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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

Both Crédit Agricole and Société Générale posted increased third-quarter profits today boosted by improved results from their retail businesses. Crédit Agricole reported net income of €930 million ($1.01 billion) for the quarter, a 15 percent increase on the same period in 2014. The bank said there had been improvement in most of its business lines, particularly in its domestic and international retail banking divisions. Its revenue declined by two percent to €3.9 billion.

Net income at Société Générale of €1.1 billion was up almost 28 percent compared to the same period last year, while revenue rose to €6.4 billion, an increase of 8.3 percent. Again, the bank credited the performance of its domestic and international retail banking divisions while acknowledging that net income from its investment banking arm had dropped by 30 percent to €320 million due to challenging market conditions.

The chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, has criticised risk management at the country's biggest financial firms while backing legislation to lighten the impact of regulation on smaller banks.

During three hours of congressional testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, Ms Yellen said the Fed still see "substantial compliance and risk management issues" at the largest financial firms regulated by the Fed.

Also in the US, the Wall Street Journal reports that big banks such as JPMorgan and Wells Fargo are trying to curb the flow of their customer data to aggregator websites that provide financial management services to consumers. The report cites concerns that bank servers could be overloaded, that data could be vulnerable to hackers and, of course, that valuable data is being shared without any benefit accruing to the banks.

And Deutsche Bank has been fined $285 million by US regulators for working with Syria and Iran in violation of US sanctions.

An electronic fund transfer system (EFTS) has been launched in Bahrain to provide services to all commercial banks as well as public and private sector institutions.

Finally, MPs in the UK have accused regulators in the Competition and Markets Authority of a "lazy" approach to investigating competition in the current accounts market, and Bank of Ireland has already climbed down from its proposal (referenced in yesterday's Morning Briefing) to only allow substantial transactions in branches to be carried out with the help of tellers. The bank now says that "vulnerable" customers will continue to be allowed to make smaller transactions at the counter following an outcry from organistations representing the elderly.

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