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  • Mobile ad revenue lifts Facebook past Wall Street targets

    Reuters - Wed, Jan 29, 2014 5:06 PM EST

    By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's fourth-quarter revenue jumped 63 percent, beating Wall Street targets, as the Internet company's mobile ad sales continued to accelerate. Shares of Facebook surged 10 percent to $58.90 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. "The mobile shift is happening and it's working really well for Facebook," Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Reuters in an interview. Facebook said it now has 1.23 billion monthly users, with 945 million accessing the service on a smartphone or tablet. More »Mobile ad revenue lifts Facebook past Wall Street targets

  • Morgan Stanley names Bowles as lead director, replaces Kidder

    Reuters - Tue, Jan 28, 2014 5:48 PM EST

    Morgan Stanley on Tuesday named Erskine Bowles, a prominent Democrat and investor, as independent lead director of its board of directors, replacing C. Robert Kidder. Bowles is co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which was created by President Barack Obama in 2010. He was also a general partner of Forstmann Little & Co, and briefly worked at Morgan Stanley early in his career. In a statement, Chief Executive and Chairman James Gorman cited Bowles' experience in both finance and public service as qualifications. More »Morgan Stanley names Bowles as lead director, replaces Kidder

  • Analysis: U.S. bankers voice new optimism as businesses line up for loans

    Reuters - Tue, Jan 21, 2014 7:03 AM EST

    By Michael Erman NEW YORK (Reuters) - Loans to businesses have risen to a record high and bank executives say they are increasingly optimistic about the U.S. economy. Increasing demand for bank loans often is a prelude to higher economic growth. With the U.S. government budget crisis fixed for now and Europe showing signs of economic recovery, companies feel more comfortable borrowing to invest in machinery, factories, and buildings. JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, who has long described himself as "cautiously optimistic" about the economy, recently dropped the modifier "cautiously," he said on a conference call with investors last week. More »Analysis: U.S. bankers voice new optimism as businesses line up for loans

  • UK watchdog launches review into RBS's small business lending

    Reuters - Fri, Jan 17, 2014 5:02 AM EST

    Britain's financial regulator has appointed two outside firms to review part-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland's treatment of struggling small business customers. RBS, which is 82-percent owned by the government, has been accused by government adviser Lawrence Tomlinson of pushing struggling small firms into its Global Restructuring Group (GRG) "turnaround" unit, so it could charge higher fees and interest, and take control of their assets. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Friday that consultancy Promontory Financial Group and Mazars, an accounting firm, will conduct the independent review which will be paid for by the bank. If this is the case, the second stage of the review will identify the root cause of these issues and make recommendations to address any shortcomings identified," the FCA said in a statement. More »UK watchdog launches review into RBS's small business lending

  • UnitedHealth sees Obamacare and Medicare costs, then growth

    Reuters - Thu, Jan 16, 2014 11:51 AM EST

    UnitedHealth Group Inc said on Thursday implementing Obamacare and private Medicare funding cuts will eat into 2014 profit but the government-paid insurance business will drive growth as more people sign up. UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer, reported fourth-quarter profit a beat higher than analyst expectations, but its shares and those of major competitors fell anyway as investors focused on costs. UnitedHealth shares fell 2.5 percent to $73.05 while WellPoint, Aetna, Cigna and Humana also fell. UnitedHealth said that funding cuts for private Medicare would negatively effect 2014 and that it was still in discussions with the government on the 2015 funding levels. More »UnitedHealth sees Obamacare and Medicare costs, then growth

  • Fed's Lacker sees $10 billion taper on table at next meeting

    Reuters - Fri, Jan 10, 2014 12:48 PM EST

    By Krista Hughes RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers will likely discuss another $10 billion reduction in the monthly pace of bond buying at their next meeting, said a senior Fed official on Friday, who warned against reading too much into a weak jobs report for December. Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker said it would take a "couple of quarters" of bad news to change the U.S. economy's improving trend. The Fed last month announced it would cut its bond-buying stimulus by $10 billion to $75 billion each month, citing progress in the labor market, and Lacker said he expected another such reduction would be on the table at the next meeting on January 28-29. "I would expect a similar reduction in pace to be discussed at the upcoming meeting," Lacker told reporters after a speech to a business group. More »Fed's Lacker sees $10 billion taper on table at next meeting

  • Private sector adds more jobs than expected in December

    Reuters - Wed, Jan 8, 2014 2:54 PM EST

    By Ryan Vlastelica NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. private employers hired staff at the fastest pace in 13 months in December, data from a payrolls processor showed Wednesday, burnishing expectations that national jobs data due later in the week from the government will confirm the U.S. economy was gathering steam at the end of last year. Companies added 238,000 jobs last month after an upwardly revised 229,000 in November, the ADP National Employment Report showed, easily topping expectations in a Reuters poll for a gain of 200,000. "It feels like the jobs market has kicked into a higher gear." In another positive read on the economy, the National Federation of Independent Business on Wednesday said small businesses hired the most workers in nearly eight years in December. More »Private sector adds more jobs than expected in December

  • RBS finance chief's exit gives CEO another headache

    Reuters - Wed, Dec 11, 2013 9:35 AM EST

    By Matt Scuffham and Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland chief Ross McEwan faced a fresh management headache on Wednesday as the surprise departure of Finance Director Nathan Bostock created a senior vacancy as the group attempts to navigate through a period of upheaval. Bostock, 52, has quit to rejoin Spain's Santander after just 10 weeks in the job, dealing a blow to McEwan's efforts to turn around the state-owned lender and adding the appointment of a new CFO to his lengthy "to do" list. McEwan has endured a rocky start since taking up the role of RBS chief executive in October, undermining his attempts to create a new customer-focused culture. "The ... departure is a major inconvenience," one of RBS's biggest 40 shareholders told Reuters. More »RBS finance chief's exit gives CEO another headache

  • Small business confidence rises, jobs picture upbeat

    Reuters - Tue, Dec 10, 2013 7:33 AM EST

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. small business sentiment bounced back from a seven-month low in November, with owners setting their sights on creating more jobs and expanding operations. The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index edged up 0.9 point to 92.5 last month. Eight of the index's 10 components advanced, with decent gains in job creation plans and the share of business owners saying this is a good time to expand. Improvements in labor market components accounted for more than half of the rise in the overall index. ... More »Small business confidence rises, jobs picture upbeat

  • Morgan Stanley amps up lending to boost wealth margins

    Reuters - Wed, Dec 4, 2013 12:47 PM EST

    By Lauren Tara LaCapra NEW YORK (Reuters) - Just a few years ago, Morgan Stanley lacked the expertise, infrastructure or desire to do a lot of lending, but today it is making a big push into loans to bridge a profit gap with rivals. Morgan Stanley's brokerage business historically focused on helping clients invest in stocks and bonds, leaving lending to competitors like Citigroup with bigger retail banking operations. Interest rates are near zero, which weighs on the returns that brokerages can earn from investing client deposits in securities. By making more loans instead, Morgan Stanley could generate an extra $300 million of annual profit by one analyst's estimate. More »Morgan Stanley amps up lending to boost wealth margins

  • Sturdy jobs report eyed, may put December Fed taper on table

    Reuters - Tue, Dec 3, 2013 7:30 PM EST

    By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth likely remained solid in November, with the unemployment rate falling, which could bring the Federal Reserve a step closer to curtailing its massive monetary stimulus. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have increased by 180,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists. Evidence points toward a pick-up in U.S. hiring this fall," said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. "There is usually a lot of seasonal hiring in the run-up to the holiday season, concentrated in the retail sector," said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. More »Sturdy jobs report eyed, may put December Fed taper on table

  • UK lawmaker Tyrie says fundamental problems with RBS's lending

    Reuters - Mon, Nov 25, 2013 1:51 PM EST

    The chairman of Britain's Treasury Select Committee said on Monday there were fundamental problems in the way Royal Bank of Scotland "The reports published today make clear that there is a fundamental cultural problem with RBS's lending to and treatment of SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises). The actions and reputation of RBS have discouraged would-be customers and reduced SME activity," Tyrie said in a statement. "RBS's SME lending has serious problems. More »UK lawmaker Tyrie says fundamental problems with RBS's lending

  • Critic of RBS business lending had own complaint against bank

    Reuters - Mon, Nov 25, 2013 1:51 PM EST

    By Matt Scuffham LONDON (Reuters) - The author of a report that criticizes Royal Bank of Scotland's Lawrence Tomlinson, an adviser to UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, did not disclose in his report issued earlier in the day that LNT Group, the construction-to-care homes company he runs in the north of England, previously had a grievance with RBS. A colleague of Tomlinson said there was no conflict of interest in the non-disclosure because LNT's complaint had nothing to do with the practices of RBS's turnaround unit Global Restructuring Group (GRG), which his report is concerned with, and was not part of his evidence. It's been dealt with by RBS and it's entirely separate from the GRG issue," Fiona Mawer told Reuters, adding that LNT Group had never been moved under GRG's control. More »Critic of RBS business lending had own complaint against bank

  • RBS brings in lawyers to review treatment of ailing small firms

    Reuters - Mon, Nov 25, 2013 1:51 PM EST

    has appointed law firm Clifford Chance to conduct an inquiry into the treatment received by small business customers in financial distress, responding to suggestions it closed down viable businesses too quickly. The move comes after an independent report by former Bank of England deputy governor Andrew Large, which was commissioned by RBS, recommended the bank look into concerns over its treatment of struggling small businesses. RBS has also been accused by government adviser Lawrence Tomlinson of pushing struggling small firms into its "turnaround" unit, so it can charge higher fees (on the basis they have defaulted) and take control of their assets. "To ensure our customers can have full confidence in our commitment to them, I have asked Clifford Chance to conduct an inquiry into this matter, reporting back to me in the new year," RBS Chief Executive Ross McEwan said in a letter to Large on Monday. More »RBS brings in lawyers to review treatment of ailing small firms

  • Credit Suisse outlines crisis plan to shield Swiss activities

    Reuters - Thu, Nov 21, 2013 10:21 AM EST

    has set out plans to separate its domestic operations from its more risky investment banking business, as part of post credit-crunch efforts to insulate Swiss taxpayers from costly bank bailouts. The move puts Credit Suisse's domestic retail, commercial and private banking operations in a "lifeboat" more immune to market vagaries and represents its response to Swiss efforts to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, during which the government was forced to rescue rival UBS In its "living will" announced on Thursday, Credit Suisse said it would set up a Swiss subsidiary from mid-2015 and will begin booking investment banking business in the region it originates. For example, a U.S. derivatives business currently booked at a London investment banking hub will be moved to the bank's U.S. broker-dealer unit. More »Credit Suisse outlines crisis plan to shield Swiss activities

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