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StanChart, Credit Suisse post YOY rise in profits; SocGen to sell Belgian unit

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StanChart, Credit Suisse post YOY rise in profits; SocGen to sell Belgian unit

* The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority proposed synthesizing national insurance guarantee schemes, which compensate policyholders of failed insurers, across the European Union.

* Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, has eased his opposition to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for London's financial services sector post-Brexit after British negotiators acknowledged that the bloc would have ultimate control over London's access to European markets, the Financial Times wrote.

UK AND IRELAND

* Standard Chartered PLC reported first-half profit attributable to parent company shareholders of $1.56 billion, up from about $1.20 billion in the same period in 2017. Credit impairments fell year over year to $214 million from $655 million.

* Meanwhile, Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters told the Financial Times that a tariff war between the U.S. and China would have minimal impact on the lender.

* Standard Chartered named Tracey McDermott group head of compliance, replacing Neil Barry, who left the bank in June after an inquiry into his behavior, Reuters reported. McDermott will continue to serve as head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing.

* The U.K. High Court has dismissed a case alleging that Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC's now-defunct Global Restructuring Group broke the law when it took control of a struggling bowling business in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the Financial Times reported.

* CYBG PLC said it will soon be allowed by the Bank of England to maintain a small buffer against the weight of debts in its home loans portfolios, according to The Times. The bank, which is acquiring rival Virgin Money Holdings (UK) PLC, said trading in the three months to June-end was in line with its expectations but warned that the mortgage market "remains extremely competitive with continued front book pricing pressure.

* Provident Financial Plc appointed Patrick Snowball chairman and a nonexecutive director, effective Sept. 21. Interim Chairman Stuart Sinclair will retire from the company's board when Snowball becomes chairman.

* Several staff at Legal & General Investment Management have reported the Legal & General Group PLC unit to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, complaining of a purported crisis level culture at the asset manager and accusing it of a series of compliance and risk failures potentially costing customers millions of pounds, the Financial Times wrote.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Credit Suisse Group AG reported second-quarter net income attributable to shareholders of CHF647 million, up from CHF303 million a year earlier. For the first half, the Swiss bank's attributable net income increased year over year to CHF1.34 billion from CHF899 million.

* Meanwhile, Credit Suisse is planning to shift 50 investment bankers to Madrid from London as part of its preparations for Brexit, insiders told Bloomberg News. The bank has not yet made a decision on its post-Brexit trading hub, the sources noted.

* Zurich-based Schroder & Co Bank AG agreed to transfer its Eastern European banking business and relationship management team to Geneva-based CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique SA.

* Geneva-based private bank Bordier & Cie is acquiring a majority stake in Uruguayan independent investment advisory firm Helvetia Advisors SA, finews.com reported. The acquisition reflects Bordier's interest to grow in Latin America's Southern Cone, said Bordier senior partner Grégoire Bordier.

* Erste Group Bank AG reported second-quarter net result attributable to owners of the parent of €438.2 million, up from €362.5 million booked a year earlier. For the first half, the Austrian group reported net result attributable to owners of the parent of €774.3 million, up from the year-ago €624.7 million.

* GAM Holding AG has suspended investment director Tim Haywood, who serves as the business unit head for the unconstrained/absolute return bond strategy, following an internal investigation. "The issues relate to some of his risk management procedures and his record keeping in certain instances," the company said.

* France's Up group has acquired Munich-based financial technology company and prepaid credit card provider Givve for some €20 million, Handelsblatt wrote. Up group said the acquisition would enable it to expand its services in Germany, among other things.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* Société Générale SA agreed to sell its private banking activities in Belgium to ABN Amro Bank NV for an undisclosed sum. The French lender noted the deal will have a limited positive impact on the group's core equity Tier 1 ratio.

* Meanwhile, SocGen unit Societe Generale Securities Services SpA named Mathieu Maurier and Gildas Le Treut country head in Luxembourg and global head of sales and relationship management, respectively, effective Sept. 1.

* Société Générale is being sued for €8 million by a former trader being implicated in the EURIBOR-fixing scandal, La Tribune reported.

* CNP Assurances SA reported first-half net attributable profit of €672 million, up from €657 million in the same period in 2017.

* The surprise resignation of CNP Assurances CEO Frédéric Lavenir was linked to ongoing talks about bringing CNP Assurances into the La Poste group, Les Echos reported, adding that it may lead to an acceleration of the process. It said the government is doing all it can to avoid an IPO of CNP Assurances.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* Financial regulators in Portugal, including the country's central bank and the Market Securities Commission, have joined a network to support innovation technology in the financial sector. The goal is to facilitate the regulation and the connection between banks, insurance companies and startups, Jornal de Negócios wrote.

* Part of the shares in Banif - Banco de Investimento SA — sold to Chinese investors — may return to the Portuguese Treasury as deferred tax assets, Jornal de Negócios reported.

ITALY AND GREECE

* Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA is expected to shortly put a €400 million unlikely-to-pay loan portfolio up for sale, MF said.

* Credito Valtellinese SpA has securitized €1.5 billion in mortgages issued to small and medium-sized enterprises as it seeks to optimize its cost of funding, MF wrote.

* Generali is expected to expand the responsibilities of Fréderic de Courtois, CEO of the insurer's global business lines and international business, as part of a management reinforcement ahead of the presentation of a new industrial plan in November, MF said. Il Sole 24 Ore also reported, noting that the Generali board is also expected to discuss the potential nomination of Cristiano Borean to the chief financial officer post at the group.

* Moody's revised the outlook on Greece's banking system to positive from stable, reflecting its expectation that Greek banks' asset risk and funding will improve over the next 12 to 18 months.

* Attica Bank SA is aiming to reduce the stake of one of its shareholders, Single Social Security Entity, or EFKA, to 33% from 46.16%, so that it constitutes a minority holding ahead of the Greek lender's privatization, Ekathimerini reported.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority proposed to raise the countercyclical buffer rate to 2.5% from 2.0%, effective Sept. 19, 2019, to strengthen the resilience of the country's banking sector.

* Sweden's Fourth AP Fund has increased its shareholding in Medicover AB (publ) to 5.2% from 3.9%, Dagens Industri reported.

* Danske Bank A/S has released a whistleblower employee from confidentiality agreements, enabling the staff member to speak with financial markets supervisory authorities in Denmark and Estonia who want to interview the employee as part of ongoing investigations into potential money laundering at Danske Bank Estonia, Børsen wrote. The money laundering case will be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of Estonia's parliament today, Reuters noted.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law providing for the gradual increase of a minimum authorized capital requirement to 300 million Russian rubles for universal insurers, 450 million rubles for life insurance companies and to 600 million rubles for reinsurance companies, Banki.ru reported.

* PAO Sberbank of Russia Czech unit Sberbank CZ a.s. reduced its workforce, making redundant "several dozen people," including high-profile managers, E15 reported. The bank's representative did not confirm the layoffs, but noted that the lender's goal is to improve its financial results and efficiency of its processes.

* Erste&Steiermärkische Bank d.d. intends to acquire a 25% stake in Erste Factoring d.o.o. Zagreb from Erste Group Bank, which is the ultimate parent of both companies. The par value of the stake amounts to 21.25 million Croatian kuna. Erste&Steiermärkische Bank, which already owns a 75% stake in Erste Factoring, plans to absorb the unit after finalizing the purchase and securing regulatory approvals.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: HDFC Bank launches 155B-rupee share offering; 3 Indian lenders post Q1 results

Middle East & Africa: National Bank of Oman, Bank Dhofar explore merger; Kenya trims rate

Latin America: BBVA Bancomer Q2 profit up 16.2%; Colombia maintains key rate

North America: 7 Michigan CUs to form bank; Deutsche Bank cutting staff in Chicago

Global Insurance: Hiscox shares leap as profit up; AIG cutting UK jobs; Aflac plans $1B dividends

NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE

European insurers likely to stay sweet on CoCo bonds despite loss of tax break: The Dutch government is planning to remove tax breaks on Restricted Tier 1 coupons and more countries could follow suit. But this is unlikely to cause early calls or stop insurers issuing new bonds, analysts say.

Zippy economy lifts Bank of Ireland H1 earnings above analysts' expectations: Ireland's largest bank by assets reported first-half pretax profit of €454 million, with new lending rising 16% in the first half over the same period in 2017.

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

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