Is Tim Sloan, current COO of Wells Fargo, being eased towards the top job? Mr Sloan told Bloomberg on Monday that he expected to win back business with Illinois and California that was lost following the sham accounts scandal — while the FT reported that Mr Sloan would be relieved of his role as head of wholesale banking, preparing him for a move into the CEO's office. Analyst Mike Mayo of CLSA said that the 29-year veteran of Wells Fargo had 'steered clear' of the cross-selling scandal. However, as we've written in Culture is Everything in Banking, cross-selling has been at the heart of Wells Fargo for the better part of two decades. It's hard to see how Mr Sloan can claim to possess a pair of clean hands.
VTB Bank, Russia's second-biggest bank by assets, becomes the first major bank to announce a Brexit-inspired departure from London. Recent announcements by the Russian government indicate that it will sell down its 60 percent stake in VTB, and CFO Herbert Moos told the Financial Times that circumstance had played a large part in the bank's planned move of its European headquarters. "Frankfurt, Paris and Vienna are all being considered," he told the FT, adding that London would "remain an important presence for us, just not our European hub".
Most of us are addicted to our phones — and that's proven to be good news for Apple and Samsung, which dominate the global smartphone market. Are we reaching the limits of what's possible to pack into a little metal and glass brick? Samsung planned to follow the launch of Apple's iPhone 7 with the premium Samsung Note 7, but some of the new phones overheated and even caught fire. Samsung ordered replacements of the entire production run. But Samsung's problems continued with the replacements also catching fire. Now Samsung has told customers to power down the phones. It's a disaster for the company. Technology analyst Andrew Milroy of Frost & Sullivan told the BBC: "Samsung had been making a comeback against its rivals. This catastrophic product fault will seriously damage its competitive position in the smart phone market," he said.
Bloomberg has a long read this morning titled "Bob Diamond's misadventures in Africa". The former Barclays CEO started building his African business Atlas Mara back in 2013. Bloomberg quotes two people who know Diamond: "His plan, according to the people: buy up African banks, inject the latest technology, import top executives to run operations, and watch the profits roll in." Not all Africans welcomed this vision. Much of the 'misadventure' revolves around Mr Diamond's failed pursuit of Barclays Africa — which he has called "the single best business across Sub-Saharan Africa" — following the South African regulators decision not to allow a private equity group gain control of the bank. Carlyle Group, which partnered with Atlas Mara to bid for a stake in Barclays Africa, subsequently pulled out of the partnership amid speculation that Mr Diamond failed to inspire confidence in the regulator. Atlas Mara share prices have dropped 68 percent since its launch.
Also of note today:
Singapore, Swiss Regulators Slam Falcon Over 1MDB Breaches
EU to accelerate introduction of bank derivative rules
Online Groceries To Jump Threefold By 2020
RBS denies latest SME claims, lawmaker demands review publication
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