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Westpac settles home-loan case; Metrobank closes credit card unit deal


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Westpac settles home-loan case; Metrobank closes credit card unit deal

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

Major Australian banks in hot water

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission filed a lawsuit against two superannuation trustees of National Australia Bank Ltd.'s wealth management division for allegedly charging fees without providing services to customers.

* The securities regulator filed the lawsuit after NAB and another major Australian bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, denied allegations they engaged in criminal conduct in their dealings with their respective superannuation funds customers.

* Separately, Westpac Banking Corp. struck an agreement with the securities regulator to settle legal proceedings over alleged breaches of home-loan responsible lending laws. The bank agreed to pay a A$35-million fine to settle the case.

Regulatory developments

* India's central bank tightened its internal ombudsmen guidelines and asked all scheduled commercial banks with more than 10 branches to appoint internal ombudsmen as part of efforts to strengthen their internal complaint redressal systems.

* Singapore's central bank proposed tighter rules for financial institutions to help them enhance their cyber resilience and guard against cyber attacks.

* The central banks of China and Macau signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation on financial policies and supervision.

* The Australian central bank maintained its cash rate at 1.50%.

Deal news

* Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., or Metrobank, closed its acquisition of the remaining 20% stake in Metrobank Card Corp. held by Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., making the credit card firm its wholly owned subsidiary.

* Westpac is reportedly considering selling its financial planning arm, joining its rivals in potentially off-loading its financial planning business.

In other news

* Indian public sector banks are said to be gearing up to establish an asset management company for faster resolution of bad loans worth more than 5 billion rupees, with State Bank of India likely to register a firm by the end of September.

* KB Financial Group Inc. is reportedly set to launch an asset management unit in Shanghai in the week of Sept. 10 through KB Asset Management Co. Ltd.

* Singapore's United Overseas Bank Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co. Ltd. to collaborate on serving companies looking to tap opportunities from China's Belt and Road Initiative.

* South Korea's Woori Bank plans to convert unit Woori Finance Cambodia Plc into a commercial bank by combining it with another Cambodian unit, WB Finance Co. Ltd., in 2019.

* Tokyo Century Corp. signed a cooperation agreement with Indonesia-based PT Bank Nationalnobu Tbk, with plans to enter the mobile payments market in the Southeast Asian nation.

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