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UK's May wins vote; Unicaja, Liberbank confirm deal talks; GAM sees CHF925M loss

* The EU has agreed to offer European derivatives traders 12 months to continue using U.K.-based clearing houses in the event that Britain leaves the bloc without a deal, the Financial Times reported.

* The German government approved new rules allowing financial regulator BaFin to set transition arrangements for British financial institutions through the end of 2020, Bloomberg News reported. The move is said to be part of Germany's efforts to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

* Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, disclosed his intention to step down from his post at the end of June 2019.

* The U.S. and the U.K. have finalized the terms of a so-called covered agreement under which insurers and reinsurers from one country will be able to write business in the other without certain restrictions that usually apply to foreign companies.

UK AND IRELAND

* British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote after reportedly vowing to stand down as the Conservative Party's leader before the 2022 election. May secured a total of 200 votes, more than the simple majority needed to retain her post for another year without a leadership challenge.

* Legal & General Group PLC is considering selling its general insurance business in a deal that could be worth more than £300 million, insiders told Sky News.

* Barclays PLC aims to double its employee count in Ireland to 300 by the end of 2019 and find more Irish clients, the Irish Independent reported. The British lender selected Dublin as the new hub for its Irish operations after the U.K. departs the EU.

* The British Financial Reporting Council launched a revised international auditing standard covering the assessment of expected credit losses at banks and building societies.

* The U.K. National Crime Agency suspended a bank account believed to have links to a multibillion dollar Azerbaijani money-laundering scheme, Reuters wrote.

* U.K.-based Revolut Ltd. obtained a European banking license from Lithuanian authorities that will allow the financial technology startup to start offering current accounts and loans across the EU from early 2019, according to the Financial Times.

* A British jury failed to reach a majority verdict in an insider trading case brought by the Financial Conduct Authority against Fabiana Abdel-Malek, a former compliance officer at Swiss bank UBS Group AG, and Walid Choucair, the Financial Times reported.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* The German government is in high-level discussions to find ways on how to make a potential merger between Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG easier, insiders told Bloomberg News. The talks reportedly include potentially amending German laws to reduce the tax burden for the creation of such a structure and thus make the potential tie-up cheaper.

* In a bid to cut costs, Commerzbank has withdrawn from all foreign and regional exchanges, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The lender will only have its stocks listed in Frankfurt.

* Bayerische Landesbank AöR said CEO Johannes-Jörg Riegler will not renew his contract when it expires in February 2019 and will be succeeded on an interim basis by deputy CEO Edgar Zoller.

* Swiss asset manager GAM Holding AG expects an IFRS net loss of about CHF925 million and an underlying pretax profit of CHF125 million for 2018. The Swiss asset manager's AUM amounted to CHF139.1 billion at November-end, compared to CHF146.1 billion two months earlier.

* UBS agreed a deal worth hundreds of millions of Swiss francs to use Microsoft Corp. cloud services as part of efforts to cut costs while adhering to Switzerland's strict privacy laws, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* Bank Vontobel AG's asset management unit is combining its Multi Asset Class and Vescore businesses into the CHF40 billion Multi Asset Boutique. The combined teams will be led by Daniel Seiler, who currently heads Vescore.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* ING Groep NV CEO Ralph Hamers has admitted responsibility over the bank's involvement in a money laundering scandal at a hearing at the Dutch House of Representatives, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. He also said that his proposed pay rise earlier this year was an error of judgment, Dutch News reported.

* French regulators AMF and ACPR have launched a public consultation on the sale of financial products to vulnerable older people, L'Agefi wrote. The aim of the consultation is to prevent bad practices.

* Belfius Banque SA will amend its variable remuneration system and minimize pay increases, De Tijd reported.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* Shares in Unicaja Banco SA and Liberbank SA rose yesterday after the Spanish lenders confirmed that they are in preliminary talks over a potential tie-up to create what would be the sixth-largest bank in Spain.

* Portugal's government has defended a proposed reform to banking legislation that would bolster guarantees on larger deposits, a measure that is already being considered by parliament's budget and finance committee, Jornal de Negócios reported. Portugal's APB banking industry association had warned that the government-led proposal would put local legislation at odds with the rest of Europe and could hit the credibility of the country's financial system.

* Caixa Económica Montepio Geral caixa económica bancária SA CEO Carlos Tavares has nominated João Ermida to become chairman of the savings bank, Jornal Económico reported.

ITALY AND GREECE

* Italy will lower its budget deficit target under a revised spending plan for 2019 as Rome attempts to avoid potential sanctions from the EU, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, according to the Associated Press.

* UniCredit SpA is considering selling Card Complete Service Bank AG, which is 50.1% owned by unit UniCredit Bank Austria AG, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

* Julius Bär has mandated Goldman Sachs to sell Italian unit Kairos, less than 12 months from taking full control of it, MF reported.

* Generali approved the elimination on the 70 age limit for its chairman position, paving the way for the reconfirmation of Gabriele Galateri di Genola, all dailies including MF reported. The age limits for CEO and board members were also eliminated.

* Banca Carige SpA is mulling recourse after a Genoa court ruled against its request for damages for the sale of the insurance unit Amissima to investment fund Apollo, MF wrote.

* Reale Mutua bought a 10% in Norwegian fintech startup Tribe with the option to raise its stake further in 24 months, MF wrote.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Nordea Bank Abp said its risk management units will be consolidated into a new division called group business risk management to be headed by Julie Galbo. Nordea will also merge risk management and compliance into one unit, group risk and compliance, which will be led by Chief Risk Officer Matthew Elderfield.

* Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB has finalized a business plan for the 2019-2021 period that includes a dividend payout ratio of 40% or higher of earnings per share. The bank is also looking to achieve a common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of around 150 basis points above requirements, Dagens Industri reported.

* Mybanker, the Danish independent banking price portal, has named Marlene Nørgaard Carolus CEO, Børsen reported. Carolus joins from Danske Bank A/S, where she was global head of wealth management.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Russian development lender Vnesheconombank wants to transfer unit Interregional Bank for Settlements of the Telecommunications & Postal Services, or Sviaz-Bank, to state-controlled PAO Promsvyazbank, Vedomosti reported.

* State-controlled PAO Sberbank of Russia expects its 2019 net profit to grow by over 10%, with return on equity exceeding 20%, Vedomosti said, citing CFO Alexander Morozov. The bank also sees an net interest margin of 5.5%, while fee and commission income is expected to grow by between 14% and 16% next year.

* Russia's PJSC State Transport Leasing Co. prepared a new development strategy, under which it plans to expand its leasing portfolio to 1.8 trillion Russian rubles by 2024 from 893 billion rubles as of Sept. 30, Kommersant reported. The company also wants to increase dividend payments to 2.16 billion rubles, which is 5.3x more than it paid for the period between 2009 and 2017.

* JSC Taskombank, JSC Alfa-Bank and PJSC First Ukrainian International Bank applied to participate in the Ukrainian Deposit Guarantee Fund's tender to withdraw JSC VTB Bank, with the results of the tender to be known shortly, Kommersant wrote.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Anbang sells 35% stake in local bank; Bandhan Bank gets nod to open 40 branches

Middle East & Africa: Malaysian lender eyes merger with Al Rajhi unit; Ghana's banks race against time

Latin America: Fitch ups Paraguay outlook; US probes Grupo Aval over road project

North America: Morgan Stanley to lead Uber's 2019 IPO; Berkshire Hills, SI Financial ink deal

Global Insurance: US-UK covered agreement; AIG returns to CLOs; Federal Life completes conversion

NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE

Credit Suisse is well positioned to face tough times after restructuring, says CEO: As late cycle signs start to rattle global markets, the Swiss banking group's revamp has prepared it for "tough times," Tidjane Thiam said.

French banks agree to freeze fees in 2019, after talks with President Emmanuel Macron: Amid social unrest, French lenders have agreed not to raise fees for household customers and cap overdraft fees for the most vulnerable as the government seeks ways to ease violent protests over the cost of living.

Sheryl Obejera, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Stephanie Salti, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.