News in Brief: Trade gap, Deutsche Bank, cyber-attacks, JP Morgan

News in Brief

UK’s goods trade gap widens

The UK's goods trade gap with the rest of the world widened by £1.9bn to a record high of £125bn in 2015, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also warned the figures would have a negative impact on its second estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth, reported the BBC.

But 2015 also saw a record surplus in the UK's dominant services sector of £90bn.

That meant the UK's total trade gap widened by just £300m last year.

The overall deficit – the difference between the amount the UK imports and what it exports – stood at £34.7bn in 2015, said the ONS.

The statistics authority said it will publish its second estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth on 25 February 2016.

Deutsche Bank is 'rock solid'

The chief executive of Deutsche Bank has reassured staff that the bank is strong in the face of market turbulence.

John Cryan, who was appointed to run Germany’s biggest bank in July 2015, sent an email to his 100,000 staff to assure them the bank was “absolutely rock solid”, reported the Guardian.

The bank’s shares fell 9.5% on yesterday (8 January 2016) and there was a rise in the cost of buying insurance against it defaulting on its debt.

Deutsche issued a statement intended to quash investor concerns that it might not be able to make payments on a special kind of debt that converts into shares during times of crisis.

Cryan’s personal intervention came as Deutsche’s shares continued to slide. The Stoxx 600 Banks index, which tracks financial stocks across Europe, fell 1.7%, adding to a 5.6% decline. Europe’s banking sector has lost a quarter of its value in 2016 as fears of a global downturn have damaged market valuations.

‘Cyber-attacks are biggest threat to businesses’

Cyber-attacks and high-profile data breaches are the biggest threat to business in 2016, according to a survey of 500 companies from around the world.

Of the risk experts polled by the Business Continuity Institute, 85% said they were concerned by the prospect of a cyber-attack over the next 12 months, ​up from 82% in 2015.

​The number of companies expressing fear over the potential loss of sensitive data has also increased from 74% to 80%.

Cybercrime came out ahead of terrorist attacks, excessive red tape, and skills shortages as a concern, reported City A.M.

High-profile cyber-attacks at TalkTalk and Carphone Warehouse in the UK, and Ashley Madison in the US, have exposed the vulnerabilities of large companies to cybercrime.

Chief executive of TalkTalk, Dido Harding, said that the attack in October 2015 cost it £60m and 100,000 customers.

Boss of rogue trader at JP Morgan fined £800k

Achilles Macris headed the unit that employed Bruno Iksil, but failed to help the authorities investigate the rogue trader

The boss of the rogue trader dubbed the ‘London Whale’ has been fined £792,900 for failing to help the authorities investigate his behaviour, reported the Telegraph.

Achilles Macris headed the chief investment office international at JP Morgan, London where Bruno Iksil was accused of racking up losses of more than £4.1bn ($6bn) in the so-called London Whale scandal.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) dropped its probe into Iksil IN 2015, but have now issued a fine against his ex-boss.

The FCA spoke to Macris in March and April 2012 but regulators say he failed to give a full picture of the problems in the bank’s Synthetic Credit Portfolio.