Category Archives: Banking

Tougher rules for getting mortgages help to cool UK housing market

New mortgage approvals hit a 17-month low amid high prices, uncertainty ahead of election and interest rates rising

Britain’s housing market is cooling rapidly as a result of tougher Bank of England mortgage market requirements, high prices and the uncertainty caused by the coming general election. The prospect of higher interest rates at some point in 2015 is also dampening demand.

Figures from the British Bankers’ Association showed a sharp slowdown in mortgage approvals, while Nationwide building society has reported a drop in lending volumes.

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Posted in Banking, Banks and building societies, Housing market, Interest Rates, London, Mortgage lending figures, Mortgage rates, Mortgages, Property, UK news, World news | Comments Off

Bailouts, bail-ins and the banks: why we can’t afford another financial crisis

Governments are not flush enough to contemplate a second wave of bailouts, which leaves the problem of too ‘big to fail’ unsolved, writes Larry Elliott

A look into the future: David Cameron’s nightmare has come true; the slowdown in the global economy has turned into a second major recession within a decade.

In those circumstances, there would be two massive policy challenges. The first would be how to prevent the recession turning into a global slump. The second would be how to prevent the financial system from imploding.

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Posted in Banking, Banking reform, Business, Economics, Financial crisis, Financial sector, World news | Comments Off

Bank of England investigates staff over possible auction rigging

Investigation by lawyer looks into possible manipulation of money market auctions in 2007 and 2008

The Bank of England is investigating whether staff knew or even aided possible manipulation of auctions it held at the onset of the financial crisis to pump liquidity into the banking system, the Financial Times has reported.

The newspaper said the formal inquiry began during the summer and the central bank asked the British lawyer who looked into the Bank’s role in a foreign exchange scandal to head the new investigation.

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Posted in Bank of England, Banking, Business, UK news, World news | Comments Off

HSBC Swiss private banking arm faces tax investigation

French magistrates examining whether the bank helped wealthy clients avoid a new tax, the European Union Savings Directive

French judges have put the Swiss branch of HSBC under official investigation over allegations that Britain’s biggest bank helped wealthy clients avoid taxes.

It was revealed on Friday that the unit had been mise en examen, the equivalent of being charged, for “illicit financial and banking practices”. The move comes as yet another blow to the international bank just days after it faced charges of fraud and money laundering from the Belgium authorities and, in a separate case, was hit with almost £400m in fines for allowing traders to rig foreign exchange markets, along with five other banks.

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Posted in Banking, Business, Europe, HSBC, Switzerland, World news | Comments Off