BNP / SocGen Brace Themselves, Credit Suisse Seeks, HSBC Investment Banking Rebound, Wells Fargo Skepticism

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Here's a few interesting stories currently doing the rounds.

Bloomberg reports that BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole all face higher taxes and may have to split off some of their riskiest operations after Francois Hollande was elected President of France.

Hollande, who called banking his 'greatest adversary' during the campaign, has pledged he will force banks to split retail and speculative operations, impose a tax on all transactions and increase the levy on bank profit by 15%.

In the meantime the news organisation reports that Credit Suisse plans to boost capital at its Chinese joint venture and apply for a stock trading permit in the country, as the government loosens restrictions on foreign investment banks.

Credit Suisse will move bankers to China to take advantage of higher ownership limits and a shorter wait for a license to trade shares in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

And Reuters reports that HSBC has beaten expectations with an underlying profit of almost $7bn in the first quarter, thanks to a strong rebound in investment banking income and a fall in U.S. bad debts.

Finally, The New York Times reports that as Wells Fargo becomes a bigger player in the investment banking game, not everyone is a fan.

Moody’s Investors Service has raised concerns about the bank’s recent move outside its comfort zone of consumer lending. Moody’s directed criticism at the bank for stepping into prime brokerage, calling its recent acquisition of Merlin Securities 'credit negative'.

 

 

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