* The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said he was open to the possibility of extending the 21-month transition period for the U.K. for another year if British Prime Minister Theresa May accepts a so-called two-tier backstop that would prevent a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Financial Times reported. Meanwhile, former Deutsche Bundesbank executive Andreas Dombret said it does not make sense for the EU to agree to a two-year Brexit transition period if no withdrawal agreement is reached with Britain. European leaders are gathering in Brussels today to discuss the U.K.'s exit from the EU.
* More than a third of 52 European asset managers surveyed by PwC are preparing to move a range of functions out of the U.K. in the event that Britain exits the EU without a deal, The Irish Times wrote. However, the survey found that almost half of the firms are struggling to be ready on time for the U.K.'s departure in March 2019.
* Regulators across the world need to collaborate more effectively to smooth the way for global reinsurers to close the so-called protection gap, said Dave Matcham, CEO of the International Underwriting Association. Matcham also said insurers writing international business in the London market should be able to honor cross-border claims after the U.K. leaves the EU.
* The CEOs of HSBC Holdings PLC, Standard Chartered PLC and Credit Suisse Group AG became the latest top bank executives to withdraw from a high-profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia later this month, amid concerns over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a known critic of the kingdom, insiders told Bloomberg News. London Stock Exchange Group PLC CEO David Schwimmer will also not attend the event, according to Reuters.
UK AND IRELAND
* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is in favor of changing its conduct principles to accommodate campaigners demanding a tougher stance against financial firms abusing clients, but the details of the reform still need to be ironed out before any decision is made, according to Christopher Woolard, executive director for strategy and competition at the regulator.
* Meanwhile, the FCA announced it will expand the powers of the Financial Ombudsman Service to take over complaints from small and medium-sized enterprises against banks.
* The U.S. Federal Reserve terminated the agreement in which it fined Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC in 2013 for lapses in its foreign operations, Reuters reported.
* Total insurance premiums written by the London company market rose 15.8% year over year in 2017 to £26.31 billion, according to statistics from the IUA.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* The German government will tweak a banking law to preserve the eligibility of U.K. assets as collateral for covered bonds after Brexit. Moody's analysts said the planned amendment to the Pfandbrief Act will guarantee that German banks can use real estate or public debt from the U.K. in the pool of assets backing their covered bonds, which otherwise would have not been possible post-Brexit.
* Deutsche Bank AG is set to acquire a portfolio of property loans with a par value of €300 million from Ireland's National Asset Management Agency, the Irish Independent reported.
* DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA entered into a strategic alliance with one of its anchor shareholders, French alternative asset manager Tikehau Capital, and will launch joint investment products and a platform focusing on private equity and non-listed infrastructure opportunities in 2019, Börsen-Zeitung wrote.
* South Korea-based Woori Bank received approval from Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority and the European Central Bank to set up a European subsidiary in Frankfurt.
* Commerzbank AG issued its debut green bond for €500 million and said it will use the proceeds to refinance renewable energy projects.
* France's Société Générale SA appointed Anne Marion-Bouchacourt group country head for Switzerland, effective Oct. 1, replacing Hugues de La Marnierre.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* Wells Fargo & Co. plans to establish a new unit in Paris to serve as its EU trading hub after the U.K. exits the bloc. The U.S. lender's London-based unit, Wells Fargo Securities International Ltd., will continue to serve the bank's clients in the U.K. and from other non-EU markets.
* Meanwhile, French regulator ACPR has received very few licence requests from U.K. insurers, L'Agefi reported.
* Moroccan lender Banque Centrale Populaire completed the purchase of Mauritius-based Banque des Mascareignes Ltée from Groupe BPCE for an undisclosed sum, Reuters reported.
* The Dutch government has halted the sale of its holding in ABN Amro Group NV, sources told De Telegraaf. The government last sold shares in the banking group in September 2017, leaving it with a 56% stake.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Mercedes Olano is to be appointed in the next few weeks as the new head of the supervisory board at the Banco de España, replacing Julio Durán, Expansión reported.
* Crédit Agricole Assurances SA, a Crédit Agricole SA unit, agreed to buy Portugal-based Seguradoras Unidas SA's 25% stake in GNB Seguros.
* David Lattes is replacing Jean-Christophe Mérer as CEO of CNP Partners, the Spanish subsidiary of French insurer CNP Assurances SA, Europa Press wrote.
ITALY AND GREECE
* Malta's Pilatus Bank is set to lose its license after the ECB reached a preliminary decision to revoke it, although unspecified legal issues will have to be resolved before the decision is finalized, two central bank officials told Reuters.
* Hermitage Capital Management Ltd. CEO Bill Browder accused Nordea Bank Abp of breaching anti-money laundering regulations in a report claiming that millions of dollars from a Russian fraud had flowed through 365 accounts at the bank, according to the FT. Nordea Bank told Reuters that it was aware of the allegations and has reported all suspicious transactions to the relevant authorities. Sweden's Economic Crime Authority said it had received the documents from Hermitage.
* The discovery of extensive money laundering at Danske Bank A/S' Estonian branch could have direct implications for all banking systems in all three Baltic states, FinansWatch wrote. Bank of Lithuania officials suspect that some of the money moved through Danske Bank Estonia's nonresident accounts from 2007 to 2017 may have passed through the country's banking system.
* Latvia's Financial Intelligence Unit is probing connections between several of the country's banks and Turkish company SIA Falcon Group, which was sanctioned by the U.S. for allegedly supplying North Korea with weapons and luxury goods, Bloomberg wrote.
* The Russian State Duma's financial markets committee is preparing a bill banning top managers and owners of financially unstable banks from leaving the country, Izvestia reported.
* Czech banker and investor Petr Šmída and his business partners launched Corviglia Capital, a global financial technology fund looking to invest into companies and startups focusing on innovation in finance, E15 reported.
* The Hungarian government plans to terminate state subsidies for home savings bank deposits, arguing that they are too expensive, inefficient and failed to encourage the construction of new houses, Reuters wrote. The move could affect lenders that sell subsidized savings products, such as OTP Bank Nyrt. and Fundamenta-Lakáskassza Lakás-takarékpénztár Zrt.
* Hungary's central bank maintained its base rate at 0.90% and the overnight deposit rate at negative 0.15%.
* Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said he was quitting his post to trigger the dissolution of the country's parliament and hold early legislative elections.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Australia to probe financial firms; Nomura to settle US securities claims
Middle East & Africa: US unveils additional Iran sanctions; top European bankers shun Saudi conference
Latin America: Stone sets price range for IPO; Bancolombia fined
North America: Goldman Q3 EPS climbs YOY; Robinhood earns rebates from high-speed traders
Global Insurance: UnitedHealth ups guidance; FedNat's Michael loss; Florida freezes rate hikes
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
European banking union to face further delays as parliamentary elections loom: "There needs to be a big enough crisis to scare all of us, but not big enough to kill us all," the EC's director-general for financial stability Olivier Guersent said, warning of the need to push member states into action to complete the project.
Santander, Blackstone were circling Popular assets before EU resolution: A report not previously made public reveals that Santander discussed a joint venture with Blackstone to acquire Popular's toxic assets, a key step in taking over the bank, three weeks before Popular's resolution.
London insurers will avoid hard Brexit claims calamity, says IUA CEO: International Underwriting Association chief executive Dave Matcham said members will continue to honor contracts and that he is confident of a regulatory solution to cross-border claims issues post-Brexit.
Leo Magno, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Stephanie Salti, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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