* U.K. lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's new Brexit deal with the European Union in a 391-242 vote, paving the way for votes on a no-deal Brexit and potentially on a delayed departure from the bloc.
* Financial regulators from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Sweden are calling for a pan-European financial crime investigation authority, following a series of money laundering scandals that have hit the Baltic and Nordic regions and spurred criticism on the watchdogs, the Financial Times reported.
* Policymakers at the ECB are looking to tailor a fresh loan facility in order to reduce lenders' dependence on central bank cash, insiders told Reuters.
* The EU's General Court defended the ECB for not disclosing a document that supported the regulator's decision to freeze the amount of emergency cash it was providing to Greek banks in 2015, Reuters reported. The Court ruled the central bank was right to withhold the document to protect its "space to think."
* The EU updated its list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, adding the United Arab Emirates and several others that now face restrictions on funding by the bloc. The European Commission said its tax haven blacklist now also includes Barbados, the Marshall Islands, Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, Oman, Vanuatu and Dominica.
* Another global debt crisis is likely but would not be as severe as that in the 2008-2009 period despite higher and riskier global debt today than a decade ago, according to a report by S&P Global Ratings.
UK AND IRELAND
* Standard Life Aberdeen PLC appointed Keith Skeoch as its sole CEO, with Martin Gilbert taking up the vice chairman post at the firm, effective today. The company also named Stephanie Bruce CFO, effective June 1, subject to regulatory approvals.
* Wonga Group Ltd.'s administrators told the U.K. Treasury Select Committee that the British payday lender's total number of redress claims is currently four times higher than initially estimated in August 2018, bringing the number of customers left with outstanding complaints to over 40,000.
* U.S.-based Visa Inc. extended its all share cash offer to acquire U.K. payment processing company Earthport PLC to April 30. Earlier in the week, Visa purchased a 9.9% stake in Earthport.
* At least four senior bankers at Standard Chartered PLC's Asian private banking unit have departed the London-headquartered lender in recent months, amid increasing earnings pressure at the division, insiders told Reuters.
* KBC Bank Ireland PLC named Peter Roebben its new CEO, replacing Wim Verbraeken, effective April 1. Roebben currently serves as senior general manager of group credit risk at the bank's Belgium-based parent company KBC Group NV.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* The supervisory boards of Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG are set to meet March 21, although, there is no indication that discussions on a potential merger between the two institutions is on the agenda, insiders told Reuters. Meanwhile, Germany's Verdi labor union expressed its opposition to the banks' potential tie-up, arguing that a deal would make the combined group more attractive for a hostile foreign takeover and put at least 10,000 jobs at risk, Reuters reported.
* Markus Braun, CEO of Wirecard AG, told Reuters that the German payments processing firm has put an accounting employee in Singapore on leave until a probe into fraud allegations at the company is completed. The employee, Edo Kurniawan, was in charge of Wirecard's accounting in Asia-Pacific, according to the Financial Times, citing court filings by Singapore prosecutors.
* Moody's warned that three of Germany's five largest commercial real estate lenders — including Aareal Bank AG, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG and Deutsche Hypothekenbank AG — had substantial exposure to the U.K. market and could be hit hard if Britain exited the EU without a deal, Reuters noted. The banks' U.K. exposure has been well above 1.5 times Tier 1 core equity, considerably higher than other German banks that have reduced lending to British companies by 40% since the vote to leave the EU in 2016, the agency added.
* Ulrich Netzer, president of Bavaria's state savings bank association, has expressed support for plans to form a "super Landesbank" by merging a number of smaller state banks, Handelsblatt reported. While the Bavarian state government, the main shareholder of Bayerische Landesbank, has said it would not participate in the merger, Bavaria's savings banks have had to contribute €68 million to the rescue of state bank Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, whose troubles led to the idea of creating a super state bank.
* French prosecutors have appealed a Paris court's acquittal of Raoul Weil, former head of wealth management at UBS Group AG, during a trial against the lender and six of its bankers, Neue Zürcher Zeitung reported. A criminal court in February convicted UBS and the five other bankers on charges of money laundering and abiding tax evasion and ordered the lender to pay €4.5 billion in fines and damages.
* Romeo Lacher will step down as chairman of Switzerland-based SIX Group AG at the company's annual general meeting in 2020 at the latest. The group noted it will commence a search for his replacement shortly.
* EFG International AG said it will purchase a 51% stake in Australian financial service provider Shaw and Partners Ltd. for up to A$61 million, or roughly CHF44 million. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval in Switzerland, is expected to complete in the second quarter.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* ING Groep NV was named in a complaint filed previously against nine other banks in the U.S. alleging conspiracy to fix the prices of Mexican government bonds between 2006 and 2017, Het Financieele Dagblad reported, citing the Dutch lender's annual report.
* U.S. exchange operator CME Group Inc. obtained permission from the Dutch finance ministry to set up a legal entity in the Netherlands as it prepares for Brexit, Het Financieele Dagblad wrote. CME Amsterdam BV will begin operations March 18.
* U.S.-based futures brokerage R.J. O'Brien & Associates LLC set up a new affiliate called R.J. O'Brien France, which will open an office in Paris at the end of March, subject to regulatory approval.
* France's Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations is targeting up to 100 voluntary departures by 2021, according to L'Agefi.
* BinckBank NV wants to swap the bonuses it pays its board of directors for an increase in their annual salary, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. The company is the subject of a takeover offer by Denmark's Saxo Bank A/S.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Banco Santander SA's top management is finalizing a new three-year strategic plan aimed at improving capital allocation and bolstering the returns of its units, Expansión reported, citing an investor report issued by Goldman Sachs. Sources told the newspaper that the lender would aim to achieve its mid-term return on tangible equity target of between 13% and 15% by reducing costs and extending unit Openbank's online business to more countries, starting from Argentina and moving on to the U.K. or Peru.
* Banco Santander Totta SA CEO Pedro Castro e Almeida rejected claims that the Portuguese lender would position itself against the €1.5 billion capital injection requested by Novo Banco SA from the country's resolution fund, Economia Online wrote.
ITALY AND GREECE
* Värde Partners Inc. is working on a possible offer for all of Banca Carige SpA with the support of the Malacalza family, which controls the lender, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.
* A group of investors led by Värde and Guber Banca SpA will acquire nonperforming loans with a gross value of €734 million from 22 small Italian cooperative and savings banks, Reuters reported.
* Cerved Group SpA could weigh the spin-off of its nonperforming loans business after U.S. private equity group Advent International Corp. decided not to proceed with a takeover of the Italian credit data provider, MF wrote, noting that the move could help facilitate its search for a buyer.
* UniCredit SpA issued a €1 billion additional Tier 1 bond, with investors seeking to buy some €5 billion of the notes, according to MF. The bond will contribute to improving the bank's Tier-1 ratio by some 27 basis points, Reuters noted.
* Nexi SpA's management met with BlackRock, Vanguard and other asset management groups yesterday as it prepares for an April IPO expected to value it at some €7 billion, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.
* Former Generali CEO Giovanni Perissinotto was appointed CEO of Banca Finint SpA, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.
* At least one of the 10 executives at Danske Bank A/S' Estonian branch that are part of the ongoing money laundering investigation may have also worked for Swedbank AB (publ), according to Dagens Industri.
* The governments of the Nordic and Baltic states are considering working together to improve information exchange mechanisms in a bid to combat money laundering in their national jurisdictions, Affärsvärlden wrote.
* Foreign digital banks such as Bank Norwegian AS and Sweden's Nordax Bank AB (publ) are playing a more active role in Finland's consumer loans market, Ilta Sanomat noted.
* VTB Bank PJSC plans to transfer its stake in JSCB Evrofinance-Mosnarbank Bank JSC, recently hit by U.S. sanctions due to its dealings with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, to Russia's Federal Agency for State Property Management, Reuters reported, noting that the transfer procedure was initiated early this year. Venezuela's Fondo De Desarrollo Nacional holds a 49.99% stake in Evrofinance-Mosnar Bank, while VTB and AO Gazprombank each own a 25% stake in the lender.
* Mihaly Patai, who heads UniCredit Bank Hungary Zrt., could join the Hungarian central bank as deputy governor to replace Ferenc Gerhardt, whose term expires April 21, Reuters reported, citing Hungarian radio station Klubradio.
* The Armenia central bank maintained its refinancing rate at 5.75%, ArmBanks reported, citing a press release from the regulator.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Ping An plans 10B yuan share buy back; Samsung Life eyes Vietnam M&A deal
Middle East & Africa: FirstRand fiscal H1 earnings up YOY; EU adds UAE, Oman to tax haven blacklist
Latin America: IMF approves funding for Ecuador; BBVA Francés' Q4'18 profit doubles
North America: Wells Fargo CEO to face House banking panel; Citi considers banking pot firms
Global Insurance: Claims possible as 737s grounded; flood premiums may rise; crop subsidy cuts
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
Export reliance hits German, Dutch economies as Brexit, global trade take toll: Foreign trade woes will take a toll on export-oriented eurozone economies such as Germany and the Netherlands with new outlook downgrades for both, while U.S. trade policy, a slowing Chinese economy and Brexit remain key risks.
Sharp drop in issuance of bail-in CoCo bonds by European banks: Over the past three years, European banks have cut the number of issuances of bonds that can be converted to shares.
Deza Mones, Ed Meza, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Stephanie Salti, PraxillaTrabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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