The Wall Street Journal reports that Vietnamese authorities are now seeking $3.7m from ABN Amro, claiming that the bank was a party to illegal FX trading from November 2003 to February 2006, which resulted in losses to the state-owned Incombank. Police have apparently indicated that they now plan to prosecute local ABN staff who have been under house arrest for months, and an Incombank staffer who has been languishing in jail awaiting a prosecution decision.
As five more staff at collapsed hedge fund Amaranth head for the exits in London, those sensitive souls down at JP Morgan have been saying that they are prepared to pounce again in the event that any other hedge fund with a decent portfolio runs into difficulty (JP Morgan picked up Amaranth's gas portfolio with Citadel Investment Group at a discount). Speaking at the Reuters Summit, Bill Winters, co-CEO of JP Morgan's investment banking business, said that 'we are not exposed from a credit perspective, materially, which allows us to respond quickly to opportunities when they come up.....Amaranth was one obvious example of that. I imagine there will be others as we go through time where our ability to be on the inside, but not compromised, is extremely powerful'.
Dow Jones Newswires reports that 65-year-old John Quinn, a former executive who worked in the Deal Administration Department at Deutsche Bank's DB Services New Jersey unit, has been charged with bank fraud. It is alleged that he illegally wired more than $13m in funds between June 2004 and September 2006 to an account he controlled, and used the proceeds to purchase cars and other luxury items. He is also said to have been in the business of developing restaurants.
Financial News reports that Royal Bank of Scotland is to hire 1,250 staff into its global banking and markets unit in the US and China. The firm also plans to open up its first office in the Middle East.
The Times reports that fund manager Schroders has posted third-quarter profits slightly up at $120.4m, despite a net loss of $3.4bn in institutional mandates in the 3 months to the end of September. The firm's private banking business did well, increasing its profit contribution to $13m from the $2.8m it posted in Q3 last year.
Finally, research firm Dealogic says that investment banks are heading for their best year ever in the Asia-Pac region. Revenues are expected to come in at $5.2bn - over double compared to 5 years ago.