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Sabadell sells bad loans; 2 Swiss banks to merge; Slovakia lifts buffer rate

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Sabadell sells bad loans; 2 Swiss banks to merge; Slovakia lifts buffer rate

* Several London-based pan-European stock exchanges are planning to create separate operations in the EU ahead of the U.K.'s departure from the bloc in March 2019, due to concerns that no agreement will be reached between Britain and the so-called EU27 countries on what regulatory regime will be in place for financial services after Brexit. The companies include Cboe Global Markets Inc., whose Cboe Europe Ltd. unit has already filed an application with the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets to establish a new venue in Amsterdam to continue serving its European customers post-Brexit.

* U.K.-based inter-dealer broker TP Icap PLC is also in talks with regulators to establish an EU base to oversee its European operations, including those in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Madrid, post-Brexit, insiders told the Financial Times.

* Meanwhile, the International Association of Swaps and Derivatives Association launched new French and Irish versions of its master agreement to provide options for institutions that wish to continue operating in the EU after Brexit.

* Almost three quarters of 250 asset managers have already taken action or are in the process of revising their global distribution strategies in response to Brexit, while a further 19% plan to make changes in the next five years, the Financial Times wrote, citing research from U.S.-based State Street Corp.

* Established banks fear that "Big Tech" companies, such as Amazon and Google, could become significant competitors, according to a report by the European Banking Authority.

UK AND IRELAND

* Bank of England policymaker Michael Saunders said the regulator could raise interest rates faster than market expectations of a little more than one rate hike over the next 12 months, CNBC reported.

* Meanwhile, the BoE has warned British lenders and financial firms about the ongoing use of the London Interbank Offered Rate and the potential crisis that may occur if they do not switch to a new benchmark when it ends in 2021, The Daily Telegraph reported.

* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority launched a consultation on new guidance about handling certain regular premium payment protection insurance complaints. The FCA clarified that firms should assess commission disclosures not only at the point of sale but also on an ongoing basis.

* Lloyds Banking Group PLC's compensation offers to customers claiming redress for losses caused by the alleged fraud at HBOS PLC's Reading branch, have been accepted by more than 50 of the 70 victims, the Financial Times wrote. The U.K. Treasury Select Committee is expected to publish the compensation figures tomorrow.

* Meanwhile, Lloyds is facing legal action from three female members of its pension payment plan over claims that they were discriminated against since their retirement payments increase at a lower rate than those for their male colleagues, Bloomberg News reported. The case at the London High Court could cost Lloyds as much as £508 million.

* Standard Chartered PLC appointed Vishu Ramachandran to the newly created role of group head of retail banking. Ramachandran most recently served as the lender's global chief risk officer of retail banking.

* HSBC Holdings PLC named Nicolo Salsano head of corporate and institutional banking for Germany, effective in October.

* Zurich Insurance Group AG unit Zurich U.K. completed the acquisition of Oak Underwriting PLC from RSA Insurance Group PLC for an undisclosed sum. Mark Peters, currently Zurich's head of market management for wealth, will become head of Oak Underwriting.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Swiss private banks Gonet & Cie SA and MM Mourgue D'algue & Cie are set to merge their operations in what they described as "a new phase of development in a rapidly changing banking environment." The new entity will have capital well in excess of regulatory requirements and AUM of roughly CHF5 billion. Gonet & Cie CEO Nicolas Gonet will hold the same role at the combined entity, which will operate under the Gonet brand.

* Deutsche Bank AG's efforts to redeem $320 million from Norwegian billionaire Alexander Vik hit an obstacle in a court hearing last week after his lawyers challenged accusations that he had shown a pattern of evasion regarding the debt owed, Bloomberg News reported.

* Vontobel Holding AG is expanding its team of wealth management advisers in Germany with four experienced experts from Sal. Oppenheim in Munich and one adviser from Oddo-BHF Bank in Hamburg. The team now has more than 20 asset managers.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* Banque du Groupe Casino SA, a joint venture between Groupe Casino and Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel SA, is trying to accelerate its development by signing partnerships with neobanks, focusing mainly on its consumer credit products offering payment over four months, Les Echos noted.

* Van Lanschot Kempen NV's private banking unit is dumping customers who have less than €500,000 in assets to invest, De Telegraaf reported, citing a report by Het Financieele Dagblad. Van Lanschot has told "several thousand" customers in a letter they are better off banking with Rabobank and gave them four months to make the switch.

* Nathalie Vandepeute will join newly formed payment app Bancontact Payconiq as its new CEO, De Tijd reported. Vandepeute joins from BNP Paribas Fortis SA, where she was in charge of product management daily banking.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* Banco de Sabadell SA has sold a €900 million bad loan portfolio to Axactor AB (publ), Expansión reported. The transaction still requires approval from the Deposit Guarantee Fund.

* A Spanish court has admitted a class-action suit against Banco de Sabadell SA and Banco Popular Español SA over the sale of mortgage insurance, lawyers representing the plaintiffs said.

* London-based hedge fund Winterbrook Capital filed a claim before the U.K. High Court against Novo Banco SA, accusing the Portuguese lender of inadvertently defaulting on the bank's senior bonds, the Financial Times reported. Meanwhile, the bank will close about 30 branches until the end of July, Economia Online said.

ITALY AND GREECE

* The ECB is pushing Banca Carige SpA to merge with another banking group before 2019 if possible, Il Messaggero said.

* Iccrea Banca SpA has launched a securitization deal made up of nonperforming loans with a nominal value of €1.05 billion from Iccrea BancaImpresa SpA and 22 other lenders, MF said, noting that a senior tranche of notes is expected to receive a state guarantee later this month.

* Unione di Banche Italiane SpA said it would hire more than 330 new employees this year to support digital innovation and the implementation of new customer service models, Reuters reported.

* Italian private equity group Sator is seeking one or two new investors to invest alongside it in Milan-based Extrabanca SpA, MF said.

* Intesa Sanpaolo SpA plans to seek a banking license in Australia, where it intends to set up a branch to help finance Italian firms' infrastructure investments in the country, Il Sole 24 Ore said.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* The Swedish central bank left its repo rate unchanged at negative 0.50%, while noting it expects to start raising interest rates toward year-end and that inflation in the year ahead could be higher than previously thought.

* Nordea Bank AB (publ) has not ruled out further acquisitions to grow its banking operations across Nordic countries. Bank spokesperson, Stine Green Paulsen, pointed to the bank's "very strong capital base" as a substantive advantage for Nordea in strengthening its pan-Nordic presence, Børsen reported.

EASTERN EUROPE

* The Slovakian central bank increased the countercyclical capital buffer rate to 1.50% from 1.25% from Aug. 1, 2019 onwards, citing the need to strengthen the resilience of the country's banking sector at a time of continuing excessive credit growth.

* The Russian central bank revoked the license of JSC Bank Sovetsky and instructed Russia's Deposit Insurance Agency to launch a tender to select a bank that will take over part of Sovetsky's assets and liabilities.

* Prior to Sovetsky's license revocation, the Russian central bank provided 34 billion Russian rubles to purchase the lender's bad assets via JSC Avtovazbank, Vedomosti also reported.

* Vnesheconombank hopes to receive 1 trillion Russian rubles from the state over the next five years to finance the implementation of President Vladimir Putin's economic project, news agency RBK reported after Bloomberg.

* The Russian central bank completed the merger of National Bank Trust PJSC and JSC Rost Bank, news agency Prime reported. The central bank plans to transform National Bank Trust into a fund that will hold almost 2.1 trillion Russian rubles worth of bad and noncore assets from bailed-out lenders.

* Polish investment fund manager ALTUS Towarzystwo Funduszy Inwestycyjnych SA is seeking to cancel its previous business dealings with financially troubled debt collector GetBack SA, including the 2017 sale of EGB Investments SA to the company, Parkiet wrote.

* The Ukrainian central bank allowed Swiss asset management company ResponsAbility Participations AG to acquire a 51% stake PJSC Joint Stock Bank Lviv, Delo.ua reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Ex-Malaysian PM arrested; Guotai Junan in Vietnam M&A; Taiwanese bank fined

Middle East & Africa: Capitec loan products under spotlight; Kenyan insurers seek takaful licenses

Latin America: Argentina raises deposit reserve requirements; Credicorp plans Bolivia expansion

North America: Fed helped Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley to pass stress test; 2 NC banks merging

Global Insurance: Centene closes Fidelis deal; Liberty Specialty rebrands; Sun Life's China plans

NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE

New Czech rules to hit mortgage lending, dent bank profits, analysts say: A series of regulatory measures to cool down the country's lending market could lead to lower profits at commercial banks, but will likely increase lenders' vigilance to risk thus improving their credit quality.

UK's cross-border European exchanges plan to open EU bases ahead of Brexit: Most trading in EU stocks takes place in London but firms fear being forced out of EU market and are looking for locations to carry on trading.

Sheryl Obejera, Ed Meza, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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