* The ECB maintained its key rates at the first monetary policy meeting under new President Christine Lagarde. Lagarde said the central bank's planned strategic review of its monetary policy will begin in January 2020 and conclude by the end of the year, according to Reuters and Bloomberg News. Meanwhile, some members of the ECB's governing council Lagarde's statement to include the damaging side effects of negative interest rates, but the council ultimately decided that investors could overinterpret the move, insiders told Bloomberg.
* New ECB rules that lower the standards for which bonds count toward a bank's mandatory buffer will result in an average reduction in capital requirements equal to 90 basis points of European banks' core equity Tier 1 requirements, Reuters reported, citing Andrea Enria, chairman of the ECB's supervisory board.
* The EU must decide which financial assets could be regarded as green if it wants the ECB to help fight climate change, Reuters reported, citing ECB President Christine Lagarde.
* The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published a discussion paper to seek views on a range of issues related to the prudential regulation of crypto-assets from various stakeholders and market participants.
* Cyprus, Norway and Romania failed to make sure that certain financial firms comply with requirements on how to handle suspicious transactions and order reports, according to a peer review by the European Securities and Markets Authority.
* The EU confirmed that it will extend the derivatives industry's access rights to the crucial U.K. market infrastructure, which would last for one year from the day a no-deal Brexit occurs, the Financial Times reported. The access rights were due to expire March 2020.
UK AND IRELAND
* The U.K. Conservative Party bagged a governing majority in yesterday's snap election, paving the way for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to get his Brexit deal ratified in Parliament and lead the U.K. out of the EU on Jan. 31, 2020. Jeremy Corbyn said he will step down as Labour Party leader, after his second EU referendum pledge did not seem to pay off.
* Thailand's Bangkok Bank PCL agreed to buy the 44.56% stakes of Standard Chartered Bank and PT Astra International Tbk in Indonesia's PT Bank Permata Tbk for an estimated 37.431 trillion Indonesian rupiah, with the consideration payable to Standard Chartered Bank at an estimated 19 trillion rupiah, or roughly $1.36 billion. Standard Chartered PLC said it would record an estimated gain of about $500 million from the deal.
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC is set to pay 730,000 customers £40 million in compensation after it found that several of its employees skimmed cash on foreign money transfers between 2010 and 2014, The Telegraph reported.
* London Stock Exchange Group PLC and several lenders invested a further £20 million in their derivatives-trading venture Curve Global Ltd., Financial News wrote.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* The ECB raised the common equity Tier 1 requirement for Germany's Commerzbank AG to 10.63% beginning Jan. 1, 2020, from 10.11% for 2019. As of September-end, Commerzbank's CET1 ratio was 12.8%.
* German financial market supervisory authority BaFin has created a new unit that explicitly focuses on money laundering at financial institutions that are particularly risky, Handelsbatt noted.
* Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. Ltd. sold its stake in Deutsche Bank AG — directly in shares and indirectly in derivatives — of around 5% to the family office of Deutsche Bank board member and HNA representative Alexander Schütz, Handelsblatt reported.
* The Swiss central bank kept its policy rate unchanged at negative 0.75% and trimmed its inflation forecasts, while reiterating its willingness to act to stem the franc's appreciation.
* Heta Asset Resolution AG will be making another interim payment to creditors in December of about €2.05 billion, bringing total creditor repayments to €9.9 billion, Die Presse reported.
* Former Swiss Re AG COO Thomas Wellauer was elected and confirmed as the new chairman of SIX Group AG's board of directors, effective March 15, 2020.
* Two former managers of insolvent Maple Bank GmbH, which is involved in the cum-ex dividend scandal in Germany and is said to have defrauded the state of €383 million, were arrested yesterday on the risk of flight, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
* ARAG Holding SE CEO Paul-Otto Fassbender said financial year 2019 will be "significantly better than we expected and planned," with estimated premium income expected to increase by 6% to €1.75 billion and pretax profit to rise to around €100 million from €70.2 million last year, Versicherungswirtschaft Heute wrote.
* Bank Linth LLB AG is dissolving its operations and services division to focus more on sales and distribution. The unit's head, Roland Greber, will step down from his post, effective March 31, 2020. The bank's board of directors will also be reduced to five members from seven.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* The ECB raised ING Groep NV's common equity Tier 1 requirement as of Aug. 1, 2020 to 11.96% from 11.83% currently, mainly due to the Dutch banking group's higher mandatory countercyclical buffer for the year.
* Belgium's Ageas SA/NV and Switzerland's Helvetia Holding AG moved closer to potentially acquiring Caser Mediterráneo Seguros Generales SAU as the auction valuing the Spanish insurer at €1 billion reached its final stages, insiders told Reuters.
* Société Générale SA is prepared to talk to German authorities about a settlement of the cum-ex fraud case it is facing, Les Echos reported.
* France's High Council for Financial Stability recommended that banks limit housing loans to 33% of household expenditure and that loans be no longer than 25 years, Les Echos reported.
* Dutch bank Volksbank NV is set to appoint Pieter Veuger CFO, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. He succeeds Annemiek van Melick, who resigned from the board in September.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Banco Santander SA reached an agreement for the creation of Tresmares Capital, an alternative financing platform for small and medium-sized enterprises. Spain's largest banking group will contribute €900 million to a debt fund and a further €70 million to participate with a 40% stake in the venture capital vehicle, Expansión wrote.
* An opposition group within the mutual association that controls Portugal's Caixa Económica Montepio Geral Caixa Económica Bancária SA is calling for early elections for all of the entity's governing bodies following the departure of António Tomás Correia as president, Jornal de Negócios reported. Tomás Correia was re-elected to the presidency a year ago, but is stepping down following questions from the ASF regulator about his suitability for the post.
* Portugal's central bank said commercial banks will be able to charge for deposits held by the IGCP, the state agency in charge of managing the public debt, the Lusa news agency reported. It said the IGCP had a statutory status similar to other credit institutions that banks are allowed to charge for deposits.
ITALY AND GREECE
* Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the country is seeking some changes to a draft reform of the European Stability Mechanism and will not sign up to the effort unless it is part of a larger set of eurozone financial reforms, Reuters wrote.
* The Italian government is preparing a decree that should be approved before Christmas for the rescue of Banca Popolare di Bari SCpA in a deal that would foresee a liquidity backstop along the lines of that used for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA and Banca Carige SpA, which should stabilize the lender in case of extraordinary measures, MF reported. Il Sole 24 Ore and Il Messaggero also covered.
* Market watchdog Consob filed a complaint with Bari magistrates for the refusal by Banca Popolare di Bari to disclose its financial and capital situation, la Repubblica reported.
* Generali purchased a 30% stake in Brazil's BMG Seguros in a €21 million transaction, MF wrote.
* Greek lawmakers approved a state-guaranteed scheme aimed at allowing local lenders to shed €30 billion of nonperforming loans by bundling the debt into asset-backed securities, Reuters reported.
* Denmark's Financial Supervisory Authority ordered Danske Bank A/S to bolster its surveillance of orders and transactions related to securities, following an investigation into the embattled Danish lender, Reuters reported.
* Czech lender Moneta Money Bank a.s. signed a contract to acquire 100% stakes in Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG units Wüstenrot – stavební spořitelna a.s. and Wüstenrot hypoteční banka a.s. for a total consideration of €180.4 million. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close around April 1, 2020.
* Polish lender mBank SA approved a new development strategy, under which it will strive to increase return on equity to 10.5% in 2023 from 7.9% in 2019, boost its net interest margin to 3% from 2.7% and reduce the cost-to-income ratio to below 40% from the current level of 43.4%, Rzeczpospolita said.
* Turkey's central bank cut its one-week repo auction rate by 200 basis points to 12%, marking the fourth cut since Murat Uysal became governor.
* Moldova's central bank lowered its base rate by 2.0 percentage points to 5.5%, saying it expects a decrease in inflation in the next year.
* The Ukrainian central bank also cut its key policy rate, to 13.5% from 15.5%, citing slower inflation and the strengthening of the hryvnia. The regulator will also change its approach to reserve requirements for banks from March 2020, with a 0% rate to be introduced for hryvnia reserves and a 10% rate to apply to foreign currency reserves.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Bank of Baroda sells Caribbean unit; Bangkok Bank to buy Bank Permata
Middle East & Africa: Fitch downgrades Lebanon; Mozambique's central bank holds key rate
Latin America: Brazil cuts key rate; XP shares jump 28% in Nasdaq debut
North America: JPMorgan to restructure wealth management biz; NYSE revises direct listing plans
Global Insurance: Principal Financial targets; RenRe cat bond; Progressive earnings; Convex rating
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Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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