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Spanish banks: The sun is back but not for everyone yet

ZURICH | By Ignacio Sanz at UBS | GDP expectations continue to improve, NPLs are starting to come down although we do not expect write-backs for any bank, capital looks comfortable ahead of AQR and banks show a healthy funding while underwriting new deposits at c0.5-0.7%. The market knows all that with banks trading north of 1x NAV15e although for retail banks making more than 10% ROE with 0% rates is challenging.

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European Investment Banks: Q314 – It’s all about September

ZURICH | The Corner | UBS analysts explain that in September, volatility started rising in almost all major markets and asset classes. Higher Rates and FX volatility, driven by diverging monetary policies in the US and Europe, typically suggest higher activity and more favourable operating conditions for FICC. Although UBS analyts are still cautious about FICC for structural reasons, some cyclical improvement and potential upgrades in FICC consensus estimates for Q3 2014 are now more likely (UBS tweaks his CS and DBK 2014E EPS forecasts 2% and 3% upwards, respectively). For global IBs, they forecast FICC revenues up 9%, Equities up 3% and IBD up 12% y/y. In the European IB space, they prefer Barclays and SocGen for stock specific reasons.

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Spanish banks seek profits without lending

MADRID | By Francisco López | The purchase of Barclays’ retail banking division in Spain by CaixaBank has further accentuated the gap among the three major lenders (Santander, BBVA and Caixa) from the rest of their competitors. Experts insist on this process of bipolarisation of the Spanish banking system, with very big banks in the national and even international level, and other local, small or very specialised banks. All banks have done their homework with the restructuring, but now they face the most complicated challenge: to adapt their business models to the new scenario emerged after the crisis and become profitable again.

GLAC, a term you’ll need to become familiar with after the summer

MADRID | By Raimundo Poveda | Those who are interested in banking policy are doomed to learn some new term day in, day out. GLAC (i.e. “gone-concern loss-absorbing capacity”) is the capacity to absorb the losses of an unfeasible bank. Let us recall that the banking regulation declares a bank “unfeasible” not when it collapses but when it fails to comply with the minimum capital requirements –even if its financial assets are positive.

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The idea that central banks “need a financial stability mandate” keeps coming back

SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via Historinhas | Even in Sweden, where 4 years ago the Riksbank decided there was “too much debt” and raised rates to “calm people down”. That, as we know, ended in grief and with the head honcho being outvoted (first time that happens) in the last policy committee meeting, when the policy rate was lowered by 50 basis points to 0.25%.

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How Greek banks moved into a new era

ATHENS | By Manos Giakoumis via MacroPolis | The core Greek banks reported first quarter (Q1) results in the last three days of May. The release of the results was the last act in a series of important developments for the Greek banking market over the past two months. These developments constitute the third phase of the new era for Greek banks, which started two years ago. 

Credit Suisse: When fines are no longer part of the operational costs

WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | Criticism to the fine imposed by the United States department of Justice to Credit Suisse have been almost universal. For instance, The New Yorker’s John Cassidy has remarked that Credit Suisse’s CEO, Brady Dougan, has said that “we have found no instances where clients cannot do business with us,” as a proof of the lack of impact of the $2.5 bn. (EUR1.9 bn.) fine.