Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Barclays Job Cuts: Barclays plans to cut about 1,000 jobs worldwide, according to the Wall Street Journal, or up to 1,200, the Financial Times said, as new CEO Jes Staley implements his turnaround plan. Some of the job cuts will be in the U.S., however most will come from Asia, including its businesses in cash equity research, sales and trading and convertible bond trading. Barclays will also exit Brazil, Russia, Taiwan and South Korea.
In the U.S., Barclays will reduce its product offering and it may also exit precious metals, the Journal said. Barclays will also restructure its securitized product trading operations in the U.S., and instead will focus on asset-backed and commercial mortgage-backed securities, according to the FT. But Barclays will remain in the U.S., for the time being. The U.S. is "one of our two home market franchises. In the world's largest single pool of capital, our leading U.S. business is another distinct competitive advantage for Barclays," Tom King, head of Barclays' investment bank, wrote in an employee memo. Barclays' cost-cutting is a reaction to growing regulatory pressure and declines in fixed-income trading, the FT said.
Wall Street Journal
A group of 11 banks tested a private blockchain they built, and the blockchain passed. The bank consortium, dubbed R3CEV LLC, exchanged multiple tokens on the network, connecting offices in North America, Europe and Asia. Data embedded in the tokens were transmitted through the blockchain intact. The participating banks were Barclays, TD Bank, BMO Financial Group, Credit Suisse Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HSBC, Natixis, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, UniCredit and Wells Fargo. R3CEV itself is a collective of 42 banks. A test that will include all members is planned for later this year. The distributed ledger used technology developed by Ethereum on a cloud hosted by Microsoft.
Marketplace lender Elevate Credit delayed its IPO Wednesday because of choppy waters in the stock market. Elevate's would have been the first IPO of 2016. Other marketplace lenders that have already gone public haven't fared well. LendingClub and On Deck Capital both are down more than 25% this year, following poor results last year.
The largest U.S. banks are flatlining, at least when it comes to total revenue. The combination fee income and spread income on loans was virtually flat in year-over-year comparisons at JPMorgan Chase, and rose a paltry 3.1% at Citigroup and 4.3% at Bank of America. The Fed isn't expected to come to the rescue any time soon, said Doug Burtnick, a portfolio manager at Aberdeen Asset Management. "The presumption that [margins] are due to expand rapidly keeps getting pushed down the road," he said. The paper noted that to cope with the situation banks are planning to cut expenses even more; this is a topic that's received wide coverage in American Banker.
New York Times
The AFL-CIO wants to eliminate golden parachutes for bankers who leave the private sector to take government jobs. The union wants to ban the practice at Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Lazard. The Times presented the example of Antonio Weiss, who got $21 million of accelerated executive pay when he left Lazard for the Treasury Department. The AFL-CIO says such instances undermine the independence of government officials tasked with regulating banks.
NL Times: In a much darker corner of the blockchain world, Dutch authorities arrested 10 suspects who are accused of running a bitcoin system over the Dark Web to engage in money laundering. The Dutch tax authorities that made the arrests plan to share their findings with the Dutch Banking Association and the Authority for Financial Markets.
Clarification: In Wednesday's edition of Morning Scan, a mortgage-servicing subsidiary at Bank of America was incorrectly described as troubled; the mortgages themselves are troubled. Also, the story incorrectly described banks that are seeing weakness in wealth management as those with large investment banking operations; instead, the item should have referred to banks with large investment management operations.