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HSBC CEO resigns; ReAssure, Quilter reach £425M deal; UBI Q2 profit down 46.6%


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HSBC CEO resigns; ReAssure, Quilter reach £425M deal; UBI Q2 profit down 46.6%

* EU member states selected World Bank Group CEO Kristalina Georgieva as the bloc's candidate to lead the IMF. The nomination period will close Sept. 6, and the IMF executive board plans to complete the selection process by Oct. 4.

* The U.K. will not accept the EU's current proposed withdrawal agreement and the bloc's leaders should give their chief negotiator Michel Barnier the mandate to revise the terms of the talks, British Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay wrote in the The Daily Mail. Meanwhile, Dominic Cummings, special adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said lawmakers are too late to prevent the U.K. leaving the EU without a deal, The Daily Telegraph reported.

* Meanwhile, Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU commissioner for financial stability, told the Financial Times that banks and brokers should complete their preparations for a no-deal Brexit as the bloc will not assist them in dealing with Britain's exit from the EU.


* HSBC Holdings PLC CEO John Flint unexpectedly stepped down while the bank reported a 15.8% year-over-year rise in first-half pretax profit. Noel Quinn, head of global commercial banking, will be interim group CEO and executive director while the bank looks for Flint's replacement. HSBC's first-half profit attributable to ordinary shareholders stood at $8.51 billion, compared to the year-ago $7.17 billion. The bank plans to buy back up to $1 billion of shares.

* ReAssure Group PLC, a unit of Switzerland-based Swiss Re AG, agreed to acquire asset manager Quilter PLC's closed book business in the U.K. for £425 million. The business comprises Old Mutual Wealth Life Assurance Ltd. and Old Mutual Wealth Pensions Trustees Ltd. and includes roughly 300 employees.

* Barclays PLC is reducing the amount set aside for bonuses in the first half by 23% year over year, the FT reported.

* Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is drawing up a plan for a 12-month public inquiry into the U.K.'s financial industry, the FT reported.

* U.K. Financial Conduct Authority CEO Andrew Bailey, who is in the running to be the next Bank of England governor, has called for the central bank's independence to be maintained and has warned politicians against interfering with its running, The Times reported.


* Deutsche Bank AG has allotted more than €1 billion to cover the cost of the disposal of its equity derivatives portfolio, insiders told Reuters. The cost is part of the German lender's €7.4 billion restructuring bill. Chairman Paul Achleitner, meanwhile, purchased €992,380 shares in the bank, following a decision by CEO Christian Sewing to spend a part of his salary on the bank's shares.

* Allianz Group's new online insurance unit, Allianz Direct, will be launched in Germany and the Netherlands by November at the latest and then expand to Italy and Spain and incur losses in the start-up phase over two to three years, Handelsblatt cited Allianz CFO Giulio Terzariol as saying.

* Confirming an earlier report, KKR & Co. agreed to acquire a majority stake in full-service payment provider heidelpay Group from AnaCap Financial Partners LLP.

* Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank eG has been the victim of a massive phishing attack for more than three weeks by hackers who used a fake website to gain access to customers' credentials and had been able to give up fraudulent transfers from more than 100 accounts, Der Spiegel and Handelsblatt reported.

* Oddo BHF AG sold to several buyers its 27.6% stake in Berlin-based private bank Quirin Privatbank AG, Die Welt reported after Bloomberg News.

* Austria's Federal Administrative Court has dismissed the revision request of Anglo Austrian AAB Bank AG, formerly Meinl Bank AG, against a €500,000 fine imposed by the country's financial market supervisory authority FMA in 2016 for alleged failures to comply with the rules on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, Der Standard wrote.

* UniCredit Bank Austria AG plans to move wealthy private clients and around 250 advisers to its Schoellerbank AG subsidiary, which specializes in asset management, has not been successful owing to lukewarm interest of the rich clientele to switch, Der Standard noted.


* Crédit Agricole SA, Natixis and other French banks are facing losses on loans extended to Rallye SA and other parent companies of food retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA, which sit on debts of over $3 billion, Bloomberg News reported. Natixis has reportedly taken a €110 million credit loss provision in the second quarter over the matter, while Credit Agricole earmarked an additional €69 million.

* Ambitions in cloud computing by BNP Paribas SA, Société Général SA, Groupe Crédit Agricole and other French banks are being stalled by the difficulty of meeting regulatory requirements, including one that gives the European Banking Authority the right to audit cloud servers, something cloud computing giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft resist, Les Echos reported.

* France-based Amundi SA will use its balance sheet and credit lines to bolster funds in the event of a liquidity crunch, the FT reported, citing CEO Yves Perrier.

* Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra wants to prevent overseas online payday lenders from doing business in the Netherlands, Het Financieele Dagblad reported, citing a recent policy document from his ministry. Foreign payday lenders active in the Netherlands should be covered by the Dutch law, under which they will not be able to charge more than 14% in interest per year on short-term loans, the ministry reportedly argues. Payday lending was banned in the country in 2011, prompting some companies to move abroad but continue to offer their products to Dutch consumers.


* Banco de Sabadell SA closed the sale of property arm Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios to global investment management fund Oaktree for roughly €880 million, Expansión reported. The transaction will enable Spain's fourth largest lender to complete the cleanup of its balance sheets from toxic assets.

* Separately, Banco de Sabadell agreed to sell a portfolio of real estate assets called Rex, with a net book value of some €342 million, to a unit of U.S. fund Cerberus, Europa Press reported. The sale and purchase price was set at €314 million with net provisions for some €20 million. Once the transaction closes, the bank said it will see positive effects on its profitability and a neutral effect on its capital ratio.

* Portugal-based Novo Banco SA reported a first-half net loss of €400.1 million, expanding from €212.2 million a year ago.

* Five years since the resolution of Portugal's Banco Espírito Santo SA, a group of creditors filed a fresh legal action related to the bank's demise, accusing a judge of blocking access to documents, Jornal de Negócios reported. The group of 272 creditors demanded the removal of the judge responsible for the bank's insolvency proceedings.


* Italian lender Unione di Banche Italiane SpA booked second-quarter group profit attributable to shareholders of the parent €48.7 million, down from €91.2 million a year ago. First-half attributable profit came in at €130.9 million, down from €208.9 million a year earlier.

* Unipol Gruppo SpA reported first-half consolidated net profit attributable to the owners of the parent of €626.5 million, compared with €481.7 million a year earlier.

* Banca Ifis SpA and Credito Fondiario SpA signed a nonbinding letter of intent to form an industrial partnership in the debt servicing and purchasing sector, all dailies including Milano Finanza wrote. Reuters also covered.

* Greece's central bank has recommended the full lifting of capital controls in the country in September or October, insiders told Reuters.


* The Danish FSA is preparing to issue up to six injunctions against Danske Bank A/S in respect of the bank's controversial investment product Flexinvest Fri, Børsen reported. The product produced negative returns for several thousand of Danske Bank's customers.

* Norway's banks are bracing for a sharp increase in regulatory scrutiny, with the spotlight on their anti-money laundering systems and overall compliance, Dagens Næringsliv wrote. Although banks are investing more resources to achieve AML compliance, banks believe that more fines than previously thought will be issued by authorities in Norway.


* The U.S. introduced another round of sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, Vedomosti reported. The sanctions target Russian government debt and include measures aimed at blocking international financial institutions from providing loans to Russia.

* Finvision Holdings, a company of Russian businessman Artem Avetisyan, who currently controls Public Stock Co. Orient Express Bank with his business partners, sent a pre-trial claim to Baring Vostok's unit Evison Holdings, requesting a 12.6 billion Russian ruble compensation over losses incurred at the time when Evison was the lender's majority shareholder, RBC wrote.

* Russian prosecutors launched checks at non-state pension fund Budushchee as part of an investigation of the pension sector following complaints regarding illegal transfers of pension savings, Reuters reported.

* The 2019 stress tests carried out by the Slovenian central bank showed that the country's banking system is stable and has sufficient capital adequacy in both baseline and adverse macroeconomic scenarios, SEENews reported.


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RBS warns it will miss profit target amid tough market; shares fall: Royal Bank of Scotland said it was unlikely to hit its target of boosting return on tangible equity to 12% by 2020.

Allianz could shrink industrial insurance unit as remedial work continues: Companies need to be "top class" to make good returns in industrial insurance, according to Allianz Group CFO Giulio Terzariol.

Rate cut expectations dim the outlook for retail banking - Crédit Agricole: The outlook for retail banking over the coming months is challenging because there is a greater chance of an interest rate cut within the eurozone, Crédit Agricole SA CFO Jérôme Grivet said.

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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