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[1/2] Goldman Sachs' Chairman and CEO David Solomon attends a session at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis BalibouseNEW YORK, Jan 27 (Reuters) - To listen to Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) chief executive David Solomon, the bank is doing "great," while skeptical investors wonder what comes next. Still, Goldman shares are up 3.6% over the past year, outperforming the S&P 500 banking index and peers. In October, Goldman scaled back ambitions for Marcus by placing it under the newly-merged asset and wealth division. "Going back to what has made Goldman great for decades will allow the firm to reset and recover," he said.
NEW YORK, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley (MS.N) has imposed financial penalties on employees who used messaging platforms such as WhatsApp for company business, according to two sources familiar with the situation. The amounts were determined by factors such as the number of messages sent, seniority and whether the employees had already received warnings, according to one source familiar with the matter. The SEC has been looking into whether lenders have been keeping a track of employees' digital communications. Financial firms are also scouring employees' phones and personal computers in a widespread effort to demonstrate to regulators that they are punishing breaches of communications policies, the source said. In 2020, two senior Morgan Stanley executives left the bank after unauthorized use of WhatsApp to discuss work matters.
As the company awaits a court ruling on a June lawsuit against the SEC, CEO Michael Sonnenshein said he was prepared to appeal if the court backed the SEC's decision to reject the bitcoin ETF proposal. If either party were to appeal the ruling, the case would either go to the U.S. Supreme Court or an en banc panel review. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled to occur March 7 and Grayscale expects a final ruling on the case in the fall, said Sonnenshein. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has $14.5 billion assets under management, according to Grayscale’s website. Genesis’ crypto lending unit filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 19.
Bank of America to give stock awards to rank-and-file workers
  + stars: | 2023-01-24 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: 1 min
Jan 24 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) will give stock awards to most of its global workforce for a sixth consecutive year, the company said in a memo to staff on Tuesday. The second largest U.S. lender will award company shares that vest over four years to 96% of its almost 217,000 workers, according to the memo, which did not specify the amount of shares that would be given out. Eligible bank employees who earn less than $500,000 a year will receive the stock awards, while a smaller number will get cash payments, according to the memo. Reporting by Lananh Nguyen; Editing by Leslie AdlerOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
NEW YORK, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc's (GS.N) asset management arm will significantly reduce the $59 billion of alternative investments that weighed on the bank's earnings, an executive told Reuters. "It's not going to zero because we will continue to invest in and alongside funds, as opposed to individual deals on the balance sheet." The positions included $15 billion in equity investments, $19 billion in loans and $12 billion in debt securities, alongside other investments. If the environment improves for asset sales, Salisbury said he expected to see "a faster decline in the legacy balance sheet investments." Goldman Sachs' asset management arm closed a $15.2 billion fund earlier this month to make junior debt investments in private equity-backed businesses.
"At the same time, we're estimating a mild recession in Europe and the United States that offset it. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization, pointed out that the reopening could help supply chains work better and also boost consumer demand. CHINA-US TENSIONSAdjacent to the discussions on China's reopening was what it could mean for its existing tensions with the United States over issues such as technology, trade and Taiwan, which several WEF delegates expressed concern over. "I think both the U.S. and China will be hurt, which doesn't just mean the national entities but workforces, people will be hurt." For daily Davos updates in your inbox sign up for the Reuters Daily Briefing here.
Increasingly, they said conversations in C-suites and with financiers had turned to the risks that climate change presented to businesses. Climate activist Greta Thunberg made the journey up the Swiss Alps to call on the global energy industry and its financiers to end all fossil fuel investments. Suni Harford, the president of UBS's asset management arm who leads the bank's sustainability efforts, said her conversations at Davos suggested no let up in focus on climate, despite the shorter-term pressures. "Clients are becoming ever more informed on the energy transition, demand for sustainable and green products has held up well, and clients are increasingly looking to measure the impact of their portfolios." "Put forward credible and transparent transition plans on how to achieve net zero – and submit those plans before the end of this year," Guterres said in a speech.
Crypto lending unit of Genesis files for U.S. bankruptcy
  + stars: | 2023-01-20 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +3 min
Jan 19 (Reuters) - The lending unit of crypto firm Genesis filed on Thursday for U.S. bankruptcy protection from creditors, toppled by a market rout along with the likes of exchange FTX and lender BlockFi. Genesis Global Capital, one of the largest crypto lenders, froze customer redemptions on Nov. 16 after FTX stunned the financial world with its bankruptcy, fuelling concern that other companies could implode. Genesis' lending unit said it had both assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion in its filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Genesis Global Holdco, the parent group of Genesis Global Capital, also filed for bankruptcy protection, along with another lending unit Genesis Asia Pacific. The two firms are fighting over a crypto lending product called Earn that they jointly offered.
[1/4] People stand in front of the Blockchain Hub Davos 2023 at the Promenade road during the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023, in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2023. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannDAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 19 (Reuters) - In the snow and ice on the main drag in Davos, the impact of the crypto winter is plain for WEF attendees to see. Executives in Davos said they are now all about blockchain technology, proper controls and regulation, and the promise of disruption that it holds for financial services and beyond. Colm Kelleher, chairman of Swiss bank UBS (UBSG.S), told a WEF panel that blockchain technology will help reduce costs for banks. "We kind of dodged a bullet," Kelleher said, noting that the collapse in the value of crypto currencies had not caused systemic problems.
Davos 2023: Global bank chiefs get FBI cybersecurity update
  + stars: | 2023-01-19 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationDAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Global bank and exchange chiefs got insight on cybersecurity and resilience from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's director during a private session in Davos this week. The financial services executives also compared notes on economic risks, financial stability and sustainability. Klaas Knot, President of the Dutch central bank who chairs the Financial Stability Board, also spoke with the group. He discussed vulnerabilities in the financial system, including risks posed by so-called shadow banks, the sources said. For daily Davos updates in your inbox sign up for the Reuters Daily Briefing here.
[1/2] Visitors queue in front of the Ukraine House during the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023, in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2023. It is about creating momentum and giving assurances that even during the war, Ukraine is not closed for business. "Ukraine has shown resilience in war time and business too so we have to find additional tools on how to facilitate Ukraine business to develop and foreign investment to come to Ukraine even now," she said. WAR NOT ENDING SOONZelenskiy addressed BlackRock executives and its clients in Davos via Zoom on Tuesday, a person who attended said. In Davos, an exhibition at Ukraine House reminds visitors of the scale of the destruction.
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s (GS.N) Chief Executive David Solomon expressed serious concern on Thursday that a political standoff over the U.S. debt ceiling could lead to a fiscal crisis. Solomon echoed other CEOs in Davos who expressed worries about the U.S. potentially defaulting on its debt because of a political stand-off between the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and President Joe Biden's Democrats. A stand-off in Washington over raising the debt ceiling has business leaders from Wall Street to Davos worried that this could be as disruptive as the protracted battle of 2011. That stand-off prompted a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and years of forced domestic and military spending cuts. For daily Davos updates in your inbox sign up for the Reuters Daily Briefing here.
But this could present an opportunity to address shortages of homes, property bosses said. "Office buildings need to be converted to residential," said Howard Lutnick, chairman and CEO of New York-based investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald, during a panel discussion. Offices are emptier than official data suggests as most buildings are still generating income for landlords. However, as these rental contracts expire, cities like New York will have a significant number of obsolete buildings, said Christian Ulbrich, CEO of global property consultancy JLL Inc. (JLL.N). Millions of workers were forced to work from home during lockdowns aimed at stalling the spread of COVID-19 in 2020.
[1/2] Participants of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 are seen in a hall at Davos Congress Centre, in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2023. However, Larry Fink, speaking at a Bloomberg News event in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, said the asset management group took in $230 billion over the course of 2022 from U.S. clients. "It's hard, because it's not business... they're doing it in a personal way. Fink, though, said BlackRock was one of the biggest investors in the sector in the world. Moves by the U.S. government to finance a faster shift in the world's biggest economy, through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), was also a "game changer", he said.
"The consumers are spending, their wages are growing and frankly, there's still a lot of stimulus ... Social Security payments are going up at a high rate," Moynihan told Reuters. "Things like that are going to add more fuel that they can use to spend," he added. Moynihan said that for the first time in a long time deposits had come down a little bit for the industry. (For daily Davos updates in your inbox sign up for the Reuters Daily Briefing here.) Reporting by Lananh Nguyen in Davos and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Niket Nishant Editing by Mark PotterOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
REUTERS/Andrew KellyNEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Bond traders are stars again on Wall Street. Fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) traders bolstered bank profits last year despite dreary deal markets. Bond specialists in the $22 trillion Treasuries market are in high demand as the Federal Reserve and other central banks have aggressively raised interest rates over the past two years. After the financial crisis, central bankers in the United States and advanced economies steadied markets by holding interest rates near zero. On Tradeweb Markets Inc's (TW.O) electronic bond trading platforms, average daily volumes rose almost 10% in 2022.
Jan 13 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) reported a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Friday, helped by a surge in net interest income as the U.S. Federal Reserve raised rates through most of last year. Bank of America's net interest income (NII) — a metric that measures the difference between the interest earned on loans and paid out on deposits — surged 29% to $14.7 billion in the quarter. Its profit applicable to common shareholders rose 2% to $6.9 billion, or 85 cents per share. The bank added $403 million to its net reserve build. That compares with a net reserve release of $851 million a year ago.
Jan 13 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) disclosed a pretax loss for its newly-created platform solutions business of $1.2 billion for the first nine months of 2022, the bank said in a regulatory filing on Friday. The platform solutions business posted higher revenue for the first nine months, but also recorded higher provisions for credit losses and operating expenses. In October, Goldman folded its consumer business, Marcus, into wealth management and created the platform solutions business, which included GreenSky, the fintech lender Goldman bought in a deal valued at $2.2 billion. The bank's three main businesses are now global banking and markets, asset and wealth management, and platform solutions. The disclosure did not provide separate numbers for its direct-to-consumer business, Marcus, which is under asset and wealth management.
Citigroup profit falls on provision hike, dealmaking slowdown
  + stars: | 2023-01-13 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
[1/2] Customers use ATMs at a Citibank branch in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City, U.S. October 11, 2020. REUTERS/Nick ZieminskiJan 13 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N) reported a fall in fourth-quarter profit on Friday, as the bank hiked provisions to prepare for a worsening economy and investment banking revenue declined due to a sharp drop in dealmaking activity. That compares with a release of $1.37 billion from its reserves in 2021 when pandemic-related loan losses failed to materialize. Citi's investment banking revenue plunged 58% as merger and acquisition activity slowed dramatically last year, with companies shunning deals amid higher interest rates, the war in Ukraine and growing economic uncertainties. Net profit came in at $2.5 billion, or $1.16 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $3.2 billion, or $1.46 a share, a year earlier.
[1/4] A Bank of America logo is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 30, 2019. The chief financial officers of the two biggest U.S. banks said they would hire selectively despite waning economic growth. JPMorgan's (JPM.N) Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Barnum said the bank is still hiring and "in growth mode" in a call with journalists to discuss the bank's fourth-quarter earnings. Bank of America (BAC.N) also continues to hire, particularly in wealth management, while also remaining disciplined on its expenses, Chief Financial Officer Alastair Borthwick told reporters on Friday. The banking giants stood by their hiring plans even as other lenders cut staffing in investment banking and mortgages.
REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo/File PhotoNEW YORK, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street's biggest banks stockpiled more rainy-day funds to prepare for a possible recession ahead and reported weak investment banking results, but said consumers remained healthy and higher rates boosted profits. Strength in trading helped offset a slump in investment banking, while interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve helped income. However, Citigroup Inc (C.N) reported a 21% fall in profits with investment banking taking a hit. Global investment banking revenue sank to $15.3 billion in the fourth quarter, down more than 50% from a year-earlier quarter, according to data from Dealogic. Bank of America's investment banking fees more than halved in the quarter.
Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. crypto company Digital Currency Group (DCG) is at the center of the industry's latest meltdown after one of its companies, Genesis, froze customer withdrawals in November. Here is what we know about the many companies Digital Currency Group owns:COINDESKDCG acquired crypto news website CoinDesk in 2016 after previously investing in the outlet. Genesis' crypto lending arm, Genesis Global Capital, announced in November its crypto lending arm would stop making new loans and blocked customers from withdrawing funds, citing the market dislocation caused by the collapse of FTX. Genesis Global Capital had partnered with a number of other crypto companies, including crypto exchange Gemini, to offer a crypto lending product. DCG itself owes $1.675 billion to Genesis' crypto lending arm, according to a November letter Silbert sent to shareholders.
"With most U.S. economists forecasting either a recession or significant slowdown this year, banks will likely incorporate a more severe economic outlook," said Morgan Stanley analysts led by Betsy Graseck in a note. Rising prices and higher borrowing costs have prompted consumers and businesses to curb their spending, and since banks serve as economic middlemen, their profits decline when activity slows. Reuters GraphicsStill, lenders stand to gain from rising rates that allow them to earn more from the interest they charge borrowers. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, among others, have also cut jobs after a plunge in investment-banking activity. Analysts will also watch if banks such as Morgan Stanley and Bank of America book any writedowns on the $13-billion loan to fund Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter.
Jefferies profit slides as Wall Street dealmaking falters
  + stars: | 2023-01-09 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +2 min
Jan 9 (Reuters) - Investment bank Jefferies Financial Group (JEF.N) reported a 52.5% decline in fourth-quarter profit on Monday, hit by lower underwriting fees and volatile markets that dented income from its trading desks. Still, the firm posted its second-best year for investment banking revenue, which was substantially above 2019 levels, chief executive officer Richard Handler and president Brian Friedman said. Friedman said the profit decline looked more stark compared with an "extraordinary" bonanza for dealmaking in 2021. Jefferies' total net revenue was down 18% at $1.44 billion, dragged lower by a 35% decline in investment banking and capital markets revenue. The bank reported a profit of 57 cents a share in the three months ended Nov. 30, compared with $1.20 a year earlier.
Jan 6 (Reuters) - Frustrated HSBC (HSBA.L) banking customers in the United States took to social media on Friday to complain about inadvertent emails they received from the bank regarding home loans and relocation. "Congratulations on your new mortgage with HSBC Bank," said one of the messages, which was sent to customers who said they had not applied for the loans. Several customers said they were unable to reach anyone at the bank for support about the emails, copies of which were seen by Reuters. "We are aware that a number of emails were inadvertently sent to customers this evening and are working to resolve the issue," the company said in an emailed statement. Some customers took to social media to complain about the emails, with several saying they were unable to reach anyone at the bank for support.
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