* The European Commission will propose to give lenders in the European Union eight years to write down nonperforming loans backed by collateral, as part of its plans for banks to address their €759 billion bad-debt problem, an insider told Reuters.
* The ECB declared ABLV Bank AS and unit ABLV Bank Luxembourg as "failing or likely to fail" even after Latvia's central bank agreed to provide €297.2 million in emergency liquidity assistance to the embattled lender to help it stabilize its operations. The ECB noted that ABLV, which was facing deposit outflows amid allegations of money laundering and terrorism financing, is unlikely to pay its debt given the significant deterioration of its liquidity.
* The European Commission will next month propose a legal framework for pan-European covered bonds that will "enable their growth across the EU," and increase market funding for the economy, according to Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis. Reuters covered.
* ECB executive board member Benoît Cœuré indicated that the central bank's bond purchases have reached a point where "additional purchases become less necessary to contain the term premium at low levels."
UK AND IRELAND
* Bank of England Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden told The Sunday Times that signs of accelerating wage growth has led him to believe that the case for raising interest rates may happen "somewhat sooner rather than somewhat later."
* U.K. lender Metro Bank Plc agreed to acquire a portfolio of U.K. mortgages from Netherlands-based CERH RSMC Sub BV and Capital Home Loans Ltd. for a consideration of £523 million.
* Former Lloyds Banking Group Plc CEO Eric Daniels has filed a lawsuit against the lender for refusing to award him 2 million shares that were linked to the bank's rescue of HBOS Plc in 2008, the Financial Times reported. The shares are now worth £1.3 million. The U.K. High Court is due to hear Daniels' claim this week.
* Meanwhile, Lloyds and accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers are set to face a £55 million legal case from Yorkshire-based Premier Motor Auctions, over allegations that the two entities dishonestly colluded to push the car dealership into insolvency, The Telegraph reported. Lloyds and PwC are due to appear in court in April.
* The U.K.'s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking has urged the Financial Conduct Authority to pressure Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to beef up a redress scheme for customers that were mistreated by its now-defunct turnaround division, The Times reported. Almost three quarters of the 16,000 mistreated small businesses have been told they will not receive money for the so-called direct losses of the scandal, with U.K. Treasury Select Committee Chair Nicky Morgan describing the compensation figures as "concerning."
* Allied Irish Banks Plc has picked Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Lone Star Global Acquisitions Ltd. and Cerberus Capital Management LP for the final round of bidding for a portfolio of soured commercial real estate loans and residential rental mortgages, the Irish Independent reported.
* Aberdeen Standard Investments, the asset management arm of Standard Life Aberdeen Plc, will establish an investment and distribution business in Dublin in preparation for the U.K.'s departure from the EU, City A.M. reported.
* Bank of Ireland Group Plc reported a full-year 2017 consolidated profit attributable to stockholders of €664 million, compared to a restated €799 million a year ago.
* Outgoing Ulster Bank Ireland DAC CEO Gerry Mallon told Irish public broadcaster RTE that the RBS unit sees a third of its total distressed loan portfolio as "being appropriate for a potential sale," Reuters reported.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Deutsche Bank AG confirmed plans to proceed with the IPO of its DWS asset management arm on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange "in the earliest available window," subject to market conditions. The division currently has €700 billion in AUM. The German lender said it will remain a long-term distribution partner for DWS after the separation.
* Four former Deutsche Bank traders charged in the U.K. for manipulating the Euro Interbank Offered Rate will not face trial after Frankfurt prosecutors had decided against extraditing them, on the basis that the alleged misconducts had occurred too long ago to be tried, Bloomberg News reported.
* Allianz Group intends to launch another cash tender offer for the remaining 4.69% of shares in Euler Hermes Group SA that it does not own at €122 per share, followed by a squeeze-out procedure and the eventual delisting of its French unit from the Euronext Paris stock exchange. The German insurer, which already owns 93.86% of Euler Hermes, expects to carry out the transaction in the second quarter.
* State-owned regional bank Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale is under pressure by the ECB to reduce the size of its supervisory board, Handelsblatt reported. While Helaba has agreed in principle to reduce its unusually large 36-member supervisory board by nine members, internal bank committees have yet to approve the decision.
* Swiss Re AG CEO Christian Mumenthaler said during an earnings call that the reinsurer, which is in talks with SoftBank Group Corp. about selling a minority stake to the Japanese firm, could benefit from having an anchor shareholder. Mumenthaler also said that SoftBank's focus on technology investments and high-growth markets are attractions to Swiss Re.
* Zurich Insurance Group AG is acquiring Australian insurer QBE Insurance Group Ltd.'s Latin America operations for an aggregate price of $409 million.
* Credit Suisse Group AG will seek to appeal a decision by the Texas appeals court in a case relating to a loan to the Lake Las Vegas resort project, whose finances collapsed in 2008, Reuters reported. The Swiss lender said it expects the process of its appeal to take up to 12 months.
* SIX Swiss Exchange Chairman Romeo Lacher told the Financial Times that Switzerland should launch a cryptocurrency version of the Swiss franc, backed by the country's central bank, to boost the local economy and electronic payment systems.
* Austria's finance ministry is looking to draw up regulations on cryptocurrencies similar to the trading rules for gold and derivatives in the country and the EU, Bloomberg News wrote. Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger said the goal was to prevent virtual currencies from facilitating money laundering, among other things.
* Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG has signed a purchase agreement to acquire 100% of Zurich-based LB(Swiss) Investment Ltd. from Frankfurter Bankgesellschaft (Schweiz) AG for approximately CHF30 million. The move further expands LLB's fund business, which it will operate from its three locations in Liechtenstein, Austria and Switzerland, and will increase its assets under management and administration in the fund business to around CHF32 billion.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* Crédit Agricole SA will pump €1.2 billion of capital into retail banking subsidiary Crédit Lyonnais SA as part of a €1.5 billion recapitalization plan mandated by the ECB.
* NIBC Holding NV confirmed that it plans to launch an IPO of approximately 35% of its outstanding and issued shares on Euronext Amsterdam. The offering is expected to take place in the coming weeks, subject to market conditions and other factors. The Dutch lender could be valued at between €1.5 billion and €1.8 billion in the listing, representing a discount to its €2 billion book value, Reuters reported.
* Belfius Banque SA reported full-year 2017 net income group share of €606 million, up from €535 million earned in 2016.
* Chinese insurer Anbang is looking to sell VIVAT NV, which it acquired from the Dutch government in 2015, Het Financieele Dagblad reported.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Banco de Sabadell SA unveiled plans to boost profits by aiming to further reduce its nonperforming assets by more than €2 billion annually to reach less than €9 billion in 2020, among other targets.
* Spanish peer Bankia SA is also expected to present this week its strategic plan for 2018, 2019 and 2020, according to Europa Press.
* At the end of the 2018-2020 period, ABANCA Corporación Bancaria SA hopes to achieve a return on tangible equity close to 10%, a loan default rate under 3%, a common equity Tier 1 ratio in excess of 13% and a business volume of over €75 billion, Europa Press reported.
* Portuguese Assistant Secretary of State and Finance Mourinho Félix confirmed that the country's resolution fund will inject money into Novo Banco SA in 2018, but stressed that the transfer of funds will not have an additional impact on foreign debt, Economia Online reported. The capital injected will be between €700 million and €800 million.
ITALY AND GREECE
* Italy's bad corporate loans are seen falling to 2.5% of all new loans, net of write-downs, in 2018 and to 2.1% in 2019, compared to 1.7% in 2008, according to a report compiled by banking association ABI and financial data and debt collection group Cerved, Reuters wrote.
* Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan signed a decree to sell over €17 billion in deteriorated loans of Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA and Veneto Banca SpA, which are now being wound down, to state-controlled SGA, Il Sole 24 Ore said.
* Meanwhile, Padoan told La Stampa that Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA is on the right track, adding that there are no plans to merge the state-controlled lender with another financial institution although he expects consolidation in the banking sector.
* DBRS Ratings upgraded Malta's long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer ratings to A (high) from A and its short-term foreign- and local-currency issuer rating to R-1 (middle) from R-1 (low), citing the country's improving public debt situation. Meanwhile, Moody's revised the country's outlook to positive from stable, citing Malta's improving fiscal condition and robust growth prospects.
* Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB CFO Jan Back has decided to leave the Swedish lender, effective in August, to take up the same role with an international financial institution outside Europe. Meanwhile, Nina Korfu-Pedersen, head of group finance, and Masih Yazdi, head of group financial management, were both appointed to the bank's group executive committee, with Yazdi also named finance director.
* S&P Global Ratings revised Russia's foreign currency long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings to BBB-/A-3 from BB+/B, while keeping the outlook stable. It also upgraded the sovereign's credit ratings to BBB/A-2 from BBB-/A-3.
* Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank will transfer at least $10 billion worth of distressed assets to a "bad bank" which could be set up within three or four months, Vedomosti and Kommersant reported, citing Bloomberg TV's interview with Otkritie Bank CEO Mikhail Zadornov.
* Bank Zachodni WBK SA and Deutsche Bank Polska SA agreed a demerger plan for the latter bank, and will submit the plan for the approval of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, Rzeczpospolita reported. BZ WBK agreed to purchase part of Deutsche Bank Polska's assets from the lender's parent, Deutsche Bank, in December 2017. The transaction is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter.
* Polish banks will be asked to pay the total of 2.2 billion Polish zlotys in contributions to the country's bank guarantee fund in 2018, compared with 2.1 billion zlotys in 2017, Reuters reported.
* Latvia wants to gradually reduce the level of foreign deposits held in local banks from 40% of all deposits to 20%, Reuters reported, citing Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis. The plans come after U.S. authorities recently accused ABLV Bank of being involved in large scale money laundering transactions for Russian clients.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: QBE to divest LatAm ops; Indonesian president nominates new central bank chief
Middle East & Africa: First Abu Dhabi Bank eyes Saudi branch; Kenyan rate cap law set for reform
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
More 'heavy lifting' on cost cutting ahead for RBS, McEwan warns: The bailed-out bank may be back in profit, but it is not out of the woods yet.
Standard Life Aberdeen-Phoenix deal puts Scottish Widows back in play: analysts: The Edinburgh-based asset manager's decision to exit the insurance market could help it retain Scottish Widows mandate from the Lloyds Group.
SoftBank's technology strength lures Swiss Re ahead of possible investment: Christian Mumenthaler drew parallels between Softbank's focus on technology and high-growth markets and Swiss Re's own strategy when speaking to journalists during an earnings call.
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S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.
Sheryl Obejera, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Stephanie Salti, Praxilla Trabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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