UK AND IRELAND
* U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government does not expect to change its Brexit position until September when Parliament returns, an unnamed source told Bloomberg News. The lawmakers seeking to remain in the EU could reportedly take action Sept. 9. British diplomats, meanwhile, will limit their participation in EU meetings as part of Johnson's plan to show commitment toward a no-deal Brexit, the Financial Times said.
* The U.K.'s 15 largest mortgage lenders saw their profit margins decline on a yearly basis in the first half, largely due to the effects of a price war in the market and the implementation at the start of the year of new legislation requiring banks to separate their retail and investment banking arms, an analysis by the FT showed.
* HSBC Holdings PLC's top shareholders are divided on the composition of the group's next board following John Flint's resignation as CEO last week, with two top 15 investors telling The Daily Telegraph that they prefer a wider board reshuffle amid concerns that Chairman Mark Tucker would gain too much control. Meanwhile, a third investor sees no need for a shakeup and a fourth investor said there is no evidence that the current board members cannot stand up to Tucker.
* Lloyd's of London reached its target to process at least 50% of underwriting deals in the second quarter electronically after years of modernization push aimed at cutting costs, news outlets including Reuters and City A.M. reported.
* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is looking into claims by Burford Capital Ltd. that its share price may have been rigged around the same time U.S. hedge fund Muddy Waters LLC criticized its accounting practices, news outlets including The Independent and Reuters covered.
* The U.K. FCA has cleared the takeover of financial solutions firm IFG Group PLC by funds advised by private equity firm Epiris LLP. The deal is now pending High Court approval.
* The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland has asked the government to keep the help-to-buy scheme for first-time mortgage buyers in the state's 2020 budget since up to 92% of new buyers made use of the scheme from 2018 to 2019, The Irish Times reported. The scheme provides a tax rebate of up to €20,000 for first-time buyers.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Commerzbank AG's shares fell to a record low of €5.08 apiece yesterday as trade tensions continue to weigh on the economy, spurring low or negative interest rates, Bloomberg News wrote.
* Jürg Zeltner, CEO of Luxembourg-based KBL European Private Bankers SA, is set to replace TSB Bank PLC Chairman Richard Meddings on Deutsche Bank AG's supervisory board, insiders told Handelsblatt. The move is expected to strengthen the hand of Deutsche Bank's Qatari shareholders as KBL is owned by Precision Capital, a vehicle controlled by Qatar's al-Thani ruling family.
* Talanx AG raised its outlook for group net income in 2019 to more than €900 million as it posted a second-quarter group net income after noncontrolling interests of €242 million, up 10.8% from €219 million a year ago. For the first half, group net income after noncontrolling interests rose 9.4% year over year to €477 million.
* Germany-based Aareal Bank AG's consolidated second-quarter net income attributable to shareholders was flat year over year at €41 million. The bank's attributable profit for the first half, meanwhile, slipped 5% to €80 million from the year-ago €84 million.
* Allianz Group is rebranding its online insurance provider from AllSecur Deutschland AG to Allianz Direct Versicherungs-AG, Handelsblatt wrote. The company, which will adopt the new moniker this fall, will also bundle Allianz's Dutch AllSecur unit as well as its Genialloyd SpA division in Italy and Fenix Directo in Spain.
* Swiss banks UBS Group AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and Julius Bär Gruppe AG will expand or introduce new charges on euro deposits, Bloomberg News reported. The charges come amid continued central bank negative rates policies in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe.
* The Swiss central bank is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate by up to 25 basis points by September-end from negative 0.75% at present, a Bloomberg News survey showed. The regulator is believed to have been taking measures to sustain the Swiss franc's strength after the currency rose over 4% against the euro in the last three months.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* Belgium's deputy chairman seat on the board of the European Investment Bank has now been vacant for 20 months as the country struggles to find a suitable candidate amid a political impasse between its main parties, De Tijd reported, citing reports by Het Nieuwsblad and De Standaard.
ITALY AND GREECE
* Italian senate leaders yesterday failed to set a date for a confidence vote on the ruling populist coalition, forcing Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League political party, to stall his plans as he seeks for his party to gain majority, Bloomberg News reported. Senate leaders will meet again today to agree on a date for the vote. Meanwhile, and other League politicians on Italy's cabinet are expected to turn in their resignations today, Corriere della Sera said.
* Italian bank loans to the private sector rose an annual 0.3% in June after increasing 1.0% in May, as loans to households increased 2.4% versus 2.5% in May but those to nonfinancial corporations fell 0.9% after decreasing 0.2% in May, according to Bank of Italy data published by MF. Gross nonperforming loans fell to €89.79 billion in June from €92.02 billion in May while net NPLs declined to €31.59 billion from a revised €32.59 billion in May, the data also showed.
* The ECB is expected to shortly authorize Banca Carige SpA's extraordinary commissioners to call a shareholders meeting to approve a rescue plan agreed last week, Il Messaggero said, adding that the meeting is expected to be held Sept. 20.
* Cevian Capital, a high-profile shareholder in Nordea Bank Abp, is concerned about the decline in the bank's share price, although the investment group regards itself as a long-term investor and has no plans to exit the bank, Affärsvärlden wrote. Sampo Oyj, meanwhile, reduced its shareholding in Nordea to 19.87% in the wake of a share sell-off in the bank completed Aug. 12, Svenska Dagbladet reported.
* Turkish lender Türkiye Halk Bankası AŞ reported second-quarter net income of 310 million lira, down from 1.11 billion lira a year earlier. For the first half, the bank's net income was 615 million lira, down year over year from 1.90 billion lira.
* Warsaw Stock Exchange unit GPW Benchmark published a draft four-tier interbank market fixing rate methodology that is aimed at aligning the calculation of Poland's Wibid and Wibor reference rates with the EU benchmark regulation, news agency PAP reported, noting that the methodology will now be subject to consultations with participating banks.
* The Polish Bank Association insists that regulatory and tax burdens for the country's banking sector should be reduced and hopes for "calm, factual discussions" with policymakers on the matter, PAP reported, citing the association's head, Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz. The association argues that current bank capital buffers should be lower and part of the bank asset tax should be used to boost Poland's bank guarantee fund, while new lending should be exempt from the asset tax.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: China resumes open market operations; NZ legalizes cryptocurrency salaries
Middle East & Africa: Mizrahi Tefahot Q2 profit rises; Euroclear joins TASE; Discovery shares slump
Latin America: Opposition bet leads in Argentine primaries; Chile's Habitat buys Colfondos
North America: IEX to introduce connectivity fees; Stifel buying George K. Baum & Co.
Global Insurance: NN Group CEO joining Aegon; Rothesay Life £520M pension buy in; Brit pullout
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