Speculation is mounting that Bob Wigley might be preparing to leave Merrill Lynch after it emerged that the veteran banker is on the shortlist to become the next chairman of Prudential, The Telegraph reports.
Mr Wigley, who is chairman of Merrill Lynch in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, features among a clutch of candidates vying to replace Sir David Clementi, who is expected to step down at the annual meeting next year after six years in the chair at the insurer.
The Pru had offered the role to Sir Win Bischoff when the banker was recruited as a non-executive last year but the plan had to be abandoned in December when Sir Win was appointed chairman of troubled Citigroup.
BRITISH BANKS’ PROFITS are predicted to more than halve in the interim reporting season that starts on Wednesday as credit-crunch write-downs and rising bad debts take a toll on the record profits reported a year earlier, according to The Independent.
Analysts believe the UK's seven biggest banks will report total interim profits of £11.7bn over the next fortnight, a fall of more than 50% from the record £23.5bn announced at the same stage last year.
This week will see Lloyds TSB, HBOS and Alliance & Leicester – the three most UK-focused of the FTSE 100 banks – reporting first-half numbers. They will be followed by international banks the following week.
FINANCIAL AUTHORITIES IN Washington spent last week securing a rescue deal for two insolvent mortgage lenders in Nevada and California amid the latest signs that America's banking crisis is deepening, The Times reports.
The collapse of the two banks - which had combined assets of about $3.6bn (£1.8bn) - came as a senior financial regulator told The Times that there was no end in sight for the crisis gripping the banking industry.
On Friday, Washington announced that it had forced the closure of First National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank in California after they had found the first lender to have engaged in unsafe and unsound lending practices that had depleted its capital, and the second to be generally undercapitalised.IFAonline
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