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The chief executive officer and president of Bank of America, Ken Lewis, has announced his intention to step down from the post.
The successor to Lewis, whose retirement from the bank is effective from 31 December of this year, will be announced later, following an ongoing search for a suitable candidate.
Lewis has described the bank as being well-placed for the future, and said he is heartened that the actions of the last year-and-a-half are now beginning to bear fruit.
With the integration of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide on course and Bank of America in a good position, he de
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cided to step down to allow the transition to the next generation of leaders to begin.
Chairman Walter E. Massey described Lewis as a key architect in the bank’s success.
Lewis has been with Bank of America since 1969, serving as chief executive officer for the last eight years.
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Recent quarterly results showing high profit are often based on cost cutting, which may not be sustainable. Revenue is a more telling indicator.


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Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced the appointment of two non-executive directors.
Philip Scott and Penny Hughes will take up their duties with the 70% state-owned bank on 1st November 2009 and 1st January 2010, respectively.
Mr Scott is expected to assume chairmanship of a new Risk Committee of the RBS Board, once it is established.
He is currently employed as group finance director for Aviva and other credentials include previously having held responsibility for the insurer’s continental European and international life and long-term savings businesses.
Turn
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ing to Ms Hughes, she will become a member of the board’s Remuneration Committee, eventually taking the Chair.
She has extensive boardroom experience, having held a number of non-executive positions following her executive career at Coca-Cola.
These include membership of the board of Swedish financial services group, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, since 2000.
According to RBS, “her expertise on remuneration will be invaluable at a time when there is increased focus on remuneration practices and policies across financial institutions”.
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US banking giant Citi has declared that the sale of Nikko Cordial Securities to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has been successfully completed.
The transaction’s total cash value was Â¥776bn (approximately $8.7bn), and consists of the purchase price of the transferred business (Â¥545bn), the price of some Japanese-listed equity securities held by Nikko Cordial Securities (Â¥30bn), plus around Â¥201bn of excess cash in the form of repaid outstanding debts to Citi.
Some 7,800 employees are affected by the transaction, which will have the effect of giving Citi an immaterial p
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ost-tax result for the fourth quarter of this year.
Citi and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial have also signed a strategic alliance agreement, primarily to build upon the established relationship of Citigroup Global Markets Japan and Nikko Cordial Securities, to the benefit of customers in Japan and across the world.
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The Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) has stated that its new Fixed-Term Deposit Account will have an impressive target profit rate of 4.5%, beating rates offered by the average high street bank in the UK.
Customers opting for the 24 month Fixed-Term Deposit Account will enjoy 4.5% per annum (gross), and those preferring an 18 month period will earn 4% gross per annum.
Customers will be offered the choice of receiving the profit every three months or having it invested in the account and receiving both the deposit and profit upon maturity.
The money added is not interest, but based
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on the principle of Wakala (Agency Agreement) which sees the cash invested in Sharia’a compliant and ethical trading activities, which are monitored daily to minimise risk.
The minimum deposit is £5,000, and this cannot be added to or withdrawn before maturity occurs.
Commercial Director Sultan Choudhury has stated that the new product offers a combination of competitive rates and an ethical approach to investment.
Earlier in the year, the IBB was named as the Best Islamic Financial Institution in the UK by Global Finance magazine, in recognition of its predominant position within the country’s Islamic banking sector.
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Deutsche Bank has added to its presence in the Ukraine with the opening of new subsidiary firm, Deutsche Bank DBU, in Kiev.
The unit will be led by Konstantin Seryogin, who brings more than 15 years’ of financial sector experience to the post.
Seryogin will head a team of 20 staff members handling the initial equity capital of €22m.
The new subsidiary will cater for the needs of multinational clients, as well as small and mid-cap companies hailing from Western Europe, and corporate and institutional clients from Central and Eastern Europe.
It will focus primarily on
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matters such as cash management, trade finance and forex management (Global Transaction Banking), with expansion into investment banking in the years to come.
Jürgen Fitschen of the Management Board has stated that Deutsche Bank sees both the Ukraine nation and the region more generally as a market with strong growth potential and that the bank will seek to increase its presence there over time.
Last year, Dutch bank ING entered the Ukraine marketplace establishing a retail banking operation in the country with the aim of becoming one of the top five retail banks in the Ukraine.
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The $2-a-month fee will be dropped, a move that is likely to pressure its competitors to do the same.


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Britons have heightened their capacity to save in response to the credit crisis and recession and are putting away a larger proportion of income.
Official figures have revealed that the UK’s savings ratio increased to 5.6% in the second quarter of 2009, up from 3.9% in the three months to the end of March.
While there is still some way to go to beat the 12% peak seen in the 1990s, the ratio actually visited negative territory only last year.
The indicator is worked out by the Office for National Statistics and expresses household saving as a percentage of total resources.
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br />However, economists are wary of the turnaround as recovery from the recession is dependent on consumer spending.
The UK’s building societies are certainly not benefiting from the savings revival as their combined balances decreased by £202 million in August 2009, compared to an increase of £995 million a year earlier.
The director general of the Building Societies Association, Adrian Coles, blames a very low base rate “and the difficulties faced by many households, with job losses rising and income growth subdued”.
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The new rules are an effort to protect consumers from potentially costly practices by lenders and to put in place legislation enacted in May.


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