Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Cuts, Cuts … and More Cuts: Banks continue to downsize staff. According to three separate reports from the Financial Times, Commerzbank plans to cut between 4,000 and 6,000 jobs through 2016 in order to turn around its underperforming domestic retail business; UniCredit plans to cut 1,000 jobs at its German unit HvB by 2014 for similar reasons and Lloyds Banking Group is adding another 940 positions to previously announced job cuts set to take place "across the group" as part of a cost saving program. Meanwhile, the Journal reports the Barclays investments unit job cuts, mentioned in yesterday's Scan, are taking place in Asia. Reports of layoffs at big banks, unfortunately, have become a theme of late. Earlier this month, news broke that Amex was set to eliminate 5,400 jobs, or 8.5% of its staff. Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have also made moves to reduce staff recently.
Wall Street Journal
Cecelia Stewart — Citi's president of U.S. retail and commercial banking and the lone woman among its 24-member operating committee — is "under pressure" to deliver results, according to the paper. The article counts poor customer-satisfaction rankings compiled by J.D. Power & Associates, a recent quarter-to-quarter drop in earnings, insufficient computer systems, "some of which date to the 1970s" and the loss of long-time Citi customer Adam Greenfield among the evidence that the bank's retail overhaul is "still lagging."
The list of Barclays executives involved in a High Court case over Libor is out, following a failed attempt to suppress its release. It includes senior executives Bob Diamond, John Varley, Jerry del Missier, current chief financial officer Chris Lucas and current head of investment banking Rich Ricci.
JPMorgan Chase has named Cindy Armine, the bank's co-chief control officer, as its new global head of compliance. She will replace Martha Gallo, JPMorgan's compliance chief for more than two years. Gallo will remain with the bank, though her new role remains unclear.
New York Times
A new document indicates AIG decided not to join a lawsuit against the federal government over its bailout terms because victory was a long shot and it "threatened to destroy much of the good work that AIG and its employees had done rebuilding AIG and its name and reputation."
We can add "Subprime Meltdown," "Hitman," "Nuclear Holocaust" and "Mike Tyson's Punchout" to our list of candid crisis catchphrases. According to lawsuit documents combed through by Dealbook, these are among the suggestions Morgan Stanley employees put forth while tasked with naming "one of the toxic assets that helped blow up the world economy."
Is Lanny Breuer leaving the DOJ? The paper seems to think so, citing several people familiar with, but "not authorized to speak publicly on" the matter. The article doesn't give any specifics (probably since Breuer himself and other Justice Department officials declined to comment), so it remains unclear when or why the assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's criminal division may be leaving. The Post's report notes that Breuer "has been accused of being soft on Wall Street for failing to throw senior bank executives behind bars for their role in the financial crisis." And, given the timing of the report, it's hard not link the Post's story to Frontline's "The Untouchables," a documentary on that exact same subject matter, which aired less than 24 hours earlier, and cast Breuer, as noted by American Banker national editor Maria Aspan in a recent BankThink column, as the "designated villain for the government's inaction." But since the program isn't mentioned in the article — and other major news outlets, interestingly, have yet to elaborate on or even pick up the story — all evidence that it played a role in this departure remains purely coincidental.