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Fast-track Brexit rejected; Swedbank Q3 profit down; Handelsbanken to exit Asia


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Fast-track Brexit rejected; Swedbank Q3 profit down; Handelsbanken to exit Asia

* The U.K. House of Commons rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's proposed timetable for Parliament scrutiny for his Brexit bill, prompting him to "pause" the legislation while awaiting the European Union's decision on another Brexit delay. The rejection came after lawmakers voted to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on second reading and move it to the committee stage, marking the first time that Parliament agreed to a Brexit deal since the June 2016 referendum. In response, European Council President Donald Tusk said he will recommend to EU leaders to accept the U.K.'s request for a Brexit delay to avert a no-deal departure.

* Meanwhile, a Downing Street source told BBC News that Johnson will seek a general election if the EU proposes to postpone Brexit by another three months to Jan. 31, 2020.

* Banks would be forced to sever ties with Facebook if the tech giant kicks off operations of its Libra cryptocurrency without fully addressing financial regulators' concern over its possible use in financial crimes, ING Groep NV CEO Ralph Hamers told the Financial Times.


* British mobile money firm Revolut Ltd. announced a partnership with Mastercard Inc. to launch Revolut cards in the U.S. by 2019-end. The companies will partner on a minimum of 50% of all existing and future cards Revolut will issue in Europe.

* Property developer Oliver Morley filed a lawsuit against Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC alleging that the lender had pressured him to transfer his assets to its controversial Global Restructuring Unit by "making unlawful and/or illegitimate threats," Bloomberg News wrote. The bank denied the claims but former executives at the unit, Derek Sach and John Donald Workman, are set testify in court.

* Vernon Hill, who was set to step down as chairman of U.K. lender Metro Bank PLC by year-end, is leaving his post effective immediately.


* Deutsche Bank AG will restructure its retail banking business in Spain that will involve the closure of 12 offices and the reduction of 49 staff, of which 35 will be early retirees and 14 will be laid off, according to Europa Press. The bank has about 2,400 employees in Spain.

* A U.S. federal court scrapped the request by former Deutsche Bank traders James Vorley and Cedric Chanu to dismiss a case against them over a fraudulent trading practice called spoofing, Bloomberg wrote. The pair stand accused of placing buy or sell orders for futures contracts that they did not intend to execute and profiting by executing trades on the opposite side.

* Authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore have opened an investigation into UBS Group AG's local business with private investors, alleging the bank charged inflated fees for transactions in the bond market between 2008 and 2015, Finews wrote, noting that UBS has identified and reported such transactions. The bank will compensate affected customers in consultation with the authorities and could also pay a fine.

* Beginning in January, UBS will stop charging wealth management clients fees on separately managed investment accounts sold through its U.S. financial advisers, a move to eliminate potential conflicts of interest, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* In Liechtenstein, a new law regulating blockchain businesses will become effective in January, a measure to boost the so-called token economy in the country and attract innovative fintechs, Neue Zürcher Zeitung reported.


The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets will begin a study into the possible entry on the Dutch payments market of so-called Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon of the U.S., and China's Tencent and Alibaba, Het Financieele Dagblad reported.

* Luxembourg-based wealth management firm EC21 SA, a joint company of Swiss asset manager Colombo Wealth SA, French company Twenty First Capital SAS and Luxembourg-based financial firm European Capital Partners SA, has received a license from the Luxembourg financial market supervisory authority and will now begin conducting business with its target group, high-net-worth individuals, Finews wrote.


* Banco Santander SA is studying a change in its market strategy for nonperforming loans and plans to create a fund with its own capital to invest in these problem assets, sources told Expansión. The new line of business would aim to compete with large investment funds.

* Renta 4 Banco SA has created a new client solutions unit to be headed up by Juan Sánchez del Campo, currently director of digital private banking at Banco Santander, Europa Press wrote.

* The Spanish Supreme Court has condemned Bankinter SA for the commercialization of bonds, preferred and structured products of Lehman Brothers and Icelandic banks without offering customers adequate information on the risk that ended up materializing, Europa Press reported.

* Portugal's Novo Banco SA has started negotiating a new redundancy round in Spain that will affect 61 people, representing around 25% of its workforce in the country, sources told Europa Press.

* Caixa Geral de Depósitos SA CEO Paulo Macedo said the bank expects commissions charged to customers globally will increase by 2% by year-end, impacting around 10% of account holders, Jornal de Negócios reported.

* Millennium BCP CEO Miguel Maya said new market players in the financial sector should also contribute to Portugal's bank resolution fund and follow the same regulations applied to traditional banks, Jornal de Negócios wrote. BCP pays €50 million to the fund every year, the largest contribution alongside Caixa Geral de Depósitos.


* While a merger between Unione di Banche Italiane SpA and Banco BPM SpA is seen as a more likely option for now, a number of large shareholders in UBI and BPER Banca SpA look with favor on the possibility of a tie-up between UBI and BPER, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.

* Banca Popolare di Sondrio SCpA has opened a competitive process to seek a servicer and an arranger as it prepares to securitize over €1 billion in nonperforming loans in the first half of 2020, MF wrote.

* Debt recovery firm Prelios SpA is set to receive financing of €380 million from a pool of banks to fund a deal that will see it acquire and securitize some €3 billion in gross unlikely-to-pay loans from Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and service a further €6.7 billion, MF reported.

* Italy's Economy Ministry is evaluating measures to allow banks to dispose of unlikely-to-pay loans, possibly by taking steps to facilitate their securitization, MF reported.

* As expected, Giovanni Gorno Tempini was named the new chairman of Cassa depositi e prestiti SpA, Il Sole 24 Ore wrote, noting that current chairman Massimo Tononi is expected to resign tomorrow.


* Swedbank AB (publ)'s third-quarter group profit attributable to shareholders amounted to 4.66 billion Swedish kronor, a 16% decrease from the year-ago 5.53 billion kronor. The lender, which is being investigated by international authorities after being embroiled in a money laundering scandal, said the decline was due to tougher competition and higher expenses. Profit for the nine months to Sept. 30 also fell on a yearly basis to 15.27 billion kronor from 16.57 billion kronor.

* Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB announced the appointment of Masih Yazdi, currently finance director, as its new CFO as it posted a net profit attributable to shareholders of 4.77 billion Swedish kronor in the third quarter, up from 4.54 billion kronor a year ago. However, the bank's attributable net profit for the first nine months slipped to 14.35 billion kronor from the year-ago 18.56 billion kronor.

* Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ) saw its third-quarter group profit attributable to shareholders slide to 3.57 billion Swedish kronor from 4.11 billion kronor a year earlier. The bank said it will gradually wind down its Asian operations and stop its businesses in Germany to cut costs, following similar moves for its activities in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

* Norwegian insurer Storebrand ASA posted third-quarter profit attributable to shareholders of 457 million kroner, down year over year from 523 million kroner. For the nine months to Sept. 30, the company's attributable profit also fell to 1.40 billion kroner from 1.83 billion kroner.


* Turkey's Borsa İstanbul AS named Mehmet Hakan Atilla CEO and a board member, replacing Murat Çetinkaya. Atilla, a former Türkiye Halk Bankası AŞ executive, was jailed in the U.S. after being found guilty of helping Iran evade U.S. financial sanctions. Meanwhile, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which holds a 10% interest in Borsa İstanbul, said it was not consulted over Atilla's appointment and is against it, adding that it will discuss the matter with Turkish authorities, Reuters wrote.

* Türkiye Halk Bankası has failed to appear in what would have been its first court appearance in a criminal case over its alleged participation in a scheme to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran, Reuters reported. The judge gave the bank an additional two weeks to respond.

* The Hungarian central bank held its key rates, citing a looser external monetary policy environment, with efforts by leading global central banks mitigating strengthened inflation risks. The regulator maintained its base, overnight collateralized lending and one-week collateralized lending rates at 0.90%, while its overnight deposit rate remained at negative 0.05%.

* Slovakia's central bank maintained the countercyclical buffer rate for banks in the country at 1.50% until July 31, 2020, and at 2.00% beginning Aug. 1, 2020.

* The Russian central bank developed a guarantee scheme for life insurance products, which will be similar to the existing bank deposit guarantee system, Vedomosti and RBC reported. The system will be administered by Russia's Deposit Insurance Agency and will launch no sooner than 2021.

* The Slovenian parliament passed a law under which the country's central bank will be required to cover all potential repayments to those who lost their investments during the 2013 rescue of Slovenian banks, Reuters wrote. The central bank has said it would challenge the new law at the Constitutional Court.

* The Ukrainian central bank's Deputy Governor Kateryna Rozhkova reiterated the regulator's commitment to lower the key interest rate to 8% in the years to come, Reuters reported. The official noted the central bank wants to reduce the rate from 16.5% to 9% through 2020, but added that the speed at which the rate could be further lowered to 8% will depend "on both internal and external risks."


Asia-Pacific: China considers replacing HK chief; India banks face US$50B shortfall says Fitch

Middle East & Africa: UAE banks mull real estate lending cap; Commercial Bank's Q3 profit up YOY

Latin America: Clash over Bolivia election results; Chile extends scope of state of emergency

North America: Raymond James cuts trading fees; Puerto Rico banks in deal

Global Insurance: Calif. blocks Applied Underwriters deal; Dallas tornadoes; Centene earnings


Deal on full EU financial market access may need more time, warns UK lobby group: The transition period envisaged in the proposed Brexit deal might have to be extended if the U.K. wants to secure a unique deal on regulatory equivalence to allow its banks, insurance and investment companies to continue doing business in the bloc.

UBS wealth management co-chief Khan to bring new approach, CEO says: Sergio Ermotti expects Iqbal Khan to bed in for a couple of months before presenting new ideas and opportunities for the bank's flagship wealth management arm, which accounted for roughly 68% of group pretax profit in the third quarter.

Greece's Project Hercules could repeat successes of Italy's GACS scheme: The asset protection program is designed to repeat some of the successes of a similar Italian scheme, as Greek banks work to off-load around €75 billion of nonperforming loans.

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

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