Off the record

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"I think they’ve gone stark, staring mad"

A senior UK banker on members of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee accusing banks of mis-reporting their bad loans and telling them to seek external capital to pay for future losses


"The list of failed sales is growing longer by the day. Strong banks simply won’t commit capital to acquisitions at the moment and that isn’t going to change until there’s further progress on the eurozone crisis"

A FIG M&A banker laments the difficulties for banks trying to raise capital by selling divisions


"Being in Europe will still feel like being hit on the head with a hammer, but just not quite as hard"

A portfolio manager tempers his expectations for 2013


"HP and Autonomy is massively destructive to sentiment [as far as M&A is concerned], which doesn’t help"

A senior debt banker at a bank that advised on the HP/Autonomy deal unwittingly laments the impact the schism is having to a room full of journalists


"Both products are highly addictive, and they can kill you"

A banker jokes about evident synergies between retailing consumer credit and alcohol