HSBC 3Q Earnings Boosted 33% to 6.1 billion by Lower Fines, Settlements

HSBC Holdings Plc offset a drop in third-quarter revenue with lower costs and litigation charges as Europe’s largest lender said it needs more time to determine whether to move its headquarters from London.

Operating costs fell 19 percent to $9 billion from a year earlier, London-based HSBC said in a statement on Monday. That beat the $9.4 billion estimate of 14 analysts in a company-compiled survey. Revenue slipped 4.4 percent to $15.1 billion, while pretax profit rose to $6.1 billion from $4.6 billion a year earlier.

More on the Dean’s interview on Bloomberg Television:

Dr. David Costa is the author of “The Art of Banking: Dominate the Banking Landscape” and lectures in the area of Investment Law and Money Management in our MBA, MA and LL.M programmes offered Online in an exclusive partnership between University of Cumbria and Robert Kennedy College. We have just started a new intake on these programmes and places are very limited so make sure to apply as soon as possible to secure your place.

Graduation in York

Are you ready to write a Masters’ dissertation?

It’s Sunday afternoon, and as I sit on the train taking me to Geneva airport, I run through a mental list of things to do during the week. I am headed to York, and more precisely, to York St John University.
I am not the only one headed there – thirty more individuals, from all corners of the world (South Africa, South Sudan, Nigeria, UK, Australia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ecuador, Chile, Malaysia, Croatia, UAE, the Netherlands, US, to name just a few) are headed the same way. They are all students in the MA Leadership, Innovation and Change, affectionately known as MALIC, that we at Robert Kennedy College have been running with our partners York St John University so successfully over the past 4 years. One of the RKC students arriving in York this time around is the 600th one to do so since 2011!
Monday morning, 9am – hellos and good mornings all around – recognising some faces from the online profiles – being surprised by others, who are bigger, smaller, younger, older, funnier or more serious than their online personas led me to think.
Monday morning hellos

A week of exchanges and meeting new people

They all have one thing in common though: they are here to learn, and to achieve what for many of them is still a dream for now: a British Master while keeping down their full time jobs in their countries. They are here to work on their dream – the team of lecturers from YSJ are going to take them on a learning journey throughout the week, from the very basic to the very complex issues, with a focus on developing their dissertations. One can see, and sense, a certain anxiety in the air – it is the uneasiness of dealing with the unknown, of not knowing what we do not know. By Friday that will be replaced by a different type of feeling, perhaps expectation and perhaps slight apprehension, for by then they will know more about what they do not know, and realise there is much more to learn still!
Thursday afternoon, 4:30pm – a short debriefing session – the team had shared on Monday their hopes and fears – how many of those have been realised or avoided? …and we are almost through.

Hopes and fears

Hopes and fears

There have been four days of learning, discussions, group work, group fun, and group interaction. Interviews, facilitation, data analysis, coding, socialising and after-hours – these guys (and gals) have spent 4 days that have brought them so much closer than any online experience could. Some speak about that – it feels alone studying online – we want more video conferencing, more interaction – we want more real! Yet they also agree that we have to work within the contraints of what our lives allow us to do while keeping an income and taking care of a family. Perhaps as technology evolves, we will be able to make online education even better – but that is for another day.

Friday morning discussions

Friday morning discussions

Friday morning – we have been building up towards this. Around each table a group of students and a tutor discuss their dissertation ideas, looking for that all elusive “perfect research question”. There is no such thing in reality, and each idea is different. “Our role, both as tutors and peers, is to expose any hidden assumptions and risks that you may not have seen,” I tell them. We keep coming back to our mantra “focus, focus, focus” – “be pragmatic, pick something that is doable, even though you may not be able to save the world” – that too is for another day!
As always, the week has passed by in a haze of ideas, questions, emotions and names and faces that have become more familiar now. I’ll be recognising them as they pass across the stage in the York Minster on graduation day, looking all proud and excited in their graduation gowns. Until then, I have graduation 2015 to look forward to, with 120+ students set to come – how exciting!
Graduation in York

Graduation in York

YSJ’s graduation ceremony must be (and I’m trying to be objective here) one of the most memorable experiences ever – I’ve lived a couple of them so far from the tutors’ “bench” – I can’t begin to imagine what it feels like as a graduate! I may just have to do a degree with YSJ myself just to get that side of the story too!

Graduation in the Minster

Graduation in the Minster

It’s Saturday, and I’m back on the plane towards Geneva, finishing writing up my week’s journal – reflection, as they’ve all been told during this week (and told, and told, and told again), is a crucial part of learning – some have promised to take up the habit of reflecting and journaling – we’ll check on that at graduation. They have come here from all over the world, thirty individuals, and they are leaving York as a group, richer in friends and knowledge and motivation. Are they ready to write a Master’s dissertation? Time will tell, but we are confident they are.
See you at graduation guys!

Why an online MBA, LL.M and MA?

As many of our readers are asking what makes our online Masters programmes stand out from the rest, I prepared a short video to explain the most important reasons for joining an online MBA, LL.M or MA programme offered in an exclusive partnership between Robert Kennedy College and the University of Cumbria.

If you have any questions about our programmes, feel free to get in touch with our educational advisers. You can apply for our programmes online by clicking here.

Dean on CNBC: European Banks Preparing for the Stress Tests


European Banks preparing for the stress tests
The latest comments of Ms Nouy, the Single Supervisory Mechanism Chair, picture a new scenario for European banks. The new pan-European regulator certainly wants to establish an high degree of credibility and is sending a clear message to the banks: act now or fail.
Overall the new stress tests will strengthen the banking sector that faces several challenges.
One of these challenges is the intimate link between banks and sovereign bonds that the SSM is trying to break. 
Several European banks still rely on the profitable carry trade that lead to an increase of EU Government-debt holding to 4.3% of last December from a 3.5% of June 2012. 
Said increase underlines how the ECB financing is not always used to lend and relaunch the economy. The upcoming stress tests will apparently use leverage ratio as a “crucial measure” that creates some disparity with the way U.S. banks are assessed.
Some failures are to be expected and can be positive to reinforce the European banking sector but several unpredicted failures might create a sense of insecurity to both investors and the public.
It seems that banks that have recently received state aid would have to pass a more simplified stress test based a on profit and loss statement set in the restructuring plan.
National regulators should conduct their own reviews and provide with clear alternatives to these banks that might not pass the stress tests and are in need of capital. 
Lending and Growth
It is clearly very challenging for several European companies to remain competitive in a climate of higher fiscal pressure and limited lending opportunities. The ECBE should think about ways to solve the transmission mechanism weaknesses and ensure both the good health of the European banking sector and access to credit (particularly relevant for SMEs). 
National Governments should also ensure that the current austerity measures are combined with incentives for companies to hire and therefore reduce unemployment.
Over the medium and longer term this is one of the main European challenges: maintain and increase competitiveness during the recovery process.   
In Short
– SSM is determined to conduct reliable and credible stress tests but National Regulators should ensure that ill-capitalised banks act now
– The Transmission mechanism might not provide sufficient lending to European small and mid size companies and therefore needs to be improved.
– European countries facing austerity measures should be concerned about maintaining and increasing their competitiveness. 


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