Rory Cullinan runs the world’s worst bank from a fifth-floor office overlooking Liverpool Street station in London. His 400-person outfit doesn’t lend money or trade securities. Instead, it sells blown-out mortgages, busted loans and entire companies amassed by Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc before it collapsed in the global financial crash of 2008. On a Friday afternoon in February, Cullinan is savoring a new feeling in his life as a toxic-asset disposal specialist: hope that the worst is finally over.
Tesco Plc, the U.K.’s largest retailer, said it will exit the U.S. and scale back domestic expansion at a cost of about 2 billion pounds ($3 billion) as it reported the first annual profit drop in almost 20 years.
Prudential Plc ’s attempt to cut the price of its $35.5 billion takeover of American International Group Inc. ’s main Asian unit failed, leaving the biggest purchase in the U.K. insurer’s history on the verge of failure.
Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins’s plan to cut jobs and costs to return the lender to profit sent the stock to a two-year-high. Investors say he now has half that time to start delivering on his turnaround.
Prudential Plc , the U.K. insurer buying AIA Group Ltd. for a record $35.5 billion, will take on $7.37 billion of Thai sovereign debt in the deal, as the Asian country’s deadliest political clashes in 20 years stoke investor concern about a possible default.
Tesco Plc Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke, who took direct control of the grocer’s domestic business three months ago, has until the end of the year to convince some investors he can return the U.K. to growth after four quarters of declining sales.