European News

by Staff Writer on March 21, 2012

Check out the industry news from Europe:

U.K. Finance Firms Rely on Basic Non-Compete Clause, Survey Says

Almost 60 percent of U.K. financial services companies use standardized non-compete agreements in employment contracts, making it difficult to prevent workers from taking clients with them when they leave, according to a law firm survey.

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP (1217L) said 83 percent of respondents used some form of restrictive covenant, with 59 percent using a standardized contract. The report, released March 16, surveyed 116 businesses in the U.K., including banks, brokers and insurers.

“A significant number of employers are using off-the-shelf covenants and that is when they are going to run into difficulties,” said Alex Denny, a lawyer at the firm’s London office, referring to the narrow scope of the basic agreements. “They understand the importance of having covenants but may not have given much thought beyond that.”

Click link to view full story at Bloomberg

Bernanke Says Europe Must Aid Banks Even as Strains Ease

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Europe must further strengthen its banks and that its financial and economic situation “remains difficult” even as stresses have lessened, according to testimony prepared for delivery to U.S. lawmakers today.

“Full resolution of the crisis will require a further strengthening of the European banking system,” Bernanke says in the text of testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The region’s leaders also must “increase economic growth and competitiveness and to reduce external imbalances in the troubled countries,” he said.

Click link to view full story at Bloomberg

European Banks Would Have Passed Fed’s Stress Test

After years of turmoil in the financial markets, regulators in both the United States and Europe have put banks through the wringer to see if they would be able to weather future shocks.

Last week, the Federal Reserve published its latest stress test of the country’s financial institutions. Fifteen of the 19 banks included in the test, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chasemet the Fed’s criteria.

That follows similar efforts by European regulators, who have conducted their own checks on the Continent’s banks. In the latest stress test, published last December, firms were told to raise an additional 114.7 billion euros ($152.7 billion) to shore up their capital reserves.

Click link to view full story at The New York Times

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