Fitch: German Banks Could Drop Hedge Funds

Feb 13 2013 | 12:48pm ET

German plans to enforce a strict separation of retail banking and investment operations, including hedge funds, could lead German banks to simply abandon the latter.

Germany's proposed new bank rules would require that both secured and unsecured investment activities be ring-fenced from customer assets. By contrast, France, which is working with Germany on the new rules, plans only to force the separation of unsecured activities from customer assets.

The full impact of the German bill remains unclear, including which activities precisely will be prohibited. But whatever form they take, banks may simply choose to forego proprietary trading, high-frequency trading and hedge funds entirely, Fitch Ratings suggests.

"Only a few banks would end up putting trading activities into separate subsidiaries," Fitch's Michael Dawson-Kropf told Bloomberg News. The rest would simply give up "restricted activities rather than incur the costs of separation, as the affected businesses make relatively small contributions to earnings."

The draft bill, approved by the cabinet last week, would affect between 10 and 12 banks, most notably Deutsche Bank.


In Depth

Exotic Assets: Investing In Rare Violins

Jan 17 2017 | 4:43pm ET

By definition, alternative investments include exotic assets far beyond your typical...

Lifestyle

'Tis the Season: Wall Street Holiday Parties Back In Fashion

Dec 22 2016 | 9:23pm ET

Spending on Wall Street holiday parties has largely returned to pre-2008 levels...

Guest Contributor

The Trump Administration: What It Could Mean for Carried Interest

Jan 19 2017 | 5:25pm ET

The arrival of the Trump administration brings the potential for a repeal of the...

 

From the current issue of

Often seen as a passion project, or part of a philanthropic venture, rare and fine stringed instruments offer an exciting option to diversify one’s investment portfolio while providing an opportunity for an exceptional long-term investment.