S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week.
Deals old and new
* Italy-based Banca Generali SpA completed its acquisition of a 90.1% stake in Swiss asset manager Valeur Fiduciaria SA for an undisclosed sum.
* Deutsche Bank AG is set to sell its 7% stake in Turquoise Trading Ltd., as part of the revamp of its equities sales and trading business division, Financial News reported, citing a source.
* Commerzbank AG has begun sounding out potential buyers of its stake in mBank SA, kicking off a process that forms part of its new strategy. BNP Paribas SA unit BNP Paribas Bank Polska SA is also looking to analyze the possibility of buying Commerzbank's Polish subsidiary mBank SA, Parkiet reported. Earlier reports from Polish media outlets said that ING Groep NV unit ING Bank Śląski SA was considering the purchase of mBank. PKO Bank Polski SA and Banco Santander SA unit Santander Bank Polska SA are also potential buyers.
* Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA confirmed that it will not sell Chilean automobile financing unit FORUM Servicios Financieros SA for the time being.
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC attempted to acquire Monzo Bank Ltd. around two years ago but balked at the British digital bank's price tag, The Daily Telegraph reported, citing sources.
Operations and strategies
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC increased the size of its Brexit contingency fund for small businesses to £8.2 billion after it found that thousands of customers might be adversely affected by the U.K.'s departure from the EU, Reuters reported.
* Deutsche Bank AG will terminate correspondent banking services, in all currencies, for financial institutions in Malta by the end of December, Times of Malta reported.
* Société Générale SA's Russian unit, PJSC ROSBANK, will exit the point of sale, or POS, lending segment to focus on business areas with greater growth potential.
* UniCredit SpA will charge customers negative rates for holding their cash but only on accounts with more than €1 million in deposits, Reuters reported.
* Marcus Schenck, former investment bank chief of Deutsche Bank AG, is setting up the first German branch of U.S. financial firm Perella Weinberg Partners LP, Handelsblatt reported. The Munich-based operation will open Dec. 1 and will employ 10 to 15 people.
Probes and lawsuits
* Former Barclays PLC executives Roger Jenkins and Richard Boath created a "misleading audit trail" to conceal that the U.K. bank was paying Qatari investors more than other investors for supporting a capital increase intended to keep the lender afloat at the height of the 2008 financial crisis, the Financial Times reported, citing prosecutors at a London court.
* The Dutch central bank said it intends to impose a floor for lenders' mortgage portfolio risk weights, which will require banks that use internal models to calculate such risks to maintain roughly €3 billion in additional capital against their domestic mortgage loan portfolios.
* Deutsche Bank AG only alerted authorities in February about 1.1 million illicit transactions at Denmark's Danske Bank A/S, roughly five years after a whistleblower reported suspicious money transfers, a source told Reuters. The German lender flagged the suspicious transactions to the German money laundering data authority and local prosecutors, which are now investigating whether the bank's staff or management sanctioned the deals, according to the report.
* PJSC Moscow Exchange MICEX-RTS announced a new five-year strategy and said separately it will raise its dividend target. The Russian bourse will raise the floor on its annual dividend to 60% from 55% of its net profit, and has set the goal of allocating all of the company's free cash flow to payouts.
* HSBC Holdings PLC is planning to restructure its online and telephone banking business, First Direct, the Financial Times reported. A series of changes over the next year will be aimed at drawing in younger customers to compete with digital rivals such as Monzo, said First Direct CEO Joe Gordon. Customers with limited credit histories will also be allowed to open accounts with the business, the report noted.
* AIB Group PLC CEO Colin Hunt is planning to reduce the company's total workforce to below 9,000 by the end of 2022 from the current headcount of 10,000, the Irish Independent reported.
* Bank of Ireland Group Plc named Myles O'Grady group CFO, replacing Andrew Keating, who will step down Oct. 18.
* The French investment bank Natixis appointed Philippe Setbon CEO of Ostrum Asset Management and Joseph Pinto COO of Natixis Investment Managers.
In other news
* London Stock Exchange Group PLC posted third-quarter gross profit of £529 million, up from £465 million a year ago. Total revenues in the quarter rose to £521 million from the year-ago £464 million.
* Société Générale SA transferred $3.4 billion of credit risk linked to its diversified lending portfolio to U.S. asset manager Mariner Investment Group LLC.
Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence
Danish banks enjoy short-term profit hikes but face gloomy 2020: A boom in remortgaging activity is expected to drive up 2019 earnings at the expense of future mortgage income for banks, according to industry players.
Negative bond yields could mean short-term pain, long-term gain for Greek banks: As Greece becomes the latest European country to issue government bonds with a negative yield, Scope Ratings speculates that this development could spell short-term profit losses but some indirect gains in the long term for Greek banks.
Short a radical rethink, UK's Metro Bank could be takeover target: The troubled challenger bank needs a new chairman to lead a thorough restructuring of the business if it is to survive as an independent entity, according to analysts at stockbroker Goodbody.