The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Morgan Stanley, Banco Santander, Barclays, Capital One Financial and Bank of America

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Morgan Stanley, Banco Santander, Barclays,
                  Capital One Financial and Bank of America

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Aug. 26, 2013

CHICAGO, Aug. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include  the Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS-Free
Report), Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE:SAN-Free Report), Barclays PLC
(NYSE:BCS-Free Report), Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF-Free Report) and
Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC-Free Report).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Another Insurance Scandal for UK

Bank-related troubles are far from over in the U.K. The latest scandal to hit
the banking sector involves CPP Group Plc as well as 13 other major banks and
credit card companies. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has imputed these
companies of duping customers into buying false CPP credit card insurance
policies.

The banks and credit card providers embroiled include Morgan Stanley
(NYSE:MS-Free Report), Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE:SAN-Free Report), Barclays
PLC (NYSE:BCS-Free Report), Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF-Free Report)
and MBNA, which is a wholly owned subsidiary ofBank of America Corporation
(NYSE:BAC-Free Report), among others. Additionally, Canada Square Operations,
Clydesdale Bank, Home Retail Group Insurance Services, Nationwide and Tesco
Personal Finance have been accused as well.

About seven million customers who bought the insurance policies since 2005
will be able to claim a reimbursement of the premiums they paid, along with an
interest of 8%. The compensation will likely be paid early next year.

The charges of the FCA come as an additional harassment for British banks,
after the impact of a series of litigation scandals and compensation payments.
The banking sector in the U.K. has been plagued by litigations related to the
wrongful selling of payment protection insurance to customers and interest
rate hedges to small businesses.

The Background Story

In 2011, Hamish Ogston – the founder of CPP Group – was awarded the Commander
of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to business and the
community. However, just a week later, regulators began their scrutiny of the
bank's sale of CPP credit card insurance policies.

The banks and card companies were accused by regulators of introducing
customers to CPP Group's products. Many customers were put in contact with CPP
Group when they started activating their new bank card. CPP Group then used
the opportunity of the call to offer card protection insurance. When a
customer bought an insurance policy, the bank used to get a commission.

CPP Group also sold a card protection policy worth nearly £30 a year, designed
to cover costs of a lost or stolen card. Another insurance scheme, worth
nearly £80 a year, was designed to cover expenses if the customer's identity
was stolen. However, CPP Group allegedly misinformed about the risks and
consequences of identity theft when these were being sold.

During the period between Jan 2005 and Mar 2011, CPP Group sold 4.4 million
policies and generated £354 million in gross profit. Additional policies worth
18.7 million were renewed during the same period, generating an income of £656
million.

Conclusion

The British banking system has yet to recover fully from the financial crisis.
Further, the long process of restructuring bailed out banks is hampering the
economy. The latest scandal is bound to affect the fragile financial sector
and add to its woes.

Notably, the credit card scam has cost CPP Group dearly. A £36 million 3-year
refinancing deal from the bank's lenders in the last month saved it from the
risk of bankruptcy. Notably, the company has already paid £54 million,
including a £10.5 million fine, related to the alleged sale of fraudulent
credit card insurance policies. The company also reported operating loss of
£3.5 million in the last six months.

However, we believe that increased regulatory surveillance will keep
fraudulent practices under check and aid in the economic recovery.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

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