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HSBC cutting jobs, reaches €300M settlement; Novo Banco selling €795.8M loans


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HSBC cutting jobs, reaches €300M settlement; Novo Banco selling €795.8M loans

* The European Banking Authority has called for the full implementation of the final Basel III standards in the EU, noting that it will contribute to the EU banking sector's credibility and ensure a well-functioning global banking market. The regulator said its quantitative analysis of the regulations' estimated impact found that, under conservative assumptions, the minimum capital requirement for banks will increase by 24.4% on average. The recommendation dashed banks' hopes for relaxed rules, Reuters and Bloomberg News noted.


* HSBC Holdings PLC will cut its headcount by around 2%, with the layoffs targeted at senior levels of the organization. The bank employs almost 240,000 people and the program is aimed at reducing the wage bill by approximately 4%. Separately, the bank said has reached an agreement with Morgan Stanley & Co. International PLC over the sale of ordinary shares as a part of the U.K. lender's $1 billion share buyback program.

* U.K. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to investigate Finance Minister Sajid Javid's possible role in financial misconduct. McDonnell wants a probe into Javid's relationship to the trading of collateralized debt obligations — a risky financial product widely believed to have catalyzed the financial crisis — while working in a senior role at Deutsche Bank AG.

* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority said a review of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime in the banking sector found that firms were positive about the concept of regulatory references and its intention to address the potential issue of rolling bad apples, where people with poor conduct records are able to move to new employers.

* U.K.-based Monzo Bank Ltd. asked about 480,000 customers to change their personal identification number, as it had incorrectly stored PINs in a way that they could be accessed by internal engineers. The U.K. FCA and the data regulator Information Commissioner's Office are aware of the incident, the Financial Times reported.

* SVS Securities PLC has entered into administration, the U.K. FCA said, adding that it identified "serious concerns" about the way in which the company is operating. The court has appointed Julien Irving, Andrew Poxon and Alex Cadwallader, all of Leonard Curtis, as special administrators who are considering options for the business including a sale.


* Some Deutsche Bank AG investors have called for a cut in the pay packages of the German bank's senior executives, saying that the amounts are not proportionate with the lender's recent performance, Financial News reported.

* The German banking industry is working together on a new joint national payment solution under the project name #DK, where private banks, savings banks, regional state banks and cooperative banks would bundle existing payment services such as Girocard, Paydirekt and Kwitt in a new procedure and link them closely to checking accounts, Thomas Ullrich, member of the management board responsible for transaction banking at DZ Bank AG, told Börsen-Zeitung.

* UBS Group AG will be charging an interest rate of negative 0.75% for any client holding more than CHF2 million in cash deposits from Nov. 1 onward, while Credit Suisse Group AG confirmed it will introduce negative interest rates on high euro-denominated cash deposits of clients, Tages-Anzeiger reported.

* Meanwhile, Credit Suisse has imposed an informal hiring freeze across parts of its sales, trading and research division, Business Insider wrote, while citing a spokesperson of the bank as saying that there will be no limitations in hiring staff for the lender's Global Markets unit.

* Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG unit LLB Verwaltung (Schweiz) AG has reached a settlement with U.S. authorities in connection with the U.S. business of its predecessor Liechtensteinische Landesbank (Schweiz) AG, which has been accused of offering wealthy U.S. citizens tax-friendly offshore accounts. The bank agreed to pay $10.7 million which it said is covered by provisions.

* Darag Group Ltd. signed a portfolio transfer agreement with German insurer Schwarzmeer und Ostsee Versicherungsaktiengesellschaft, or SOVAG. The legacy portfolio will be transferred to Darag's German risk carrier, Darag Deutsche Versicherungs-und Rückversicherungs-AG.

* The sale of Bellevue Group AG's investment banking and brokerage unit, Bank am Bellevue AG, to Luxembourg-based private banking group KBL European Private Bankers SA is expected to close soon, with only the approval of the Swiss financial market supervisory authority still pending, wrote.

* Raiffeisen Bank International AG lost its appeal to Austria's Federal Administrative Court against a fine imposed by financial supervisory authority FMA over an alleged violation of due diligence requirements concerning the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and now has to pay €2.8 million, the highest fine ever imposed on a bank in Austria, Die Presse wrote.

* Austria's judiciary has finally closed a criminal case against former Bank Medici AG, which involved cash flows to investment fraudster Bernard Madoff in 2007, Der Standard noted, adding that the public prosecution concluded that the bank had not deceived investors in a Madoff fund it managed.


* HSBC agreed to pay a fine of around €300 million to end criminal proceedings in Belgium arising from tax fraud and money laundering inquiries around HSBC Private Banking Holdings Suisse SA, L'Echo reported, citing sources. If the deal is approved by a Brussels court overseeing the matter, it will be the heaviest fine ever imposed in Belgium's penal history.


* Portugal's Novo Banco SA agreed to sell a portfolio of real estate assets, known as "Project Sertorius," with a gross book value of €487.8 million to entities indirectly owned by funds managed by U.S. firm Cerberus Capital Management LP. The Portuguese bank's Spanish unit also sold a portfolio of nonperforming real estate assets and loans with a gross book value of €308 million to U.S. management fund Waterfall Asset Management. Novo Banco expects to close both transactions by year-end.

* Portugal's government has specified the conditions for the sale of the Brazilian unit of state-run Caixa Geral de Depósitos SA, and will choose this month which potential buyers can move to the second phase, Jornal de Negócios reported. It said Brazil's Banco Luso Brasileiro was interested in buying Banco Caixa Geral Brasil, adding that a final decision on the sale could be made by year-end. Caixa has already sold its operations in Spain and South Africa as part of a restructuring program.


* The ECB could grant its approval to the rescue package for Banca Carige SpA before the Aug. 15 deadline, MF wrote, adding that the lender in the meantime also cleaned up of its major exposures to the shipping sector related to soured loans for almost €70 million in relation to Finbeta.

* Malacalza Investimenti, one of the major shareholders of Banca Carige with a 27.5% stake, did not write down the value of its investment in the troubled lender as it sees the carrying value still fully recoverable, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

* FinecoBank Banca Fineco SpA will not be part of an expected wave of mergers in the asset management industry, either as predator or prey, CEO Alessandro Foti told Reuters.

* Banco di Desio e della Brianza SpA sold NPLs with a gross value of €180 million, or about a third of the total, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.


* Ken Norgrove was appointed CEO of RSA Group's Scandinavian business, Codan/Trygg-Hansa. His appointment is subject to regulatory approval.


* The Russian central bank estimates its losses from bank bailouts carried out under the new mechanism at between 750 billion Russian rubles and 1.4 trillion rubles, the regulator's deputy head Vasily Pozdyshev told Vedomosti.

* The value of premiums collected by Czech insurance companies reached 68.9 billion Czech koruny in the first quarter of 2019, up by 4.7% year over year, Hospodarske Noviny reported, citing news agency ČTK. The value of collected life insurance premiums went up by 2.9%, while nonlife insurance premiums grew by 5.7% year over year.

* Polish banks anticipate further increase in demand for consumer and mortgage loans in the third quarter, while also expecting lending criteria to be tightened in these segments, the Polish central bank said in its latest lending survey. The survey also showed that lenders expect unchanged demand for loans to companies, while some of them foresee further tightening of lending criteria in the corporate segment.


Asia-Pacific: US labels China a currency manipulator; ANZ drops staff bonuses

Middle East & Africa: Banque Saudi Fransi Q2 profit rises; IPO of Egypt's Fawry oversubscribed

Latin America: Caixa confirms search for card biz partner; BNDES to return additional 40B reais

North America: Fox to buy 67% stake in Credible Labs; Wells Fargo ups litigation loss range

Global Insurance: Berkshire earnings up; Fairfax eyes organic growth; ReAssure in £425M deal


4 challenges facing HSBC's next CEO: Trade tensions, low profitability in the U.S., Brexit and frosty relations with the Chinese government are among the challenges that the new CEO of London-based bank HSBC will face.

Debt funds muscle in on bank terms in German mid-market: Private debt funds have for the first time snapped up a larger market share in Germany's mid-market than banks, by being able to provide bank-style senior loan financings among other things, according to GCA Altium.

Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni, and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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