George Hay writes about the banking and property sectors. He joined from Thomson Financial News, where he was a companies correspondent. Before that he worked at United Business Media, where he was news editor of Building Magazine. He has a first in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and was nominated in two categories at the 2009 Business Journalist of the Year Awards. Follow George on Twitter @gfhay
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Lloyds was kept afloat by billions of pounds of emergency liquidity from the Bank of England. It has now emerged the UK bank was fiddling repo rates to lower the fees on that lifeline. Every revelation like this sets back the sector’s bid to regain public and political trust.
Investors welcomed the UK bank’s lower bad debts, plus asset sales coming faster than expected and at higher prices. The progress brings capital targets closer, lessens pressure on RBS to get a high price for its U.S. arm, and makes forthcoming litigation costs more bearable.
The bank has issued a knee-jerk statement attempting to quell noise about the future of its chairman and CEO. The effect is to make the board look rattled. StanChart lacks a big enough pool of realistic alternatives to repeat HSBC’s dual change in similar circumstances in 2010.
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