LONDON'S LARGEST investment banks are to face a wide-ranging probe into their measurement and management of collateral amid concerns some may not be properly prepared for a sudden market downturn, according to the Financial Times .
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has launched an investigation into the banks' systems for measuring and managing the collateral they demand from hedge funds, banks and other trading counterparties.
The move, which the FSA describes as "thematic work", is the latest stage of the regulator's attempt to identify areas which may pose a problem for the financial system during a crisis.
Other regulators around the world are likely to pay close attention to the outcome of the investigation, which may involve co-operation with the US Federal Reserve, says the paper.
FSA officials stressed the probe was not triggered by any specific problems, but reflected the growing importance of collateral in banks' management of their risks.
GORDON BROWN’S record as Chancellor has come under fire from a leading think-tank in the run-up to his Pre-Budget Report on Wednesday, says the Scotsman.
According to the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), while the economy has performed fairly creditably since 1997, there have been five serious policy failures.
CPS director Ruth Lea said in The Chancellor's Record: an audit of the last 10 years there has been deteriorating growth in productivity; sharp growth in public spending; dire performance in public sector productivity; a damaging increase in the UK tax burden; and structurally weak public finances.
THE NATWEST Three will be told this week if their trial date has been brought forward, potentially scuppering their ability to compile a successful defence, suggests the Daily Telegraph.
David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew were extradited to the United States in July on fraud charges related to the collapse of Enron.
The former bankers, who deny any wrongdoing, were granted bail but were not allowed to return to the UK ahead of their trial, initially set for next September.
They will hear on Thursday if the judge will bring the trial forward to February and, if so, it is thought the men may not be able to compile their defence in time.
AND INSTITUTIONAL SHAREHOLDERS are pressing Standard Chartered to hire a robust independent deputy chairman in the wake of the surprise boardroom reshuffle last month, reports the Times.
Investors were taken aback by the handling of the sudden elevation of Mervyn Davies from chief executive to chairman last week.
They want a heavyweight outsider, someone with experience as a chief executive or chairman at a blue-chip company, to come in as deputy to provide balance on the board.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Emily Perryman on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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