HSBC's Flint neither 'revolutionary' nor 'disaster'

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After the surprise departure of HSBC boss John Flint, Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Nicholas Hyett has offered a view on the banker's brief tenure.

"Flint’s only been in the role 18 months, and while his strategy might not be revolutionary it’s certainly not been a disaster, it seems strange to be changing leadership again before reforms have had a chance to bed in," he said.

"With the retail bank doing well when others are struggling, and the outlook for the investment bank set to improve, the change of leadership could be particularly confusing.

"However we think the very cautious outlook statement might provide the explanation. With macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds mounting, the HSBC board could be looking for more radical reform.”

Half a million Monzo customers told to change PIN

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Challenger bank Monzo has asked up to half a million of its customers to change their PINs after discovering a bug that meant they were visible to engineers.

The security cock-up saw customer PINs inadvertently stored in two distinct files in the company's architecture, one of which was open to engineers as part of their job.

"No one outside Monzo had access to these PINs," the bank said. "We’ve checked all the accounts that have been affected by this bug thoroughly, and confirmed the information hasn’t been used to commit fraud.

"Just in case, we’ve messaged everyone that’s been affected to let them know they should change their PIN by going to a cash machine."

Culture clash at HSBC?

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould has commented on that shock departure of HSBC chief John Flint. He said:

The relatively abrupt move is not typical for HSBC and, for all the emollient words around his departure, hints at some kind of culture clash between senior management or a background issue. The task for his replacement could be a tall one. Something which is reflected in the downbeat comments on the outlook, with a shift back towards a negative trend for global interest rates not helpful to the banking industry.”

Centrica shares off 17%

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With just the last 30 minutes or so of trading left in London on Tuesday, miner Fresnillo and British Gas-owner Centrica are battling it out to register the biggest losses of any FTSE 100 share today.

Fresnillo is off 16% while Centrica has plunged to 21 year lows, down 17%.

In the FTSE 250, CYBG is still the biggest loser, down 11% after the owner of Virgin Money and Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks issued results. Metro Bank, having a torrid time of late on the stock market, is down 7% at 370p and on course for what appears to be a record low.

Profit margin worries

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A reason for the slide in the share price of CYBG after its results is the focus on what the bank said about its net interest margin - a measure of profitability.

Ian Gordon, banks analyst at Investec, said: "The issue people are focusing on is the net interest margin and the comment that it is expected to come in the lower end of guidance".

"It's being treated as a downgrade [by the market]," he said, although he said he felt it was consistent with previous comments by the bank.