europe and Asia are expressing concern about potential rate rigging by major financial institutions. Photo: Reuters

Japan’s banking industry group said on Friday it will tighten monitoring of how its interbank lending rates are set, responding to growing public distrust in benchmark rates around the world in the wake of rate-rigging scandals.

5 Jul 2013 - 1:48pm

Amid China market stand off, calls for a more transparent central bank

For years, the People’s Bank of China has made stability its watchword. Photo: Reuters

China’s central bank rarely explains its actions in public and keeps markets guessing on policy, but the angst created by its stand off with banks in the money markets is prompting calls for it to change tack.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) let short-term interest rates spike to extraordinary levels this past week as it refused to inject funds into money markets.

24 Jun 2013 - 10:59am

Swiss upper house backs US tax deal to protect banks

Switzerland’s biggest bank, UBS, was forced in 2009 to pay a fine of US$780 million (HK$6.1 billion) and deliver the names of more than 4,000 clients to avoid indictment. Photo: Reuters

Switzerland cleared the first hurdle towards ending a long-running US tax probe after one chamber of lawmakers voted to allow banks to sidestep strict secrecy laws to end the threat of criminal charges for helping wealthy Americans evade tax.

13 Jun 2013 - 11:14am

Frankfurt ’Blockupy’ protesters to target ECB and banks

German police have thrown a ring of steel around the European Central Bank in Frankfurt ahead of anti-capitalist protests on Friday. Photo: AP

Thousands of demonstrators from the anti-capitalist Blockupy movement will seek to cut off access to the European Central Bank and other financial institutions in Frankfurt on Friday, to protest their handling of Europe’s debt crisis.

31 May 2013 - 1:22pm

Even for the Black Card, it's a bit rich of Amex to double fee

A new class of bond investors.

The American Express Centurion Card - informally known as the Black Card - recently sent out a nice letter to its users but with a sting in the tail. The Black Card is, as Forbes describes it, the Bugatti of credit cards and use is by invitation only.

30 May 2013 - 4:34am 2 comments

Whatever their reputation, people still want to be bankers

Andrew Sheng, former chairman of the Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission. Photo: May Tse

Follow @George_Chen

People say the reputation of the financial industry has been badly damaged in the five years since the 2008 global economic crisis. But interest in a job in the industry has not faded, especially among the younger generation.

27 May 2013 - 8:09pm

For HSBC, the first love is apparently not the deepest

Bank of Shanghai may have been HSBC's original mainland partner, but Stuart Gulliver seems happy to snub it for a more recent tie-up. Photo: AP

Remember that old saying: in business, there are no friends, no enemies, but only "interests"? Well, last week, HSBC's chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, gave the saying fresh meaning when talking about his bank's two partners in China.

20 May 2013 - 7:12am 1 comment

Ex-head of Spain's Caja Madrid accused over Florida bank takeover

Miguel Blesa

Miguel Blesa, 65, who has links to senior members of Spain's governing Popular Party, was held overnight in a Madrid jail and came out on Friday after putting up €2.5 million (HK$25 million) in bail, a prisons service official said.

19 May 2013 - 7:09am

Institutions back huge fee rise for Hang Seng board

Bank chairman Raymond Ch'ien will get a jump of 34 per cent in his fee, while other directors get a 32 per cent rise. Photo: Dickson Lee

Hang Seng Bank's minority shareholders failed to stop a plan to give directors a rise in fees of more than 30 per cent while dividends stay unchanged, after the motion was carried with the overwhelming support of large institutional stakeholders.

17 May 2013 - 6:18am

Minsheng makes profitable Hong Kong start

Lin Zhihong

Many mainland bank operations in Hong Kong took at least three years to see a profit, said Lin Zhihong, chief executive of China Minsheng's Hong Kong business, which made a net profit of more than HK$100 million at the end of last year. It completed a year this March.

16 May 2013 - 4:12am

HSBC to cut 14,000 staff worldwide in cost-cutting push

HSBC has already achieved US$4 billion (HK$31.0 billion) of annualised sustainable cost savings, and plans another US$2 billion to US$3 billion (HK$15.5 billion to HK$23.3 billion) in cost savings between next year and 2016. Photo: SCMP

HSBC will slash 14,000 more jobs worldwide to save an extra US$2-to-US$3 billion in costs by 2016 as the bank strives to revive profits in the face of fragile growth prospects for the industry.

16 May 2013 - 5:48am 4 comments

HSBC cards no longer work in many overseas ATMs

Customers using ATMs abroad have been refused. Photo: Edward Wong

Many on business trips or holidays have said they were unable to get their hands on their cash from ATM machines.

12 May 2013 - 6:28am 39 comments

StanChart's first-quarter margins hit by competition

First-quarter operating profit fell slightly from the previous year, Standard Chartered said yesterday. Photo: AFP

The results came as a shock to the market, with Standard Chartered's share price in Hong Kong falling 3.53 per cent to close at HK$193.90, after rising as much as 2.4 per cent before the bank's results were announced.

9 May 2013 - 5:08am

Societe Generale earnings halve

Net income at Societe Generale's corporate and investment banking division rose 41 per cent to €494 million. Photo: AP

Net income fell to €364 million (HK$3.7 billion) from €732 million a year earlier, the bank said yesterday. It booked costs of €1.05 billion related to the revaluation of its debt in the period.

8 May 2013 - 3:05am