Topic/Theme Reports

Conference Chat:  BK & STT – Growth & Accounting Snafu


The two global investment servicing champions have similar strategies to drive growth via innovation & expanding existing customers. BK addressed its recent fund accounting snafu.


Conference Chat: BBT & RF - Growth Search, Oil & Gas Gripes


BB&T and Regions both chanted the same refrain as the roadmap to growth – diversified revenues, products, services and geographies.  Regions’ energy exposure is in the riskier segments and is bigger than peers as a percentage of total loan book.   

Conference Chat:  Citi and Wells – Card Fever


Citi and Wells Fargo presented similar stick to their knitting, focus on efficiency stories at the Barclay’s Global Financial Services Conference.  Interestingly both are interested in growing credit cards – one back to national prominence and the other to compete with the national goliaths. 

Big Brokers Living Wills 2015: MS & GS Improve Resolution Plans


Both Morgan Stanley & Goldman Sachs living wills provided more specific guidance on how to proceed through a Dodd Frank Title I resolution process. While the regulators should be more satisfied, still the plans are best guesses of rather difficult to navigate hypothetical loss scenarios.

Card Talk: Discover Financial - Online Lenders: Fear, Fight, Forge Partnerships?


Discover Financial (DFS) recently presented at the recent Deutsche Bank Financial Services Conference. While more focus was on macro card trends, technology, and mobile payments, we were more interested in the company’s views on the emerging online lending landscape. So far, DFS is watching it, but has not decided how to react. Investors and risk managers are similarly intrigued by this newer financial services group entrant.

Regional Bank Remarks: Zions, Pin-Ball Wizard – Bouncing to Retail & Resi Mtg


Teaser: Zions Bancorporation’s CEO Simmons and new CFO Paul Burtis, presented at the Deutsche Bank Financial Services Conference. Zions is rebooting its retail and residential mortgage business as commercial and energy related lending takes a back seat with oil-price plunge. Still working off credit crisis hangover from its troubled CDO portfolio and weakened commercial real estate. Another regional bank pin-balling around for growth.

Regional Bank Remarks: HBAN Hunting for Card Growth Again


Regional banks are taking another look at the credit card business as loan yields hit death valley low levels in the commercial sphere, and home mortgage lending still stalled by the GSE conservatorship issues. Many regional banks abandoned the card business in the early years of the 2000s due to stiff competition from national card players. Will this time be different? 

Card Talk: MasterCard - “Card Wars”


Mastercard CEO presented at the Deutsche Bank Global Financial Services Investor Conference where he discussed various strategic views including market share discussions, European competition, expansions into China...

Risk Management Chat: Cyber Security in a Globally Integrated World


Viola Risk Advisors recently had the opportunity to attend the 33rd Annual Monetary and Trade Conference hosted by the Global Interdependence Center (GIC). GIC is a Philadelphia based non-profit which aims to foster dialogue related to global macroeconomic and monetary policy,

Corporate Bond Market: Green Bonds - Crunchy-Granola Finance?


Green Bonds are a new mechanism for guiding funds toward environmentally friendly projects supporting the CFA Institute’s initiatives toward building in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) standards into the investment process. Still, it may be too early to tell whether this is a unique asset class with additional bond issuance, or just another way to market bonds with a sparkly-ESG attractive wrapper.

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