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peaceloveunderstanding

Bank of America Acquistion?

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There is speculation, namely by Merrill Lynch, that Bank of America is going to acquire Barclays PLC and create a financial giant that will dwarf Citigroup.

I'm not too familiar with the financial world, what would this mean for Charlotte if it came to pass? If the bank were to stay in Charlotte, I think it would boost the city's global position significantly.

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British Airways? :)

It almost makes me nevous, becaue I would think this is just one more reason to consolidate in NYC, even though Ken Lewis has me cautiously optimistic that he has no such plans.....who knows what his successor might see as the right move.

Aside from that, the name Charlotte will begin appearing more in the European press, so that's a positive. Charlotteans would also likely be exposed to European planning/design (much like Hugh McColl was) and might be more creative in what the expect out of their home city.

All in all though, I expect little net impact, with a few more jobs in Charlotte, but mostly increased bragging rights for the bank and city.

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All in all though, I expect little net impact, with a few more jobs in Charlotte, but mostly increased bragging rights for the bank and city.

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It is interesting that Barclays is one of two european banks (the other is Deutsche Bank) that has always been rumored to be planning to open a major operation in Charlotte. As we know, it never happened. though they once did have a some kind of office here in the 80s.

If they did this, it makes one wonder if they would keep the merged bank's HQ in Charlotte. Barclays main HQ is in London and it is older than the USA itself. Their North American HQ is in NYC. I can imagine that unless this is a hostile deal, there are going to be some conditions on what gets located where. It's unimaginable that a 300+ year old bank of that calibar is all of a sudden going to be based in Charlotte, NC.

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HSBC's North American HQ is in Buffalo. It is one of the biggest banks in the world. I'm not worried.

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^Their HQ is in London.

Edit: HBSC's USA HQ is now in NYC. It move there in 1999.

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They had planned a Charlotte tower in the 1980s but that fell through. I don't know if they have any presence here or not.

From a quick read of the balance sheet, Barclays' total assets are 986 billion pounds, which is $1.94 trillion USD. :o Barclays is the biggest bank in the world by that metric.

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Indeed. That is why I am thinking this will be a move to relocate the BofA's Corporate HQ to NYC and London. Charlotte will probably remain the HQ for the USA retail bank, though now that I think about it, I think that is/was in Atlanta.

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with all the new stuff BoA has built in clt, it doesn't make sense to remove the hq from here. too much infrastructure. This deal really will put charlotte on the world map.

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Barclays operated a U.S. finance business (consumer and commercial lending) from the office tower at 201 S. Tryon, which was called the BarclaysAmerican building. It was a big presence here in the 1980s and into the 1990s, when it was sold off piecemeal.

The business was called the American Credit Corporation before Barclays bought it in 1979. It was a sensation at the time because Wachovia had tried to buy it and been turned away by regulators over concerns that the two companies controlled too much of the market.

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with all the new stuff BoA has built in clt, it doesn't make sense to remove the hq from here. too much infrastructure. This deal really will put charlotte on the world map.

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They are currently building a $1 Billion new skyscraper in Manhattan that is not only a beautiful building, but taller than the Wachovia new HQ that we are discussing in this forum. It is a world class building and the most expensive office tower they have ever put up. There was a lot of speculation when they announced this building that it was to house their new HQ in NYC.

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Of course since it is still under construction anything is possible. Barclays also has posh office space in Manhattan. I don't know how either would compare to the executive space in the 1992 BofA tower on N. Tryon.

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What would be an equaly as interesting speculation is that if the country's 1st (by far) and 4th largest banks are based in Charlottes, why not Citigroup or Chase not consider relocating some of their banking functions here?

The obvious answer is, because they're already in NYC, so why move. But considering cost savings associated with Charlotte as opposed to New York, is it that unfeasible? Obiously, investment and global banking will almost certainly remain in NYC for the distant future, but functions like retail banking and basic HQ functions could easily be transferred to Charlotte if the companies so desired.

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There does indeed seem to be something to the rumor as it is all over the news now.

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while I have no information on the probability of this merger occurring that won't stop me from speculating of the likely impacts it will have on our fair city. :wacko:

This merger has been rumored for a couple of years now (since before the Fleet acquisition). Barclay's business has generally languished during this time (and Ken Lewis said several times that he was not interested in a merger with a european bank because of their poor growth prospects). Because of the weak business climate in the UK, Barclay's has generally taken the corporate posture of a seller rather than as a buyer. This, combined with the large disparity in market values of the two banks it seems unlikely that Barclay's could exert significant control in a post-merger bank (but anything is possible).

In addition, Barclay's healthiest business line has been its exchange traded fund business (Barclay's calls them i-shares http://www.ishares.com). These are (generally) passively managed mutual fund style investments which trade like stocks. One could argue that this is one of the few investment banking activities that can be effectively managed outside a major financial center, it may actually make more sense to manage these funds from a low-cost location like Charlotte. In short, the ishares business may represent the perfect way for a Charlotte based bank to become a major player in investment banking.

Merger or not, I would bet that Charlotte

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What would be an equaly as interesting speculation is that if the country's 1st (by far) and 4th largest banks are based in Charlottes, why not Citigroup or Chase not consider relocating some of their banking functions here?

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Talent is one reason- not that people in Charlotte aren't talented, but for lots of finance-related jobs, there's just a MUCH, MUCH, MUCH larger pool of potential employees in NYC, and being on the ground in NYC enables one to be "in the loop" on various goings-on in the finance world. That's somewhat intangible, but location is worth a lot, and cost savings aren't necessarily a savings with intangibles factored in.

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McColl and Crutchfield (and now Lewis and Thompson) tried to build "poison pills" in regards to Charlotte. At least that's what I have always been told by those who are supposedly "in the know". They amassed huge numbers of employees (human capital) and invested heavily in local real estate (CIC, Gateway Village); both would create significant issues for any company that tried to consume either bank.

While no city is ever safe from a corporate relocation, I'm not sure what benefits the bank would realize by moving to Manhattan. The divisions that need access to the investment world are already there. With huge profits being generated from the respective HQs here in little old Charlotte, why move?

And while I've never been in the executive areas of any tower in New York, I have been in those at Bank of America Corporate Center and One Wachovia. Wow! One of the reasons I've been told that the HQ for WB will not move to the new tower on S Tryon is that the executive levels at OWC were VERY expensive and would be difficult to convert to regular office space.

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My guess is that in terms of the "human capital" (I hate that term) if these two huge banks combine, there will be a large bloodletting of people to get rid of duplication. I also see an acceleration of technical job moves to India and more outsourcing. Finally I think that of the three choices for new HQ, London, Charlote or NYC, it will end up in NYC though Charlotte will no doubt maintain some major operations.

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They are currently building a $1 Billion new skyscraper in Manhattan that is not only a beautiful building, but taller than the Wachovia new HQ that we are discussing in this forum. It is a world class building and the most expensive office tower they have ever put up. There was a lot of speculation when they announced this building that it was to house their new HQ in NYC.

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All that tower is doing is consolidating about 12 different offices that they currently have scattered all over downtown and midtown manhattan.

4,000 people is no small number, but it is nothing compared to their ~13,000 employees in downtown Charlotte.

Again, it makes sense to have certain functions in NY, but I suspect that the HQ operations would stay here.

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All that tower is doing is consolidating about 12 different offices that they currently have scattered all over downtown and midtown manhattan.

4,000 people is no small number, but it is nothing compared to their ~13,000 employees in downtown Charlotte.

Again, it makes sense to have certain functions in NY, but I suspect that the HQ operations would stay here.

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