The Indian government had the details of the overseas bank accounts of 75 individuals and entities named in the so-called ‘HSBC Geneva list’ even before Swiss authorities agreed this month to share this information with New Delhi.
The information had been given by HSBC itself following negotiations between the bank and Indian income tax authorities in January 2013. HSBC made the details available earlier this year, before the NDA government came to power.
On October 15, following a meeting in Bern between revenue secretary Shaktikanta Das and the Swiss state secretary for international financial matters, Jacques de Watteville, the countries issued a joint statement that said the “Swiss authorities would assist in obtaining confirmation on the genuineness of bank documents on request by the Indian side”.
The ‘HSBC list’ contains details of accounts held by 628 Indian individuals and entities at the Geneva branch of HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary, HSBC Private Bank. This information — categorised as name, address, account number and balance — was stolen from the bank by a former staffer, Herve Falciani, on a particular day in 2006, and was supplied to India by France in June 2011.
Indian authorities are currently in the process of investigating the HSBC list. According to I-T documents accessed by The Indian Express, assessments are complete in 65 cases, including those decided by the Income Tax Settlement Commission.>> Read More
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the bank which started life as a pawnshop serving the underprivileged in the dying days of the Italian renaissance, has slid 15.2 per cent after failing the European Central Bank’s stress test.
The world’s oldest bank was identified on Sunday as having the biggest capital shortfall in the stress test and asset quality review conducted by the European Central Bank which examined the biggest eurozone lenders.
That result heaped fresh woe on Italy’s third-largest bank by assets which has received three state bailouts in the past five years and launched a fresh €5bn capital raising in June. MPS’ shares tumbled to just €0.849.
Overall 25 in the region were deemed wanting by the ECB. Italy was the biggest loser in the test with nine of its banks failing.>> Read More
Global banks will have to show how they can withstand a spike in oil prices, a rise in the US unemployment rate and an increase in risky corporate loans as part of the 2015 Federal Reserve stress tests.
Passing the stress tests and related capital planning review is a top priority for banks, because this determines whether they can pay additional dividends or buy back shares. Companies that fail the test, which is aimed at showing how a bank would deal with a crisis situation, can also take a reputational hit.
Citigroup suffered an embarrassing blow when it failed to pass the last review, and executives are determined not to repeat that mistake in 2015. The US units of HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander, which took the tests for the first time last year, also failed.
Fed officials have warned they will continue to raise the bar on expectations for banks, putting additional pressure on them.>> Read More
Spanish news agency Efe has reported that 11 banks from 6 European countries are looking like failing the stress tests. There are 4 from Greece, 3 from Italy, 2 from Austria and one each possibly from Belgium, Portugal and Cyprus.
None were named and the news was gathered from several sources.
It’s likely that the banks failing are once again smaller regional entities rather than any of the big boys, which would rock markets if they fail the tests. We’ve long maintained that this was going to be the worst kept secret as there’s no way you can lock down every bank and employee in the know from spilling the beans.
Sunday is D-day for the banks as that’s when the results will be made public but banks have been given an idea of the outcome in advance.
Simply put, as Citi noted, unless Fed head Janet Yellen goes full-dovish, risk assets face tremendous downside potential. As ConvergEx’s Nick Colas notes, Yellen receives a “B” grade from financial professionals, fewer than half (49%) of those surveyed approve of the job the Federal Reserve is doing. A clear majority (59%) of respondents describe the Fed as being “behind the curve” with respect to interest rates. Despite better-than-expected data whereever one looks in the US (apart from wages and housing), any hint of seni-dovish, or contingent dovish… or heaven forbid hawkish comments and the massive consensus trade that the Yellen Put has an ever-increasing strike price will fall rapidly by the wayside… though Draghi could come in later and save the day. With S&P so close to 2000, we suspect any hint of word ‘slack’ and algos will run stops and USDJPY will break 104.
In a phone call with Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin has said that imposing sanctions on Russia is counterproductive and affects international stability. The two presidents agreed that the current situation is not in the interests of their countries.
Both Obama and Putin has emphasized the importance of an “immediate and sustained ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine, but at the same time noted that “significant differences” remained between Moscow and Washington over Ukraine, a Kremlin statement said.
Besides Ukraine, the two leaders touched upon the recent rounds of sanctions imposed on Russia by the US.
“The Russian head of state described the line of increased Washington’s sanctions as counterproductive, causing serious damage to bilateral cooperation and international stability as a whole,” the Kremlin’s statement, posted on its official webpage, said.>> Read More
The EU sanctions come into effect tomorrow and they have officially announced the details.
The Russian banks cited in sanctions are Sberbank, VTB bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank and Rosselkhozbank. They will be prohibited from selling bonds or shares in the EU but permitted to carry out other operations in the EU.
If you like your legal guff fill your boots with the official EU release here
ATMs in Hindi-speaking states will now generate receipts in Hindi, along with English, as the Home Ministry has asked the Reserve Bank of India to direct banks to procure only those ATMs that can print receipts in Hindi.
The ministry has also instructed two major foreign suppliers of ATMs to upgrade the software in the existing ATMs to ensure printouts in Hindi.
The Department of Financial Services has written to the Home Ministry, saying the matter is under consideration. “We will be perusing this matter… the issue is that the printout of the receipt (from the ATM) should come in the language in which the transaction is being made,” a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
At present, only ATMs procured by the Union Bank of India from Diebold firm have the facility to print in Hindi.