US!HSBC!cuts Angolan ties
A US unit of HSBC has cut ties with some Angolan banks, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, months after a US Senate investigation criticised it for lax oversight of accounts held by Angolans, including a former central bank governor. The southwest African country is a lucrative prospect for big Western lenders: its economy is expected to grow by 8.6 per cent this year, yet only 11 per cent of the 16.5m population use banks. HSBC Bank USA told some Angolan banks last month it would no longer do business with them.
Hypo’s bad assets under scrutiny
The European Commission has doubts about whether nationalised Austrian bank Hypo Group Alpe Adria can work out its vast portfolio of non-performing loans, the European Union’s executive body said yesterday. The regulators, which have to approve aid by member states, prolonged their temporary permission of Austria’s Hypo bailout as they continued the investigation into the troubled lender’s restructuring plan. Almost a quarter of Hypo’s €30bn loan book was non-performing at the end of 2009, mainly because of bad loans in Croatia.