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Nationwide CFO retiring; Tesco Bank exits mortgage lending; HSBC's China push

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Nationwide CFO retiring; Tesco Bank exits mortgage lending; HSBC's China push

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel is setting her eyes on securing the presidency of the ECB or the European Commission for one of her compatriots, possibly clashing with France's Emmanuel Macron, who has similar plans, insiders told Bloomberg News. The terms of Jean-Claude Juncker and Mario Draghi as presidents of the EC and ECB, respectively, will expire later this year.

UK AND IRELAND

* Mark Rennison is retiring as Nationwide Building Society's CFO after 12 years in the role. He will remain in office until a successor is appointed and will still stand for re-election during the company's July 18 annual general meeting so that he may remain a director until he officially steps down. Nationwide's after-tax profit for the year ended April 4 slipped to £618 million from a restated £745 million in the same period a year earlier.

* Tesco Personal Finance PLC, or Tesco Bank, has ceased from issuing new mortgage loans amid challenging market conditions in recent years, which, according to CEO Gerry Mallon, yield "limited profitable growth opportunities." The bank said it is actively exploring options to sell its existing mortgage portfolio, with lending balances totaling £3.7 billion.

* U.K.-based Metro Bank PLC said it will sever "inappropriate" ties with InterArch, a design firm owned by Chairman Vernon Hill's wife. InterArch has coffered roughly £26 million since Metro was launched in 2010 for designing the bank's distinctive blue and red livery. Meanwhile, institutional investor Royal London Asset Management also announced that it is voting against Vernon Hill's reelection as well as that of other directors, echoing the same stance as major shareholder Legal & General Investment Management.

* HSBC Holdings PLC intends to hire over a thousand additional staff for its technology development centers in China this year, Reuters wrote, citing group Chief Information Officer Darryl West. The group will earmark an annual investment of $3 billion to $3.5 billion for its technology operations over the next five years, West added.

* Lloyds Banking Group PLC plans to establish a technology hub in Edinburgh, which will employ roughly 100 people, as the London-based lender accelerates its digital products and services offering, The Times reported.

* Two or three cases of serious misconduct at Lloyd's of London could emerge this week as the insurance marketplace moves to purge its work environment of sexual harassment, Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown told City A.M.

* Britons have lost over £27 million in foreign exchange and cryptocurrencies fraud last year, news outlets including Sky News and City A.M. covered. Victims lost an average of £14,600 each and were often baited through social media. Reports of fraud also tripled to over 1,800.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* BlackRock Inc., Deutsche Bank AG's largest single shareholder, will not vote on the performance of the German lender's executives at its annual general meeting tomorrow, unnamed sources told Bloomberg. A BlackRock spokesman said the company taps an independent fiduciary to cast votes on its behalf in cases when it is required by regulation or due to potential conflicts of interest.

* French asset manager Amundi SA is said to be looking at a possible merger with Germany's DWS Schweiz GmbH, but only if it takes a controlling stake in the combined entity. However, insiders said Deutsche Bank, which wholly owns DWS, told Reuters that the lender is unwilling to sell a controlling stake in DWS.

* DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale, Deutsche WertpapierService Bank AG, DZ BANK AG and Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale joined forces to develop a new blockchain-based platform for the processing of bonded loans, Börsen-Zeitung wrote.

* Munich-based Merkur Bank KGaA plans to acquire significant parts of the banking business of Bank Schilling & Co. AG as part of its growth strategy.

* Former Credit Suisse Group AG banker Detelina Subeva pleaded guilty on a U.S. charge that she conspired to launder money from a scheme involving $2 billion in loans to Mozambican state-owned firms.

* Switzerland's Julius Bär Gruppe AG plans to expand its wealth management business in Russia and hire up to eight new relationship managers, with an aim to win 200 new high-net worth clients by end-2019, Ewgeni Smuschkovich, the bank’s regional head for Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, told finews in an interview.

* Banque Lombard Odier & Cie SA appointed Stephen Kamp COO for private clients, effective Aug. 16. Kamp was most recently deputy region head for southern Europe and Israel at Julius Bär Gruppe.

* Shareholders of SIX Group AG yesterday elected Jürg Gutzwiller, CEO of Entris Banking AG and president of the Association of Swiss Regional Banks, and Pierre-Olivier Bouée, COO of Credit Suisse Group, to its board.

* Thomas Moser, an alternate member of the governing board of the Swiss National Bank, said the regulator is ready to intervene in the currency markets if needed, Bloomberg wrote. The SNB deposit rate has been at negative 0.75% for the last four years.

* Austria's coalition government collapsed yesterday after the Freedom Party's Herbert Kickl was removed as interior minister over a corruption scandal, prompting all other Cabinet members from the far-right party to quit. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz will reportedly appoint technocrats and senior civil servants to replace the resigned ministers.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* HSBC has entered negotiations with Aviva PLC's French unit in order to create a partnership, according to L’Agefi citing sources. The potential team-up will help HSBC sell car and house insurance policies in the French market.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA launched a new independent advisory service called Open Management, along with a range of financial products, for clients with assets worth more than €5 million, according to Expansión.

* Deloitte said it will lodge an appeal over a €1 million fine imposed on the firm for alleged serious breaches in its auditing of Banco Santander SA's accounts in 2011, wrote Europa Press.

* Portugal's central bank has until Thursday to submit to Parliament a list of the names of the largest debtors of banks that have benefited from the regulator's cash injections in the last twelve years, a move aimed at increasing transparency in the use of public money, Jornal de Negócios wrote. Some of the institutions affected are Caixa Geral de Depósitos SA, Novo Banco SA and Millennium BCP.

ITALY AND GREECE

* Italian lender Intesa Sanpaolo SpA signed a deed for a merger by incorporation of unit Banca Apulia SpA, effective next Monday. The transaction increases the group's capital by €128,646.96 through the issuance of 247,398 ordinary shares.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Swedbank AB (publ)'s shareholders are set to meet in an extraordinary general meeting June 19 to elect a new chairman and new board members. Göran Persson, former Swedish prime minister, has been tipped to become the bank's new chairman after Lars Idermark stepped down last month amid a deepening money laundering affair.

* Swedish government-owned mortgage lender SBAB Bank AB (publ) named Jan Sinclair its new chairman, replacing Bo Magnusson, who was recently nominated to Swedbank AB's board.

* Denmark's Jyske Bank A/S reported a client to the police several times in connection with the international VAT fraud case currently under investigation, Børsen reported. The bank also cooperated with the police on keeping the customer’s account operational while the police collected evidence.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Mikhail Khabarov was appointed CEO at Russia's bad bank National Bank Trust PJSC to oversee the management of the financial institution's noncore assets, the work of its units and the strategic and operational management of the bank, Vedomosti said.

* JSC Alfa-Bank plans to reduce its workforce by around 12% or 3,000 people by the end of 2019 due to an increasing number of services provided remotely, with around 2,000 employees having already left the bank in the first quarter, news agency RBC reported, citing Bloomberg. Alfa-Bank CEO Vladimir Verkhoshinsky said the lender would primarily focus on developing mobile banking products, with plans to double its share in the retail lending segment within three years.

* Poland's PKO Bank Polski SA is looking for ways to increase its net earnings further to 5 billion zlotys per year in the future, CEO Zbigniew Jagiełło told Parkiet.

* The Serbian government plans to launch a tender to sell its 41.74% stake in Komercijalna banka a.d. Beograd at the beginning of June, according to SEENews. The Serbian state is in the process of divesting its holdings in local banks and will only retain ownership of Banka Poštanska štedionica a.d. Beograd.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: BoComm Life gets OK on wealth subsidiary; Pakistan raises key interest rate

Middle East & Africa: Mizrahi Tefahot Bank posts rise in Q1 profit; Israel's central bank holds rate

Latin America: Guedes broaches Caixa privatization; Kirchner to seek Argentine vice presidency

North America: NYDFS conserves Municipal CU; Morgan Stanley buys stake in French asset manager

Global Insurance: Lloyd's syndicates fined; Goldman buying Aston Lark; Japanese insurers' earnings

NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE

Regulator fixation on compliance impeding global trade finance, banks say: In their aim to prevent money laundering and other crime in trade finance, regulators are pushing big banks to de-risk, but this may threaten global trade.

The end is not nigh for City of London post-Brexit, Trade Secretary Fox says: U.K. Trade Secretary Liam Fox is confident the country's financial services sector will remain a global leader after Britain leaves the EU.

Deza Mones, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Stephanie Salti, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.