Financial Services

3.433264887072 (1461)
Posted by r2d2 04/04/2009 @ 06:11

Tags : financial services, finance

News headlines
Six US insurers approved for billions in bailout funds - Bizjournals.com
The Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE: HIG) issued a statement Thursday night saying it has been approved for up to $3.4 billion from the Treasury's capital purchase program. "We are pleased that we received preliminary approval to participate in...
Administration weighs pay standards for banks - The Associated Press
Lawmakers such as House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., are still discussing whether to move the risk regulator bill separately or as part of a comprehensive regulatory package. "We had a period where compensation practices...
Ally adds online banking to GMAC services - The Detroit News
Ally will be a unit of GMAC Financial Services. "Given the recent financial market turmoil, people are looking for a safe, honest and efficient place to save and grow their money," Sanjay Gupta, Ally's chief market officer, said in a press release...
BEFORE THE BELL -2: US HOT STOCKS TO WATCH - Wall Street Journal
Among the companies whose shares are expected to actively trade in Friday's session are Blockbuster Inc. (BBI), Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) and Nordstrom Inc. (JWN). Blockbuster posted a 42% drop in first-quarter earnings as the...
New York Law School Announces New Master's Degree in Financial ... - PR Web (press release)
M. (Master of Laws) degree in Financial Services Law beginning in the fall 2009 semester. New York, NY (PRWEB) May 15, 2009 -- New York Law School today announced that it will offer an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree in Financial Services Law beginning...
PNC Financial Services to sell up to 15 million shares - Crain's Cleveland Business
By ARIELLE KASS PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC), which last week was ordered by the federal government to boost its capital levels, today announced plans to sell up to 15 million shares of its common stock. The Pittsburgh-based bank,...
Financial services at risk under the APRA microscope - The Australian
THE global financial crisis has resulted in the exit of 159 of 1000 organisations in the financial services industry, mostly due to mergers, but in some cases after facilitation by the prudential regulator. The Australian Prudential Regulation...
Obama Administration to Unveil Regulations for Derivatives - Credit Union Times
It would be the first step of a planned overhaul of the regulation of financial services that President Obama has talked about since the campaign. According to Investopedia, derivatives are securities whose price is dependent upon or derived from one...
FTC Giving Financial Services Closer Scrutiny - Consumer Affairs
The Federal Trade Commission says it has stepped up enforcement activities on behalf of consumers of financial services. The agency said the current economic crisis has exposed the need for even closer scrutiny of that sector....
Peoples Bank Opens New Financial Services Office in Zanesville, Ohio - PR Newswire (press release)
"The new office provides increased visibility and demonstrates our commitment to the growth and success of Zanesville," said Deborah K. Hill , Executive Vice President, Consumer and Business Financial Services. "We offer clients the ability to satisfy...

Financial services

Financial services refer to services provided by the finance industry. The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies, stock brokerages, investment funds and some government sponsored enterprises. As of 2004, the financial services industry represented 20% of the market capitalization of the S&P 500 in the United States.

The term "financial services" became more prevalent in the United States partly as a result of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of the late 1990s, which enabled different types of companies operating in the U.S. financial services industry at that time to merge. Companies usually have two distinct approaches to this new type of business. One approach would be a bank which simply buys an insurance company or an investment bank, keeps the original brands of the acquired firm, and adds the acquisition to its holding company simply to diversify its earnings. Outside the U.S. (e.g., in Japan), non-financial services companies are permitted within the holding company. In this scenario, each company still looks independent, and has its own customers, etc. In the other style, a bank would simply create its own brokerage division or insurance division and attempt to sell those products to its own existing customers, with incentives for combining all things with one company.

A "commercial bank" is what is commonly referred to as simply a "bank". The term "commercial" is used to distinguish it from an "investment bank", a type of financial services entity which, instead of lending money directly to a business, helps businesses raise money from other firms in the form of bonds (debt) or stock (equity).

Fraud within the financial industry costs the UK an estimated £14bn a year and it is believed a further £25bn is laundered by British institutions.

The financial services industry constitutes the largest group of companies in the world in terms of earnings and equity market cap. However it is not the largest category in terms of revenue or number of employees. It is also a slow growing and extremely fragmented industry, with the largest company (Citigroup), only having a 3 % US market share. In contrast, the largest home improvement store in the US, Home Depot, has a 30 % market share, and the largest coffee house Starbucks has a 32 % market share.

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Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland

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The Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland (Irish: Banc Ceannais agus Údarás Seirbhísí Airgeadais na hÉireann) is the financial services regulator of Ireland and historically the central bank. The bank was the issuer of Irish pound banknotes and coinage until the introduction of the euro currency, and currently the bank is an agent for the European Central Bank, leaving its name to be somewhat of a misnomer.

The bank was founded as the Central Bank of Ireland (Banc Ceannais na hÉireann in Irish) in 1943 and since January 1, 1972 has been the banker of the Irish Government in accordance with the Central Bank Act, 1971, which saw the transition of the bank from a currency board to a fully functional central bank. In 2003 the current name was adopted to reflect its new role in financial services and the economy.

Previously the commercial Bank of Ireland was the government's banker since independence, and is still one of the country's largest banks.

The bank's head office is located on Dame Street, Dublin, where the public may exchange non-current Irish coinage and currency (both pre- and post-decimalization) for euros. The Currency Centre at Sandyford is the currency manufacture, warehouse and distribution site of the bank.

Since the passing of the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003, the bank has operated under two separate divisions, the existing Central Bank, and the Financial Regulator — the latter was formally called the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

The Central Bank manages Irish monetary policy as part of the European System of Central Banks, and is the Irish Government's banker. Since European Monetary Union, it exercises much of its functions in this regard in conjunction with the European Central Bank and the other Eurozone central banks.

In 2003 a new separate division of the Central Bank, with its own Chairman, Chief Executive, and board, was established as the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. This was as a compromise between those who favoured a fully independent regulator and those who believed the Central Bank should maintain full control of regulation of the financial services industry. This division of the Bank regulates all financial institutions (including credit unions) in Ireland.

On the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, the new state's trade was overwhelmingly with the United Kingdom (98% of Irish exports and 80% of imports in 1924), so the introduction of an independent currency was a low priority. British banknotes (British Treasury notes, Bank of England notes), and notes issued by Irish banks circulated (but only the first were legal tender) and coins remained in circulation.

Under the terms of the Coinage Act 1926, the Finance Minister was authorised to issue coins of silver, nickel, and bronze of the same denominations as the British coins already in circulation - however the Irish silver coins were to contain 75% silver as compared to the 50% silver coins issued by Britain at the time. These coins entered circulation on 12 December 1928.

Under the terms of the Currency Act 1927, a new unit of currency, the Saorstát Pound (Free State Pound) was created, which was to be maintained at parity with the British Pound Sterling by a Currency Commission which would keep British government securities, sterling cash, and gold to keep a 1-1 relationship.

This seriously limited the banks' ability to run an independent monetary policy. The Central Bank broadened its activities over the decades, but it remained in effect a currency board until the 1970s.

The 1970s were a decade of change, which began with the decimalisation of the currency which came into effect on 15 February 1971, when the decimal coinage was released into circulation (although 5p, 10p, and 50p coins were released a few years earlier, as they had exact equivalents in old currency units). Decimalisation would have provided an ideal opportunity to break the link with Sterling, but there was not much demand for this at that time. In 1972 however, the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates broke down, and in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis inflation in Britain increased dramatically, and economic theory would suggest that a smaller economy whose currency is pegged to a larger one will suffer the larger economy's inflation rate. At the same time moves to create a money market in Dublin and the transfer in 1968 of the commercial banks' sterling assets to the Central Bank made it possible to contemplate a break in the link. In the mid to late 1970s, opinion within the bank was moving toward breaking the link with sterling and devaluing the Irish currency in order to limit inflationary effects from abroad.

At this time, however, an alternative option became available. In April 1978, the European Council meeting in Copenhagen decided to create a "zone of monetary stability" in Europe, and European Economic Community institutions were invited to consider how to create such a zone. At the following Council meeting in Bremen, Germany in June 1978 the basic features of the European Monetary System were outlined, including the creation of the ECU - European Currency Unit, a basket of the Community's currencies used to determine exchange rates, and the forerunner of the euro.

The Irish government had to decide whether or not to participate in the EMS. If the EMS had included all the European Community's currencies, it would have provided stability for 75% of Ireland's external trade, but in the event Britain, which still accounted for 50% of Ireland's external trade, decided to stay out of the EMS. Despite this, on 15 December 1978 it was announced that Ireland would participate in the EMS. Countries were given the option of either a 2.25% or 6% margin of fluctuation within the EMS' Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), and Ireland took the narrower margin. The EMS started on 13 March 1979, and towards the end of the month Sterling started to gain in value against the EMS currencies because of rising oil prices, and by 30 March Sterling breached the upper fluctuation band limit of the Belgian franc and the Irish currency could no longer track Sterling. After over 50 years, the parity of the Irish and British currencies was broken, and the Irish currency became known as the Irish pound (or Punt).

The initial experience of the EMS was disappointing. It had been expected that the Irish Pound would appreciate in value against Sterling, and hence reduce inflation in Ireland, but in practice Sterling appreciated considerably in value thanks to its status as a petrocurrency and to the tight monetary policies of the new British government of Margaret Thatcher. By late 1980 the Irish Pound had fallen in value to less than 80 British pence, and Irish inflation was higher than British. Economic policy in Ireland was inconsistent with a "hard currency" policy, and the Irish Pound also failed to hold its value against the central rate of the Deutschmark, although it did appreciate in value against some of the other EMS currencies.

Eventually the EMS settled down (notwithstanding a crisis in 1992 when the Irish Pound was devalued by 10%), and Irish inflation was consistently the same or lower than Britain's inflation rate from 1987 onwards.

The idea of a single European currency goes back to the Schumann Plan of 1950. The first blueprint for how to go about implementing the currency, the Werner Report of 1970 was not proceeded with, but the ultimate aim was always kept in mind. The Delors Report endorsed by the Madrid Summit of June 1989 envisaged a three-stage process to monetary union, and this was given legal authority by the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 (enacted into Irish law as the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland by 70% of those voting in a referendum on 18 June 1992). This envisaged the start of monetary union on 1 January 1999 and the introduction of notes and coins on 1 January 2002. The Central Bank began production of euro coins in September 1999, producing over a billion coins, weighing about 5,000 tons, with a value of 230 million euro before the introduction into circulation of the euro coins in January 2002. Production of euro banknotes began in June 2000, with 300 million notes worth 4 billion euro being produced in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 euro. Euro banknotes produced for the Central Bank are identified by having the serial number begin with the letter T. The Bank did not initially issue €200 or €500 euro banknotes, but has since begun to do so.

The Governor (Irish An Gobharnóir) of the Bank is appointed by the President of Ireland on advice of the Irish Government.

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MINI Financial Services

MINI Financial Services is the captive finance company for MINI USA. MINI Financial Services products consist of retail financing, leasing, the MINI Platinum Visa Card and MINI Motoring Insurance. All of MINI Financial Services products and services are for MINI prospects and drivers. In 2008 MINI Financial Services participated in MINI Takes the States with a wrapped MINI Cooper that had the message "There's an easier way to get your hands on a MINI".

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Source : Wikipedia