If you were scrolling through your Twitter timeline on Tuesday, you may have paused over a tweet from a bank’s official corporate account – the type of Twitter handle that rarely, if ever, elicits much real interest, and never causes any drama. That wasn’t the case yesterday, when UBS called out a journalist for a reporting error that the bank’s verified Twitter account referred to as “embarrassing.”
The tweet followed the publication of an article from the Financial Times’ Stephen Morris, who incorrectly reported that second quarter results for UBS’s investment banking division fell short of analyst expectations, when in fact it beat them. The FT fixed the error and added a correction notice, but that didn’t stop UBS from publicly reprimanding Morris and questioning whether he was practicing “agenda journalism.”
The move is highly unusual, though if there’s a bank that would take such a path, UBS may have been a likely candidate. The Swiss lender’s Chief Executive, Sergio Ermotti, has taken to Twitter previously to complain about what he felt was inaccurate reporting, as Financial News has pointed out. UBS appears unfazed by some of the criticism the tweet elicited. As of early Wednesday morning, the bank hasn’t walked back the comments or deleted the tweet.
Elsewhere, the scandal that led to more than a dozen employees within Wells Fargo’s investment bank to be fired or suspended has allegedly resulted in some high-calorie diets. Last summer, Wells Fargo cut bait with bankers in New York, San Francisco and Charlotte, N.C. after finding they had allegedly doctored time stamps on food delivery receipts to make their meals eligible for reimbursement.
The fallout from the scandal has reportedly included a new mandate that bankers must use delivery service Grubhub for all after-hours meals, according to Dealbreaker. That all may be well and good for those located in New York or San Francisco, but bankers in the less metropolitan city of Charlotte have complained to the website that they are now stuck with nothing but fast food options like McDonald’s and Popeyes Chicken. “Everyone is getting fat,” one tipster bemoaned. Lesson learned: take away a banker’s late-night sushi and you’ll have them running to the press.
Former London Mayor Boris Johnson has been named the U.K.’s next prime minister. The news, which increases the likelihood of a hard Brexit, will have significant ramifications on pay and jobs for U.K. and EU bankers. (NY Times)
American Express has fired 10 foreign exchange employees and is refunding customers more than $1.5 million after it discovered its salespeople were misrepresenting pricing to clients. (WSJ)
WeWorks is now looking to go public as soon as September, earlier than most advisors and investors expected. If you know an ECM or DCM banker, you likely won’t see them for a while. The office space manager is meeting with Wall Street banks this week on a debt deal that won’t force it to raise as much money in an initial public offering. The company has also yet to finalize which firms will act as underwriters on what is expected to be the biggest IPO of the year. (WSJ)
Ever wanted to short General Motors while driving your Chevy around town? Of course not; but you may soon have that ability. TD Ameritrade is launching an in-vehicle offering that will enable drivers to check stock quotes and portfolio performance using voice commands. The bank said it hopes to incorporate trading functionality into the software down the road. (Bloomberg)
Meanwhile, TD Ameritrade is looking for a successor for Chief Executive Tim Hockey, who will step down in early 2020 after four years in the role. (WSJ)
Bridgewater Associates had one of its worst first halves in nearly two decades, with its flagship fund falling nearly 5% in the six months ending in June. However, the firm’s Pure Alpha fund is having a monster July, and is now down less than 1.5% on the year. (FT)
Regulators have agreed to give fund managers another year to abide by new rules that will force them to put up cash collateral to back their derivatives trades. The requirements, which have already been implemented for big banks, now won’t go into effect for smaller funds until Sept. 2021. (Financial News)
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