NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 19, 2012) - Foreign Bank stocks have struggled recently as the slowdown in Europe's economy has been worse than expected. The European Union statistics agency, Eurostat, last week reported that the euro zone's economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HBC) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (NYSE: RBS).
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The governor of the Bank of England (BoE) has warned that Britain's economy may shrink in the fourth quarter and experience sluggish growth into 2013. The BoE has recently lowered its 2013 UK economic growth forecast to around 1.0 percent, from their previous forecast of a 2.0 percent growth.
"The future path of GDP will depend critically on developments in the global environment, with strains in the euro area posing the greatest risk to a sustained recovery," the BoE said in the report. "The outlook for UK growth remains uncertain. A major threat to a sustained recovery is if the adjustments in indebtedness and competitiveness required within the euro area occur in a disorderly manner."
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With assets of US$2,652bn at 30 June 2012, the HSBC Group is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organizations. Its network covers 85 countries and territories in six geographical regions: Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, North America and Latin America. The bank last week reported that money laundering fines from the U.S. could top $1.5 billion. "It could be significantly higher," Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said on a conference call with reporters.
The RBS group is a large international banking and financial services company. From its headquarters in Edinburgh, the Group serves over 30 million customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia. The bank expects its restructuring phase to be mostly complete by 2013.
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