Tag Archives: Banks

NY Fed May Demand Reports From Europe Banks – Bloomberg


NY Fed May Demand Reports From Europe Banks

By Meera Louis – Oct 2, 2011

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York may ask foreign lenders for more detailed daily reports on liquidity as the U.S. steps up monitoring of risks from Europe‘s sovereign debt crisis, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Regulators held informal talks with some of the largest European lenders about producing a “fourth-generation daily liquidity” or 4G report, according to the people, who asked for anonymity because communications with central bankers are confidential. The reports may cover potential liabilities such as foreign-exchange swaps and credit-default swaps, said one person. The U.S. has already increased the number of examiners embedded in these banks, the person said.

Concern is growing that European lenders may falter as Greece teeters on the brink of default. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithnerhas warned that failure to bolster European backstops would threaten “cascading default, bank runs and catastrophic risk” for the global economy.

“The Fed is trying to understand what the pressure points are in terms of liquidity and potential risks that are imposed by foreign banks to domestic institutions in our financial system,” said Kevin Petrasic, an attorney at the Washington- based law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLC. “There is a little bit more sense of urgency as a result of what’s going on in Europe.”
Liquidity Risk

U.S.-based money funds, which buy short-term commercial paper, have been shunning securities issued by some banks based on the continent, and European Central Bank Governing Council member Yves Mersch said Sept. 28 that liquidity shortages pose the main risks to the region’s banking system.

Jack Gutt, a spokesman for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, declined to comment. The largest European bank holding companies by assets in the U.S. include units of Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), HSBC Holdings Plc. (HSBA) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., according to Fed data. Duncan King, a spokesman for Frankfurt- based Deutsche Bank, Thaddeus Herrick, a spokesman for Spain- based BBVA and London-based HSBC’s Rob Sherman said they couldn’t comment.

U.S. banks are starting to provide a 4G report and they are being phased in this month, said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Washington-based Federal Financial Analytics Inc. Some Europeans are asking U.S. counterparts for information on how to prepare the report even though there has been no formal request from the Fed so far, one of the people said.
Avoiding a Squeeze

“The report requires rapid and in some cases daily data on a banks’ assets, liabilities and potential claims to measure the degree to which the bank could be caught in the classic borrow- short, lend-long squeeze,” Petrou said. “The 4G is one of the tools to reveal liquidity risk.”

The forms aren’t public, according to Petrou, and the New York Fed declined to provide a copy.

Euro-zone banks and other institutions were more than $350 billion in debt to the Fed’s emergency-lending facilities at one point during the2008-2009 financial crisis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. The analysis was based on Fed documents released earlier this year after court orders upheld Freedom of Information Act requests by Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, and News Corp.’s Fox News Network LLC. Fed lending to these entities totaled more than $100 billion on an average day.
Swap Contracts

Regulators lack access to data on foreign institutions operating in the U.S. that would allow them to “make informed judgments about the adequacy of such firms’ capital and liquidity buffers,” William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a Sept. 23 Washington speech.

U.S. prime money-market funds cut their exposure to euro- zone bank deposits and commercial paper, or short-term IOUs, to $214 billion in August from $391 billion at the end of last year, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. data. The funds are rationing their credit to European banks because of concerns that financial institutions will take large losses if a euro- zone nation defaults.

Credit-default swaps allow bondholders to buy protection against losses if an issuer doesn’t pay its debts. The contracts can entitle the holder to face value if the borrower defaults. Lawmakers and regulators have blamed misuse of swaps and lack of disclosure for helping to trigger the 2008 financial crisis.

A currency swap is a contract in which one party borrows one currency from another, and simultaneously lends another to the second party. Foreign-exchange swaps are used to raise foreign currencies for financial institutions and their customers, such as exporters and importers as well as investors.

Currencies and their related derivatives are among the most actively traded markets in the world, with average daily turnover reaching $4 trillion as of September 2010, Bank for International Settlements estimates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meera Louis in Washington at mlouis1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lawrence Roberts at lroberts13@bloomberg.net; Rick Green at rgreen18@bloomberg.net

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-02/new-york-fed-may-demand-europe-s-banks-produce-more-details-on-liquidity.html

Bank of America’s Mortgage Problem Seems Far Worse Than Expected


Bank of America’s Mortgage Problem Seems Far Worse Than Expected

CNBC.com | August 05, 2011 | 04:33 PM EDT

Bank of America badly underestimated how much it would have to pay Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for troubled home loans.
In a filing Thursday, Bank of America [BAC 8.17  -0.66 (-7.47%) ] said the cost of buying back mortgages from Fannie and Freddie is already as high as high as $7.8 billion.
Earlier this year it had estimated that it would only have $3 billion of additional claims.
The bank has been buying back mortgages that didn’t live up to the contractual representations and warranties it made when selling the mortgages. Many of them were originated by Countrywide Financial, the lending business Bank of America bought in 2008.
“Notably, in recent periods we have been experiencing elevated levels of new claims, including claims on default vintages and loans in which borrowers have made a significant number of payments (e.g., at least 25 payments), in each case, in numbers that were not expected based on historical experience,” the bank said in an SEC filing.
“Additionally, the criteria by which the [government-sponsored enterprises] are ultimately willing to resolve claims have become more rigid over time,” the bank said.
The filing was first reported by Bloomberg.
Questions? Comments? Email us atNetNet@cnbc.com
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>Spain backtracks on China investment claim


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What fools they look like, but then again, this is nothing new for Zapatero

Spain backtracks on China investment claim

By Miles Johnson in Madrid
Published: April 14 2011 13:57 | Last updated: April 14 2011 13:57
The Spanish government has been forced into an embarrassing reversal after claims that Spain had secured up to €9bn in investment in its troubled savings banks from China were denied by Beijing.
Spanish government officials said an “error of communication” had led to claims that China Investment Corporation, one of the country’s sovereign wealth funds, was considering the €9bn investment after José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spain’s prime minister, met Chinese leaders this week.
“China has said it will continue to buy Spanish government debt, and is interested in participating in the restructuring of the savings banks, but it is too early to name specific amounts of investments,” the Spanish government said.
Mr Zapatero is on an official visit to China and Singapore to meet Asian investors to promote Spain’s government debt and financial sector.
A CIC official earlier told Reuters that reports in the Spanish media of the investment were false. CIC is known to no longer have available funds to invest abroad, and the €9bn ($13.5bn) figure would dwarf its largest previous investment which was a $5bn stake in Morgan Stanley made in 2007.
The admission of error came as Spain’s central bank was finalising its approval of plans submitted by the country’s regional savings banks, known as cajas, to raise new capital to meet a €15bn shortfall that has shaken investor confidence in the stability of the Spanish economy.
The previously little-known and privately held cajas were left gasping for new capital after loans made during Spain’s property bubble began to sour and its economy fell into recession.
Tough economic reforms led by Mr Zapatero’s socialist government, including freezing civil service pay and slashing Spain’s budget deficit, have helped the country partially regain the confidence of financial markets after some investors had started to view Spain as being at risk of following Greece, Ireland and Portugal into taking European Union rescue funds.
The interest investors demand to hold Spanish government debt over German bonds has fallen sharply since the start of the year.
On Thursday, however, after the confusion over Chinese investment in the cajas and ahead of the finalisation of their own capital raising plans, the spread between Spanish and German 10-year debt rose by 9 basis points to 190bp.
Spain’s outreach to China for investment comes after the prime minister of Qatar said in February that his country would invest €300m in Spanish banks after expressing confidence in the Spanish economy during a visit to Madrid.
Since then there have been no further details about which institutions Qatar would invest in, nor what form any investment would take.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011.

FT.com / Europe – Spain backtracks on China investment claim

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