It's special investor day at Wells Fargo, and chief executive Tim Sloan may well have to don his tin hat again as shareholders avail of a second chance to obtain answers to their questions. In his piece for today's Financial Times, Alistair Gray looks at five charts that cut to the heart of their concerns. Among them, a dramatic illustration based on Lafferty Bank Quality Benchmarking research showing the cross-sell ratio at Wells Fargo (and Norwest) from 1990 to 2015. Now cost-cutting has replaced cross-selling as the order of the day, "with some analysts expecting as much as $3bn worth of annual reductions over and above an existing $2bn programme", notes the FT.
That newspaper could in fact open a special supplement for Barclays-related news today it seems, with three stories on CEO Jes Staley and a fourth story on a $97m settlement of an SEC claim concerning client overbilling. Mr Staley's apology for his pursuit of a whistleblower seems to have done the trick — for now — as 97 percent of shareholders voted for him to remain in his job. Abstentions rose however in a sign that he cannot afford any more mis-steps, even though the KKR matter has not cost him the backing of chairman John McFarlane.
More quarter-end results have been coming in from around the world, with a distinctly positive flavour to the headlines:
- Credit Agricole's first quarter profits surge higher
- UniCredit's first-quarter net profit tops forecasts as turnaround gathers pace
- Union Bank of Nigeria returns to profitability
Finally, there can be few in banking and payments who do not realise by now the vital importance of data. It is clear, for instance, that banks made a mistake in distancing themselves from processing consumer transactions. Tech companies, by contrast, have gone after data assiduously and now thrive on a substance that Janos Barberis calls "digital oil". In a piece bristling with insight, he cites a remarkable statistic in passing: "before we engage in the upcoming gold rush, since less than one percent of the world's data is currently analyzed, data management laws need to be reformed [to] reflect the incentives and business models of its participants."
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