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SFO charges vs. Barclays dismissed; Dubai bank to buy Sberbank's Turkish unit


Banking Essentials Newsletter: 7th February Edition


Insurance Underwriting Transformed How Insurers Can Harness Probability of Default Models for Smarter Credit Decisions

Case Study

A Bank Outsources Data Gathering to Meet Basel III Regulations


Private Markets 360° | Episode 8: Powering the Global Private Markets (with Adam Kansler of S&P Global Market Intelligence)

SFO charges vs. Barclays dismissed; Dubai bank to buy Sberbank's Turkish unit

* The European Commission is this week set to announce plans to create so-called sovereign bond-backed securities, which will be composed of bonds issued by different EU member states, the Financial Times reported. The commission hopes that eurozone banks would purchase the debt instruments and branch out from bonds issued by their home governments.

* Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, which is set to take effect this Friday, is expected to drive demand for cyber insurance, Reuters wrote. Under the directive, companies could face fines of up to 4% of their annual revenue for serious violations of the new data privacy rules.


* The Crown Court dismissed the U.K. Serious Fraud Office's charges against Barclays PLC and unit Barclays Bank PLC regarding a controversial capital increase carried out by the British banking group in 2008. Barclays said the SFO will potentially seek to reinstate the charges by applying to the U.K. High Court to recommence proceedings through a new indictment of the same charges.

* Nationwide Building Society reported profit after tax of £745 million for the year ended April 4, down from £757 million a year earlier.

* TSB Banking Group PLC dismissed research by RBC Capital Markets estimating that the lender will face £16 million in regulatory fines related to its botched IT upgrade, in addition to paying £51 million in compensation to affected customers, The Times reported. The lender has put the cost of the issue at £30 million, excluding the prospect of fines.

* Activist investor Christopher Hohn called on the Bank of England to make it mandatory for lenders to require corporate borrowers to disclose the climate-related risks they face, warning that failure to do so could threaten the U.K. banking system's long-term stability, the FT reported.

* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority called on firms offering automated investment advice to collect more information on a client's financial circumstances to ensure that they receive suitable service, and to give more clarity on their fees, Reuters noted.


* A group of German Volksbanken will continue to handle transactions and finance operations for German clients doing business in Iran despite the possibility of U.S. sanctions, Handelsblatt reported. The six regional cooperative banks include Volksbank am Württemberg eG, Volksbank Pforzheim eG, Volksbank Heilbronn eG, Volksbank eG Konstanz, Volksbank Schwarzwald-Donau-Neckar eG and Vereinigte Volksbank eG.

* Swiss Re AG is reviewing the impact of the U.S. government's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran on its business, Reinsurance News wrote.

* Austrian banks must pay back some €250 million to borrowers after a number of court rulings found that domestic lenders had failed to allow negative interest rates on loans when the euro interbank offered rate, to which floating-rate loans are pegged, dipped below zero, according to Der Standard, which cited a report by public broadcaster ORF. The courts found that borrowers were forced to pay much higher interest rates than necessary over long periods of time.


* Ageas SA/NV is set to sell its 26% stake in Indian subsidiary IDBI Federal Life Insurance Co. Ltd., De Tijd reported. The insurer claims that it could make €200 million from the deal.


* Bankia SA said it had repaid a total of €2.8 billion to the holders of hybrid instruments issued by the savings banks that merged in recent years into the banking group, Europa Press reported. The European Commission required in 2013 the repayment and exchange of such instruments into new Bankia shares as part of the bank's bailout.

* Banco Santander SA, CaixaBank SA, Banco de Sabadell SA and Kutxabank SA are expected to lose more than 70% of their investments in Spanish bad bank Sareb, potentially forcing the banks and bank restructuring fund FROB to raise provisions to cover such a scenario, Expansión wrote. Sareb will be wound up in 2027, generating significant losses for its stakeholders.


* Italy's two anti-establishment parties, the Five Star Movement and the League, nominated law professor Giuseppe Conte to be the country's prime minister.

* Shares in Credito Valtellinese SpA fell 6% yesterday as the prospect of a coalition government between the Five Star Movement and the League further reduced the value of Italian bonds held by banks, Reuters reported.

* The board of Banca Intermobiliare determined that the takeover offer price Attestor Capital made for the shares it does not already own in the Italian bank was not fair, Reuters reported. Banca Intermobiliare also appointed Matteo Colafrancesco CEO.

* An ECB inspection into UniCredit SpA's IT risks uncovered eight areas for improvement, Il Sole 24 Ore wrote. The bank agreed to send an action plan to the regulator to address its shortcomings.

* Credito Fondiario SpA plans to accelerate the development of its bad loan management activities and could carry out an IPO as early as next year, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

* The deadline for binding offers for a roughly €450 million portfolio of unlikely-to-pay loans put up for sale by Crédit Agricole Cariparma SpA has been pushed back to June 8, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.


* Sweden's Moderate and Center opposition parties joined forces to call on the government to divest ownership in state-owned mortgage bank SBAB Bank AB (publ), with leaders of both parties estimating that the government could raise between 12 billion Swedish kronor to 20 billion kronor from a sale, Göteborgs Posten wrote.

* Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ) dismissed as "misleading" media reports in Sweden implying that a letter it received from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority about its U.K. branch raised serious concerns over the increased risk of loan losses within its British business, Dagens Industri wrote. Handelsbanken said its U.K. loan book is well run and that the FSA letter was "a standard part of a supervisory relationship".

* The Danish government plans to impose tighter new rules on credit institutions in a bid to more tightly regulate the growing payday lenders' segment, FinansWatch reported. Under the proposal, all companies and institutions providing loans in the Danish market would need to be fully licensed by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.


* PAO Sberbank of Russia agreed to sell its 99.85% stake in Turkish unit DenizBank AS to Dubai-based Emirates NBD Bank PJSC for a consideration of 14.6 billion Turkish lira. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in 2018.

* The Russian central bank will provide an additional 18 billion Russian rubles to three pension funds controlled by Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank, bailed out by the regulator in 2017, Reuters reported. The central bank already transferred 42 billion rubles to the pension funds, with the money earmarked for future pension payouts.

* PJSC Moscow Exchange MICEX-RTS started offering repo operations with shares of select U.S. companies from May 21, Vedomosti reported.

* PKO Bank Polski SA reported first-quarter net profit attributable to equity holders of the parent company of 757 million Polish zlotys, up from 525 million zlotys in the year-ago period.

* ING Bank Slaski SA is looking to purchase local investment fund managers Union Investment TFI and NN Investment Partners TFI, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported.

* Polish debt collector GetBack SA increased the value of its estimated 2017 net loss to 1.2 billion zlotys from the previously stated 1 billion zlotys and again postponed the publication of its 2017 annual report, this time to May 29 from May 21, PAP reported.

* Meanwhile, Puls Biznesu said former GetBack CEO Konrad Kakolewski filed a lawsuit against the company's main shareholder, Abris Capital Partners. Kakolewski demands compensation amounting to 370 million zlotys, with the funds to be offered to GetBack bondholders.

* U.K. financial technology startup Revolut officially launched services in the Czech Republic, E15 wrote.


Asia-Pacific: Warburg Pincus front-runner for IndiaFirst stake; ANZ postpones UDC Finance IPO

Middle East & Africa: US funds vying for Abraaj unit; Ghana steps up bank consolidation efforts

Latin America: BancoEstado's Q1 profit rises 3.6% YOY; PagSeguro to launch digital bank

North America: Fifth Third to buy MB Financial for $4.7B; JPMorgan working on crypto strategy

North America Insurance: AmTrust doubles down; Travelers closes cat bond; MS Amlin P&C boss departs


Spain's Sabadell could see £300M hit from TSB IT meltdown: TSB's recent IT troubles have hurt its reputation as a friendly neighborhood bank, and Spanish parent Sabadell could incur related costs in the hundreds of millions of euros.

UK insurance broker M&A spree surges on despite headwinds: Buying and selling in the crowded U.K. insurance broking market continues apace despite potential threats from Brexit and insurtech, but one prominent buyer warns that the boom cannot last forever.

Leo Magno, 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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