* The ECB is likely to scale back its extraordinary monetary stimulus this summer if economic growth continues as expected, according to Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny.
* The European Securities and Markets Authority unveiled plans to ban the marketing, distribution and sale of binary options to retail investors and limit such activities with respect to contracts for difference.
* Dutch stock exchange operator Euronext NV completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares and voting rights of the Irish Stock Exchange. The ISE will now operate under the business name Euronext Dublin, with Deirdre Somers appointed CEO.
UK AND IRELAND
* Bank of America Corp.'s Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley disclosed mean gender pay gaps of 28.7%, 44% and 42.8%, respectively, in their U.K. operations, Reuters reported. Additionally, Swiss lender Credit Suisse Group AG revealed a mean gender pay gap of 39.2%.
* HSBC Holdings PLC blocked an account linked to a suspected $500 million fraud by José Filomeno dos Santos, the son of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, insiders told the Financial Times. HSBC froze the account at least some weeks ago and reported it to British authorities.
* A U.K. High Court judge ordered Lloyds Banking Group PLC to award former CEO Eric Daniels and former head of wholesale banking Truett Tate shares worth about £1.4 million and £933,230, respectively, the Financial Times wrote. The two individuals claimed that the lender had wrongly withheld their share awards in 2012 after they reached targets linked to the takeover of HBOS Plc.
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, via wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary RBS BidCo, will acquire cloud-based accounting solutions provider FreeAgent Holdings PLC for roughly £53 million.
* Meanwhile, Nationwide Building Society has signaled its intention to launch products to win a share of the £425 million funding provided by RBS to improve competition in small business banking in the U.K., the Financial Times reported. RBS is providing the funding as a condition of its rescue during the financial crisis.
* Direct Line Insurance Group Plc's partnership division, DLG Partnerships, entered into a new venture with Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) Ltd.'s Volkswagen Insurance Service (Great Britain) Ltd. The venture will enable DLG Partnerships to provide white labelled, end-to-end insurance propositions for five brands under the Volkswagen Group umbrella.
* Saga Plc said CFO Jonathan Hill will leave the company in September to become CFO at Paddy Power Betfair PLC.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG agreed to sell fully owned subsidiary Wüstenrot Bank AG Pfandbriefbank to Bremer Kreditbank AG. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
* Insurance industry blockchain consortium B3i incorporated a new company, Zurich-based B3iServices AG. Swiss Re AG reinsurance CFO Gerhard Lohman was named chairman of the new entity.
* Mark Branson, CEO of Swiss financial watchdog FINMA, warned that the risk of cyberattacks is increasing as technological change advances. "Cyber-attacks are the most serious operational hazard facing the financial system," he warned.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* Payconiq, a mobile payment app that was founded by a host of Dutch and Belgian banks, will merge with Belgium's leading electronic payment company Bancontact, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. The merged entity will be called Bancontact Payconiq Company.
* A spokesperson for Uber Technologies Inc. told Sky News that the company has submitted an application to the Dutch central bank for an electronic money license, which will enable it to grow its European business by streamlining its payment processes.
* Orange Bank SA has applied for a banking license from the West African Economic and Monetary Union, which would allow the French digital lender to expand its operations in eight African countries, the Financial Times reported.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Spain-based ABANCA Corporación Bancaria SA will acquire Deutsche Bank AG's private and commercial client business in Portugal for an undisclosed price.
* Novo Banco SA is expected to show a record loss of around €1.3 billion for 2017, Economia Online reported, adding that the Portuguese government will inject about €800 million in the bank.
* Ibercaja Banco SA completed a €350 million issuance of Additional Tier 1 contingent convertible bonds, Europa Press writes.
ITALY AND GREECE
* The European Stability Mechanism's board approved the fourth tranche of financial aid to Greece worth €6.7 billion after the country completed an extensive set of reforms.
* Bermuda-based Sompo International completed the acquisition of Italian agriculture insurance specialty company A&A Srl.
* Six members of the European Parliament are calling on the ECB to probe banks in Malta and their business models for risks "stemming from financial criminality," following the arrest of Pilatus Bank's chairman on charges of U.S. sanction violations, Reuters reported.
* Banco BPM SpA plans to sell €5.5 billion in nonperforming loans by June and does not rule out the possibility of selling an additional €1.5 billion in bad loans this year as long as its ability to pay dividends isn't compromised, reported Il Messaggero.
* Banca Carige SpA said it plans to sell up to €1 billion in gross nonperforming loans and €500 million of unlikely-to-pay loans this year, as well as a further €200 million of unlikely-to-pay loans in 2019, Reuters reported.
* Banco di Desio e della Brianza SpA's board approved plans to sell €1.1 billion in gross bad loans, wrote Reuters.
* Nordea Bank AB (publ) will begin pricing debt products to reflect threats to data, a move that may result in companies who are more exposed to cyberattacks facing higher financing costs, Bloomberg News reported.
* The Hungarian central bank kept its base rate on hold at 0.90%, saying that steadiness is necessary to reach its inflation target in a sustainable manner.
* The Russian central bank extended the deadline for the main shareholders of Vozrozhdenie Bank to sell their stake in the lender to June 4 from March 18, RBK Daily said.
* The Russian parliament is working on legislative amendments aimed at improving supervision over insurance companies, including a new mechanism for their bailout, Reuters reported, citing Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
* LC Corp BV, an investment vehicle of Polish businessman Leszek Czarnecki, signed an agreement to acquire all 69.6 million new shares to be issued by Getin Noble Bank SA in its planned 190 million Polish zloty capital hike, Parkiet said.
* The Ukrainian central bank refused to approve the acquisition of PJSC Sberbank by Belarus-based OJSC Paritetbank "due to failure to comply with Ukrainian legal requirements," the regulator said.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: South Korea's ING Life draws interest; 2 Chinese firms post higher FY'17 results
Latin America: Caixa Seguridade prepares for IPO; Brazil finance chief eyes presidency
North America: Fed looks at modernizing CRA; Citi, Goldman Sachs boost hiring in Brazil
North America Insurance: Supreme Court rejects challenge in AIG bailout; PCS pegs Riley losses at $1.36B
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
CEO change of little use in Deutsche Bank's 'restructuring saga,' analysts say: John Cryan is not to blame for the lender's ongoing malaise, and his potential dismissal would be unlikely to lead to big changes in its corporate strategy, analysts said after reports surfaced that the CEO might be replaced.
H2'17 results reveal wide variance in big 4 reinsurers' catastrophe hits: Swiss Re's combined ratio suffered the most at the hands of last year's swathe of natural catastrophes, Hannover Re's the least.
Atif Hussain, Ed Meza, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Stephanie Salti, Praxilla Trabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.
S&P Global Market Intelligence provides links to external sites where these offer further, relevant information to our readers. While we ensure that such links are functional at the time of publication, we are not responsible in instances where those links are unavailable later.