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EU offers short Brexit delay; Swedbank to boost AML controls; Deutsche guidance


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EU offers short Brexit delay; Swedbank to boost AML controls; Deutsche guidance

* The EU offered to postpone Brexit until May 22 if the U.K. Parliament hammers out an elusive Brexit deal next week, and also offered a new brake against a no-deal Brexit, giving London until April 12 to decide on its course of action if its lawmakers again fail to reach an accord. The U.K. government, meanwhile, is preparing to implement emergency plans for a no-deal Brexit, the Financial Times reported. The plans, which aim to ensure a stable banking system among other things, are reportedly set to be applied March 25 unless a delay to the March 29 departure is finalized by that time.

* European banks will need €39.0 billion of additional total capital, of which €24.2 billion will be Tier 1 capital, to comply with final regulatory requirements fully taking effect starting 2027, according to the European Banking Authority's latest Basel III capital monitoring results.

* The European Parliament and EU nations reached a political agreement on tighter supervision of financial markets by European regulators. The agreement, however, leaves oversight of other financial firms such as asset managers to national authorities, Reuters noted.

* European banking regulators warned banks seeking to consolidate to ensure that they could be wound down in the event of a financial crisis, as talks over the potential merger of Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG intensify, Reuters wrote.


* The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has voted unanimously to keep its key interest rate unchanged at 0.75%.

* More than 1,000 European companies and fund managers have entered the U.K.'s Temporary Permissions Regime to minimize disruption from a hard Brexit and ensure continued operations in Britain, according to Nausicaa Delfas, executive director of international at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

* U.K. asset manager Gresham House PLC entered into an agreement with Standard Life Aberdeen PLC unit Aberdeen Standard Investments Ltd. to form a 50:50 joint venture that will target companies with market capitalizations under £300 million. As part of the deal, Aberdeen Standard Investments will acquire a 5.0% stake in Gresham House for 496 pence per ordinary share.

* The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority is planning to probe insurers' climate change resilience in April as part of a stress test of the insurance market, according to BoE Governor Mark Carney.

* Criminals have stolen £1.2 billion in the U.K. through financial fraud in 2018, with most of the amount coming from high-profile data breaches at banks, according to data from trade body UK Finance. The figure is higher than the £967 million stolen in 2017, the FT noted.

* Canadian investment bank Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. has agreed to acquire Thomas Miller Investment Ltd.'s wealth management arm in London and the private client investment management business of its business in the Isle of Man for a total of roughly £28 million.


* The supervisory boards of Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG have launched separate discussions about the banks' potential merger, with Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing believing there was a "strong case" for it, insiders told Reuters. Deutsche Bank has also reportedly initiated due diligence.

* Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank said it expects 2019 revenues to be "slightly higher" compared to a year ago, adding that it aims to boost revenue through investments in several growth areas. The lender also said it aims to reduce adjusted costs to €21.8 billion in 2019 and cut its internal workforce to below 90,000 full-time employees by the end of the year.

* Claudio de Sanctis, Deutsche Bank's new head of European wealth management, cut several regional managers and announced hiring plans as part of efforts to boost revenues at the unit, Bloomberg News reported.

* Bayerische Landesbank AöR reported a full-year 2018 consolidated profit of €822 million, up 21.3% year over year. BayernLB is working on the realignment of its business model and a new strategic positioning of the bank, Handelsblatt cited deputy CEO Edgar Zoller as saying.

* Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale, known as Helaba, reported full-year 2018 consolidated IFRS net profit after tax of €278 million, up by €22 million compared to a year ago. Herbert Hans Grüntker, chairman of Helaba's board of managing directors, said the group expects 2019 earnings to remain at the same level as in 2018. Helaba CEO Herbert Hans Grüntker, meanwhile, said the bank is supporting consolidation in the regional state bank sector starting with the potential merger of DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale and Berlin Hyp AG, Handelsblatt wrote.

* Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale would have to slash up to 4,000 of 5,650 jobs and cut its balance sheet total by half to €80 billion in order to reach a viable business model in the wake of its restructuring, Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote.

* The Swiss central bank kept its "expansionary" monetary policy unchanged and lowered its inflation forecast for 2019 and 2020, citing weaker growth and inflation outlooks abroad.

* Credit Suisse Group AG awarded CEO Tidjane Thiam CHF12.65 million in total compensation for 2018, up 13% from Thiam's year-ago payout before the voluntary reduction in his 2017 long-term incentive award, according to the Swiss lender's annual report. The FT noted that the increase comes despite a nearly 40% reduction in the bank's stocks under Thiam's tenure.


* ING Groep NV unit ING Bank NV and Bank of Beijing Co. Ltd. plan to set up a banking joint venture, subject to Chinese regulatory approval. ING Bank will hold a 51% stake in the venture.

* Triodos Bank NV has been rapped by the Dutch central bank for shortcomings in its checks on money laundering and terrorism financing, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. The bank said during the presentation of its annual results that it has been told to improve its customer checks and monitoring of customer transactions.


* Bankia SA Chairman José Ignacio Goirigolzarri said the Spanish lender will meet its 2020 net profit target of €1.3 billion despite low interest rates, Reuters reported.

* The CEO of Portugal's Novo Banco SA, António Ramalho, said the state-rescued lender's recurring business should post a pretax profit of more than €100 million this year, Jornal de Negócios reported.

* Portugal's ASF insurance industry regulator said it has started evaluating the suitability of the governing bodies at the mutual association that almost wholly owns Caixa Económica Montepio Geral SA, Expresso reported.


* Fabio Innocenzi, one of the commissioners tapped to run struggling Italian lender Banca Carige SpA, said he expects offers from potential buyers interested in the bank by the first half of April, Reuters reported. Innocenzi also confirmed that Carige will complete the sale of unit Creditis Servizi finanziari SpA to British investment firm Chenavari next week.

* Cinven is in pole position to take over Pramerica Life SpA, the Italian unit of U.S.-based Prudential with assets of some €1.1 billion, after the failed transaction with Global Bankers Insurance, MF reported.

* Italian investment vehicle Camfin SpA said Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo SpA will acquire a 10.7% stake in the company under a deal that will see Intesa underwrite a reserved capital increase of €40 million, Reuters reported. Intesa, meanwhile, is mulling an investment in healthcare insurer RBM in a bid to grow in the nonlife sector and after reaching a deal with Previmedical, MF reported.


* Swedbank AB (publ)'s board has decided to conduct a deeper review, in cooperation with the relevant authorities, into allegations that the bank was used in laundering money, following its initial review into the matter, Chair Lars Idermark said. The bank will also establish a specialized financial crime intelligence unit. Meanwhile, Liselott Alström, who is responsible for Swedbank's anti-money laundering work, has resigned, Dagens Industri reported.

* Norway's central bank raised its policy rate by 0.25 percentage point to 1.0%, as expected, and said it would most likely raise the rate further over the next half-year.

* Sweden's TF Bank AB (publ) unveiled plans to simplify its structure by merging with its wholly owned subsidiaries BB Bank ASA, Avarda AB and Avarda Oy. The plan will see the transfer of BB Bank's operations to a new branch in Norway, while Avarda's operations will be combined with parent TF Bank and its branch in Finland.


* Russia's State Duma passed in first reading a bill allowing borrowers in a difficult financial situation to temporarily suspend payments on their mortgage loans, news agency Prime reported.

* VTB Bank PJSC initiated arbitration proceedings to recover 249 billion Russian rubles worth of debt from the former owners of bankrupt airline Transaero, accusing them of withdrawal of funds from the company, Vedomosti said.

* Moscow-based International Investment Bank, which plans to move its headquarters to Hungary in 2019, denied media reports about its close ties to the Russian secret service and helping Russia to avoid economic sanctions, arguing that over half of its voting shares are controlled by EU member states, Budapest Business Journal reported.

* Slovenia received bids from seven investors for state-owned lender Abanka d.d., SEENews said, citing Slovenian newspaper Delo.


Asia-Pacific: 3 central banks keep rates steady; Anbang selects buyer for wealth units

Middle East & Africa: Dubai payments firm to change name; 2 Kenyan banks' merger gets shareholder nod

Latin America: Fitch cuts growth forecast for Brazil, Mexico; new chairman at Banco do Brasil

North America: BlackRock cuts fee on biggest index mutual fund; 2 bank deals announced in Iowa

Global Insurance: Munich Re plane crash exposure; NRA to question ex-regulator; Allianz deal talk


Lebanon's banking sector shows 'similarities' to Greece before crisis: Lebanon's state debts equate to more than 150% of GDP and totaled 108.9 trillion Lebanese pounds as of June 2018, and banks have been the major buyers of government debt issued to bridge the annual shortfall.

Banks' fossil fuel funding rises, environmental groups warn: The Banking on Climate Change 2019 report says 33 global banks financed fossil fuel companies to the tune of $1.912 trillion between 2016 and 2018.

Climate disclosure framework 'disappointing,' regulation may be answer: "Regulation is a very powerful tool in climate change," Ashley Ian Alder, the head of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, told a sustainable finance conference in Brussels.

Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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