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Barclays CEO investigated; HBOS probed; Brexit contingency plans due by July


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Barclays CEO investigated; HBOS probed; Brexit contingency plans due by July

* Deutsche Bundesbank executive board member Andreas Dombret tells Focus that he supports a plan proposed by European Banking Authority Chairperson Andrea Enria to bundle €1 trillion in bad debt from European lenders in a large bad bank, saying "the need for action is high."

* Jeroen Dijsselbloem said he intends to remain as president of the Eurogroup of finance ministers until his mandate ends in January, Reuters writes. Dijsselbloem has faced calls for him to resign following criticism of remarks he made last month that southern European countries had wasted money on "booze and women" in the lead-up to the European debt crisis.


* Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has instructed banks to submit their Brexit contingency plans to the Prudential Regulation Authority by July. In a speech, Carney urged banks to prepare for "the full range of possible scenarios" around the U.K.'s departure from the EU and said that the outcome of Brexit negotiations will be a "litmus test for responsible financial globalization."

* Meanwhile, Carney said the U.S. administration's plan to change financial regulation does not appear to add up to an extensive rolling back of rules that would affect international cooperation, Reuters writes.

* Barclays Plc CEO Jes Staley is being investigated by regulators in London and New York for potentially violating whistle-blower laws, Bloomberg News reports. Staley is accused of attempting to identify a complainant who anonymously alerted the bank about a personal matter involving a senior executive. The bank confirmed the investigations by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority into Staley and Barclays Bank Plc, and said that Staley has informed the board that he mistakenly believed that it was permissible to identify the tipster. The author of the letter was not identified and no further action was taken, the bank said, adding that it has decided to make a "very significant" adjustment to Staley's variable compensation.

* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority resumed its probe into misconduct at HBOS Plc's impaired assets unit. Lloyds Banking Group Plc said it would set aside about £100 million in the first quarter to compensate victims of the fraud scheme, Bloomberg News notes. Following the announcement of the HBOS probe, FCA Chairman John Griffith-Jones is facing calls to resign over the auditing of the failed bank by KPMG, City A.M. writes.

* Meanwhile, a confidential report by a senior Lloyds Banking Group employee said the bank would not have pressed ahead with the disastrous deal to save HBOS had the failed lender's managers disclosed the fraudulent activities at its Reading branch, The Times reports.

* Australian investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd. is set to acquire UK Green Investment Bank Plc after the British High Court rejected the legal challenge of rival bidder Sustainable Development Capital, Reuters reports.

* A secret recording obtained by BBC News revealed that the Bank of England repeatedly pressured commercial banks into pushing their LIBOR rates down during the 2008 financial crisis. In the recording, senior Barclays Plc manager Mark Dearlove ordered LIBOR submitter Peter Johnson to lower his rates in light of "some very serious pressure" from the U.K. government and the BoE.

* U.K. payday lender Wonga Group has warned its customers that their personal data — including their bank account numbers and addresses — may have been stolen after a security breach, Reuters writes. An insider tells the newswire that up to 270,000 former and current customers in Britain and Poland could be affected by the hack, which was detected last Tuesday. The Financial Times also covers.

* The CEOs of U.K. fund managers Jupiter Fund Management Plc, Ashmore Group Plc, Aberdeen Asset Management Plc, Henderson Group Plc and Intermediate Capital Group Plc suffered huge pay cuts last year after the Brexit vote, lower profitability and investor outflows, the Financial Times reports. Henderson Group CEO Andrew Formica saw the largest cut, with his total remuneration lowered by 65% to £2 million.


* After Deutsche Bank AGcompleted its €8 billion capital increase at the end of last week, CEO John Cryan wrote a letter to employees in which he said the lender was set to grow again. "We will be able to grow again in a more focused way," he wrote, adding that Deutsche Bank would not succeed by shrinking further. Reuters, Bloomberg News and the Financial Times all cover.

* Swiss pension fund foundation Ethos has rejected Credit Suisse Group AG's executive pay plans and called for the ouster of Chairman Urs Rohner and Vice Chairman Richard Thornburgh, Reuters reports. Ethos followed Glass Lewis in recommending its members reject paying Credit Suisse's executive board about CHF26.0 million in short-term bonuses.

* Smaller banks in Switzerland are set to be subject to stricter capital requirements, Handelsblatt writes, saying the regulatory changes are expected to apply from the beginning of 2018.

* EFG International AG said this morning that the legal integration of BSI SA Swiss business into EFG Bank AG has been completed. The combined Swiss business will now operate in the market solely under the EFG name.


* The Belgian central bank and the finance ministry are planning to impose new measures on banks that allow risky mortgage lending after becoming concerned about high loan-to-value ratios, L'Echo reports.

* SGAM Covéa CEO Thierry Derez tells La Tribune that the French insurer will not be pushing digital innovation as regulations remained a long way behind technology and clients want more personal rather than remote contact.

* Dutch insurer NN Group NV has received official permission from the regulator to take over rival Delta Lloyd NV for €2.5 billion, Het Financieele Dagblad reports. The takeover is the largest in the history of the Dutch insurance sector.


* Banco Santander SA CEO José Antonio Álvarez said the bank intends to address its risk controls and improve its compliance with U.S. regulations this year as it seeks to improve its profitability in the country, Reuters reports.


* The industrial plan for the anticipated merger of Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA and Veneto Banca SpA foresees some 4,000 job cuts and a 30% to 35% reduction in operating costs, says La Repubblica.

* The ECB will be returning to Greece in June to review how Greek banks deal with nonperforming loans. The findings of the inspection are expected to act as a marker for potential new capital requirements for Greek banks, according to

* Banco BPM SpA CEO Giuseppe Castagna ruled out the need for a capital increase and said the bank was close to a deal to sell €700 million in nonperforming loans, Il Giornale reports.

* Unione di Banche Italiane SpA shareholders approved plans for a €400 million capital increase to help maintain the bank's CET1 ratio above 11% after the acquisition of three banks that were bailed out in late 2015, Reuters reports.

* Intesa Sanpaolo SpA set up new branches in Abu Dhabi and Doha as it seeks to expand its corporate and investment banking and trade finance businesses, Reuters writes. Meanwhile, a consortium including Christofferson Robb & Co. LLC and Bayview looks set to clinch the deal to acquire €2.5 billion in nonperforming loans from Intesa, says Il Sole 24 Ore.

* Banca IFIS SpA CEO Giovanni Bossi said the group is studying 10 possible transactions to purchase nonperforming loans, as it seeks to buy up to €15 billion in bad loans by 2019, Reuters reports.

* Crédit Agricole Cariparma SpA, the Italian unit of Crédit Agricole Group, has reached an agreement in principle to acquire the small troubled Italian lenders Cassa di Risparmio di Cesena SpA, Cassa di Risparmio di Rimini SpA and Cassa di Risparmio di San Miniato SpA for a total amount of about €150 million, says Il Messaggero.

* Banca Generali SpA named Tommaso Di Russo as CFO to replace Stefano Grassi, who left to take on the general manager role at Banca Intermobiliare, Reuters says.

* Major shareholders in Generali have begun discussing nominating a general manager to support CEO Philippe Donnet, says Il Sole 24 Ore. The position has been vacant since the departure of Alberto Minali in January.


* Bank Handlowy w Warszawie SA warned that its first-quarter net profit will be significantly lower than previous quarters and will amount to around 60 million Polish zlotys, Rzeczpospolita reports.


Asia-Pacific: Religare to divest stake in insurer; Thailand denies manipulating baht

Middle East & Africa: Fitch cuts South Africa to junk; GTBank in Tanzania expansion

Latin America: Bancrédito restructuring approved; BTG transfers stake in drugstore chain

North America: Richmond Fed says Lacker's lawyer left out full details in leak probe

North America Insurance: GOP struggles to find consensus on health bill; fiduciary rule postponed to June


Risk & Regulation: British regulatory delegation seeks to energize US insurance relationship: British insurance regulators are meeting with U.S. policy experts and state insurance regulators this week to weigh the direction of U.S. insurance regulation, according to sources.

Europe needs bank consolidation, greater transparency to cut NPLs, says SRB boss: Meanwhile, the EU's plan to reduce nonperforming loans will see it create a blueprint for national bad banks and facilitate secondary markets for NPLs.

Money-laundering scandals said to reveal gaps in EU enforcement, transparency: A lack of clarity over the beneficial owners of shell companies in Europe and uneven enforcement of financial crime laws are making money laundering more difficult to prevent.

Election uncertainty hurts Paris's hopes of attracting banks post-Brexit: The unpredictability of its presidential elections could hurt France's hopes of convincing financial services companies to move to Paris from London after Brexit, according to industry observers.

French parliament feeds volatility as euro bears concede to Macron: Investors' euro positions predict a presidential election defeat for Marine Le Pen, but it is unclear whether either she or likely winner Emmanuel Macron would command the support of parliament.

Tryg CEO says Norway reserve releases to boost earnings: Tryg CEO Morten Hübbe said he expects the Norwegian workers' compensation insurance business to contribute more reserve releases in coming quarters.

David Hutter, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Mike Hatzidakis, Ali Kayalar, Heather O'Brian, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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