Bank of America is said to be close to settling an investigation into alleged money laundering through New York. According to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, around $2bn was moved through New York branches of the Bank from South Africa. Prosecutors are thought to be close to finalising a deal, which may cost the bank up to $25m.
Barclays posted 2005 final year numbers Tuesday. The bank’s pretax profits came in up 15% to a record $9.21bn, thanks again in part to a strong performance from investment banking arm Barclays Capital. BarCap 2005 profits were up 25% to $2.21bn. Boss Bob Diamond bagged a $26.1m bonus too.
David Bermingham, Giles Derby and Gary Mulgrew, the three former NatWest bankers indicted in Texas for alleged wrongdoing in connection with the Enron affair, have lost their battle to avoid extradition to the US to face their accusers. The bankers stand accused of conspiring with former Enron personnel to profit from an off-balance sheet Enron entity, and have been indicted on 7 counts of wire fraud.
And HSBC Investment Bank has fought back against its critics by picking up two of the biggest M&A deals of the year so far. The firm is adviser to E.ON AG, Germany’s largest utility, on its $34.7bn offer for Spain’s Endesa. Last month the bank’s M&A unit also became one of four advisers selected by Mittal Steel on its $22.5bn bid for France’s Arcelor SA. Perhaps the unit has turned the corner. But one swallow (or even two) doesn’t make a summer.
Finally, UK fund manager Schroders posted 2005 pretax profits Tuesday. They came in up 18.5% to $436.7m. The firm also confirmed that it is shelling out $142m to acquire London-based hedge fund NewFinance Capital.