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Aviva CFO resigns; Santander to cut UK jobs; BPER to raise up to €322M

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Aviva CFO resigns; Santander to cut UK jobs; BPER to raise up to €322M

* The World Bank lowered its global growth forecast for 2019, citing "substantial" risks to the outlook such as the possibility of a further escalation of trade tensions and structural problems that discourage investment. The institution said risks to growth are tilted to the downside, including rising trade barriers, renewed financial stress and sharper-than-expected slowdowns in several major economies.

* The world's banks and financial services companies risk taking an estimated cost of $692.8 billion against their business due to climate change, Financial News reported, citing an analysis from nonprofit organization CDP. Finance groups are also more willing than any other sector to report on the climate risk facing their businesses.

UK AND IRELAND

* Tom Stoddard will step down as Aviva PLC's CFO at the end of the month, but will remain with the group until 2019-end for an orderly transition. The London-based insurer appointed Jason Windsor, currently CFO of Aviva Insurance UK Ltd., as interim CFO, effective July 1 and subject to regulatory approval.

* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority confirmed a cap on how much peer-to-peer lenders can loan retail customers, equivalent to 10% of clients' investible assets. The regulator said the new cap must be implemented by Dec. 9, adding that it will closely monitor the P2P sector.

* James Proudman, executive director for U.K. deposit takers supervision at the Bank of England, urged banks' boards to closely monitor and manage risks from automated processes that now use artificial intelligence and machine learning, including checks against money laundering, Reuters reported.

* Lloyd's of London is reportedly contemplating a debt raise to fund a strategic transformation plan that would charge market participants using a pay-per-use model. This would have users charged each time they use central Lloyd's services such as its data and research ecosystem and its IT platforms, but alternative financing methods are still under consideration.

* Legal & General Investment Management, the fund management arm of Legal & General Group PLC, named Sonja Laud chief investment officer, replacing Anton Eser, Reuters wrote. Laud joined the firm in January as Eser's deputy.

* Non-Standard Finance PLC dropped its £1.3 billion hostile takeover bid for U.K. peer Provident Financial PLC, allowing the offer to lapse beyond its midnight June 5 deadline. The British subprime lender had persistently tried to acquire Provident Financial in what became a controversial process, but to no avail after most Provident shareholders rejected the offer.

* The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority is examining whether or not OneSavings Bank PLC's proposed acquisition of Charter Court Financial Services Group PLC will lead to reduced competition in the British goods and services market.

* AIB Group PLC and businessman Louis Murray have reached a conditional settlement agreement, according to the Irish Examiner. Murray is suing the bank and receiver Declan McDonald over an alleged breach of agreement for the sale of two properties in Dublin.

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is probing collapsed U.K. hedge fund firm City Financial Investment Co. Ltd., Reuters wrote. The company's administrator, FRP Advisory, and law firm Jones Day are cooperating with authorities over the matter.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale's €3.6 billion state recapitalization is said to be at risk due to a dispute between the Christian Democratic Union and the Green party, two of the ruling parties in the coalition government of Saxony-Anhalt, which controls 5.6% of the lender. The regional government was supposed to sign off a state contract on NordLB's rescue on Monday, but the state's finance minister, Andre Schröder, refused to do that, potentially causing a longer delay in the approval of the rescue package.

* Kate Clifford, Deutsche Bank AG's COO for the Americas, is stepping down from her post only about one year in the role, insiders told The Wall Street Journal.

* Venezuela defaulted on a gold swap agreement worth $750 million with Deutsche Bank, Bloomberg News reported. The German lender is now taking control of the gold used as collateral and will terminate the contract.

* Bank Vontobel AG is expanding its asset management business in the U.S. and has hired two new senior relationship managers for the Southeast and Midwest region, Jeff Barrow and Brian Engel, who join from DiMeo Schneider & Associates LLC and BMO Global Asset Management Corp., respectively.

* Singapore state investment fund GIC Private Ltd. increased its stake in Julius Bär Gruppe AG to 3.09%, the Swiss bank said.

* German online bank N26 Bank GmbH will launch its services in Switzerland this year with a euro current account and a Mastercard debit card, Finews said, citing a report by news agency AWP.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* French insurer Axa is again selling 40 million common shares in U.S.-based Axa Equitable Holdings Inc. through a registered public offering. The French group has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to acquire up to an additional 6 million common shares. Meanwhile, AXA Equitable has filed an automatic shelf registration relating to the sale of up to 237,162,500 of its common shares the group at a proposed maximum offering price of $21.53 per share, or an aggregate of $5.11 billion.

* Interest rates on housing loans in France fell to a historic low in May amid competition between French banks and the ECB's low interest rate policy, according to a study by French mortgage analysis group Observatoire Crédit Logement CSA, Les Echos reported.

* Groupe BPCE is ready to take action to reinforce and facilitate the partnership between La Banque Postale SA and CNP Assurances SA by prolonging its industrial partnership with CNP and agreeing to a new shareholders pact due to be negotiated in the next weeks, in return for La Banque Postale handing over part of its asset management portfolio to Natixis, Les Echos reported.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* Banco Santander SA will slash jobs in its London unit Santander UK Group Holdings PLC, particularly in the corporate and commercial banking division, as part of a reorganization, Reuters reported. The division's head, Tim Hinton, said the lender has consulted trade unions about the plan, under which Santander will cut 330 redundancies and create 130 new roles. Santander, meanwhile, is offering to cut 6.7% less jobs than initially expected under a redundancy plan announced in May, a union representing Santander employees said. The union said the bank was planning to cut a 3,464 jobs against an initial 3,713 or a total of 12% of the workforce.

* An independently commissioned report on the state of Banco Popular Español SA concluded that the wound-up bank stopped reflecting the real state of its finances and books back in 2011, Europa Press reported.

* Banco Espírito Santo SA's liquidation committee said it is not true that former managers reclaimed credit from the collapsed bank, Jornal Económico reported.

ITALY AND GREECE

* Greece's Piraeus Bank SA expects its newly formed joint venture with Sweden's Intrum AB to help it exceed its target to cut nonperforming exposures by €15 billion by 2021, according to CEO Christos Megalou. He added that the Intrum deal may also result in a bigger-than-targeted boost to Greek bank's capital if the JV helps the lender cut NPEs at a faster rate.

* BPER Banca SpA plans to raise up to €171.7 million through the issuance of new shares and €150 million through the pricing of Additional Tier 1 convertible bonds. The Italian bank also believes it does not have the right conditions at present to take over ailing peer Banca Carige SpA, and would only consider a merger if it would help meet goals under its current business strategy, an insider told Reuters.

* Italian payment services provider SIA SpA, controlled by Cassa depositi e prestiti SpA, is studying the possibility of a pan-European deal, Il Sole 24 Ore said, noting that a merger with Worldline is seen as the most likely option although a tieup with Ingenico is also seen as possible.

* UniCredit SpA plans to eliminate the use of paper for home mortgage and personal loan documents at its Italian branches by 2020 as part of plans to simplify processes and reduce the bank's cost-income ratio,Il Messaggero said.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Dutch stock exchange operator Euronext NV said it now owns 61.4% of Norway's Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA after the latter's shareholders accepted a takeover bid of 158 kroner per share plus a fixed interest of 3.21 kroner per share. The settlement of accepted offer is slated for June 14.

* Nordic Capital plans to sell off its entire shareholding in Resurs Holding, the parent company to the niche Sweden-based lender Resurs Bank, Dagens Industri reported.

* Nordea Asset Management is turning to machine learning for additional resources, but while the Nordea Bank Abp unit processes massive job cuts to its workforce, CEO Nils Bolmstrand told Bloomberg News that the his division will keep its portfolio managers and even hire new staff. Bolmstrand noted that robots would take responsibilities off analysts so they can cover larger tasks.

EASTERN EUROPE

* ECB Governing Council member Ilmārs Rimšēvičs is facing additional charges over allegedly laundering the €250,000 bride he is already accused of asking from a collapsed Latvian lender, Bloomberg News wrote. The new charge could put the Latvian central bank governor behind bars for 12 years, on top of 11 years for the bribery charge.

* Poland replaced Teresa Czerwinska with Marian Banas as finance minister in a government reshuffle, Reuters reported.

* PKO Bank Polski SA expects its group ROE ratio to increase to 11% in 2019 from 10% in 2018, news agency PAP reported.

* Russian lenders PJSC Rosbank and Commercial Bank DeltaCredit JSC, both units of France's Société Générale SA, completed their merger, forming a mortgage branch called Rosbank Dom. Following completion, the terms of legacy contracts with DeltaCredit, including the condition on the amount of the interest rate on loans, will be assumed by Rosbank.

* Russia's bad bank National Bank Trust PJSC has to increase its reserves by 400 billion Russian rubles in order to meet the central bank's requirements, Reuters reported. Trust reportedly has no plans to ask the central bank for additional funds to top up the reserves.

* Russia's State Development Corp. VEB.RF plans to borrow the equivalent of 300 billion Russian rubles from Asian and other investors in the medium term, news agency RBC reported.

* The shareholders of Kazakh lenders JSC Tengri Bank, JSC AsiaCredit Bank and JSC Capital Bank Kazakhstan approved the planned merger of the three financial institutions, Kapital.kz reported. Other details associated with the merger, including the share swap ratio, will be approved by the shareholders in July.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Bank of China begins India operations; Volt Bank eyes ASX listing

Middle East & Africa: Attijariwafa Q1 profit up; rand falls as South Africa suffers economic slump

Latin America: Peru cabinet faces confidence vote; Brazil sees GDP growth forecast reduction

North America: UK regulator probes Citi links in insider trading case; CU buying Ariz. bank

Global Insurance: June 1 renewals pricing; Everest cuts retro buy; NFIP extended through September

NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE

Sizing up Commerzbank's merger scenarios with UniCredit or ING: S&P Global Market Intelligence looks at the implications of a potential tie-up between the German lender and a major European bank with a foothold in the country.

M&A talk heats up among Spanish banks, but deals no easy task: Liberbank has been attracting attention from potential suitors, but the recent breakdown in talks between the lender and Unicaja demonstrate that questions over price and the long-term benefits of a merger will be hard to put aside.

French payments giant Worldline on acquisition trail again after €2.3B SIX deal: Just six months after its €2.3 billion acquisition of Swiss-based SIX Payment Services, Worldline is sizing up the market for its next acquisition target, the French payment processor's deputy CEO Marc-Henri Desportes said.

Global firms see $1tn climate change risk, but $2.1tn in potential gains: The world's largest companies are predicting business opportunities from climate change totaling trillions, according to a new survey, but the report authors say firms are not taking a global enough view of the threats to their business.

Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni and Mariana Aldano 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.