More Odds & Ends

Two former investment bankers at JP Morgan, who quit in 1996 to start a luxury ice-cream business, last month floated it on AIM. The company, Hill Station, is now valued at £5.5m. The former bankers, Charles and Gina Hall, each hold 17.3% of the equity.

HSBC is said to have been quietly implementing anti-terror measures around its landmark Hong Kong HQ. The bank has built reinforced concrete flower-beds and bollards outside the building to prevent possible suicide attacks.

JP Morgan Chase has confirmed that US regulator the National Association of Securities Dealers is planning on recommending action against one of its units in relation to the alleged failure of the unit to establish systems to prevent late-trading in mutual funds.

Bank of New York has also confirmed that US government and financial regulators are looking into possible improper mutual fund transactions cleared by the bank's Pershing unit.

Credit Agricole's investment banking and brokerage arm, Calyon, is targeting a 20% return-on-equity from its brokerage activities next year, when the firm's various brokerage units are fully integrated.

Finally, Societe Generale's third quarter profits came in 10% up at $954.6m. International retail banking put in strong performance and the investment banking business held up in a difficult market.

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