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Credit Suisse cuts key target; HSBC's Swiss unit fined; UBS suffers court defeat


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Credit Suisse cuts key target; HSBC's Swiss unit fined; UBS suffers court defeat

* German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz expects annual revenues of roughly €1.5 billion from his proposed tax on financial transactions on ten countries, Reuters wrote, citing a finance ministry document. Scholz reportedly expects the amount to come initially from Germany, with a large part to offset charges from a new basic pension.

* Members of the ECB's Governing Council are set to discuss this week a potential launch of their own digital currency, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* Moody's changed the outlook for European banks to negative from stable, saying it expects lenders' loan quality and profitability to deteriorate on the back of weakening economic prospects in much of the region.


* HSBC Holdings PLC unit HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA will pay $192.4 million in penalties after it admitted to conspiring with U.S. taxpayers to evade taxes using undeclared bank accounts, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The bank said the settlement amount has been fully provisioned.

* Lloyds Banking Group PLC apologized to customers affected by the HBOS PLC Reading fraud scandal after an independent review found that the British lender's compensation scheme for victims failed to deliver fair and reasonable offers of compensation, saying it will reconsider the scheme and implement recommendations set out by the review.

* Kunal Gandhi has stepped down as Barclays PLC's head of corporate broking, insiders told Reuters.

* Four men linked to mini-bond firm London Capital & Finance PLC, including CEO Andy Thomson, received roughly £20 million invested by British retail investors during the six-month period prior to the company's collapse, the Financial Times reported, citing a court judgment.

* U.K.-based Liberty Specialty Markets Ltd. will stop writing energy and construction liability in London amid challenging market conditions, such as elevating social inflation and worsening loss experience, The Insurance Insider reported.

* U.K.-based Saga PLC named Euan Sutherland its new CEO, effective Jan. 6, 2020. Sutherland takes over Lance Batchelor, who is retiring and will leave the company at the end of January 2020.

* British online trading firm IG Group Holdings PLC appointed Robert McTighe chairman of the board, replacing Interim Chairman Jonathan Moulds, who will continue in his role until Feb. 3, 2020 when McTighe's appointment takes effect.

* Moody's revised the outlook on the Irish banking system to stable from positive, on the basis that banks' earnings will come under pressure amid a low interest rate environment, despite asset risks continuing to decline.

* Bermuda-based Monument Re Ltd. is acquiring Irish life insurer Cattolica Life DAC from Italy's Società Cattolica di Assicurazione - SC.


* Credit Suisse Group AG has lowered its expected return on tangible equity for 2020 to approximately 10% from an estimated 11% to 12% previously, but said RoTE for the period could reach roughly 11% if markets are constructive and support revenue growth. The Swiss lender also said it will no longer finance the development of new coal-fired power plants, as part of efforts to further integrate climate change into its risk management models.

* Several billionaires, including former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and Russian oligarch Vitaly Malkin, said they are victims of fraud by former Credit Suisse wealth manager Patrice Lescaudron and called on the Swiss lender to return the funds stolen from client accounts, The Telegraph reported, citing an open letter published by the group.

* A U.S. judge denied UBS Group AG's request to dismiss a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit alleging that the Swiss bank caused significant losses for investors who bought residential mortgage-backed securities sold before the 2008 financial crisis, Reuters reported.

* Deutsche Bank AG said it expects annual revenue growth of 1% from its asset management unit through 2022, down from the 2% estimated in July, while it boosted expected growth from its investment bank to 2% from zero previously. Claire Peel, CFO of the German lender's asset management unit DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA, said the company expects overall revenues for 2020 to remain stable relative to 2019 but acknowledged that the "revenue environment will be increasingly challenging," Bloomberg reported.

* Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing told CNBC in an interview that shareholders could expect a dividend starting from 2022 as a result of a strengthening capital ratio.

* Germany's solarisBank AG has launched a new subsidiary, solaris Digital Assets GmbH, which will apply for one of the newly introduced crypto custody licenses by financial market regulator BaFin in 2020 and will then offer to store bitcoin and other virtual currencies on behalf of its clients.

* Zurich Insurance Group AG CEO Mario Greco told Neue Zürcher Zeitung that the insurer aims to reach return on equity based on net operating income of at least 14% in the next three years instead of the previous target of 12%.

* Swiss payment service provider Aduno Holding AG increased its stake in Swiss fintech Contovista AG, which focuses on analysis and visualization of financial data, to 100% from 70% and will integrate the company into the group.

* Climate change poses longer-term risks to the Swiss financial system, according to a risk report by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The regulator also revised its approach to combating money laundering, saying it will focus on auditing and risk management at financial institutions that look after quasi-state clients.

* Meanwhile, Swiss lawmakers are preparing to launch a campaign to make climate change one of the central bank's policy objectives, which could force it to take out investments in fossil fuel firms. The campaign will start this month, two lawmakers told Reuters.


* Frans van der Ent will step down as chairman of Dutch insurer Achmea BV's pension and life division in early 2020.

* Crédit Mutuel Arkéa SACC's Max mobile bank and payment system now has some 100,000 users, putting it in fourth place in neo-bank rankings in France behind BNP Paribas SA's Compte Nickel, with 1.5 million accounts, N26 GmbH with 900,000 accounts and Revolut Ltd. with 500,000, La Tribune reported. The neo bank is targeting 200,000 users by 2021 and is considering expanding into Belgium and Switzerland.


* Portugal's central bank warned that the country's banks are granting mortgages without varying the cost of borrowing according to the risk, Jornal de Negócios reported. Data from the regulator showed that banks lent more than €900 million to finance home purchases for a fourth consecutive month in October, Expresso wrote. Meanwhile, consumer lending by banks reached its highest level for 15 years in the January-October period, Jornal de Negócios noted.

* The ECB has set Ibercaja Banco SA's 2020 minimum common equity Tier 1 ratio and total capital ratio requirements at 9.0% and 12.5%, respectively, on a phased-in basis, according to Europa Press.


* Italy's FITD depositor protection fund and Banca del Mezzogiorno - MedioCredito Centrale SpA are ready to issue a more than €100 million subordinated bond for the rescue of Banca Popolare di Bari SCpA that could be launched by the end of the year or early January, MF reported.

* Businessman Raffaele Mincione, after being a shareholder of Banca Carige SpA and Banco BPM SpA, made an offer to buy Prader Bank AG - SpA, MF wrote.


* Norway's financial stability faces significant risks from high property prices and high household debt levels, Reuters wrote, citing a report by the country's Financial Supervisory Authority.


* PJSC Moscow Exchange MICEX-RTS decided to move the planned purchase of up to 17% shares of Kazakhstan Stock Exchange JSC to next year, with the delay caused by lengthy corporate procedures.

* Russia's State Duma passed in the third and final reading a bill banning lenders from charging higher fees for money transfers between accounts opened in different regional divisions of the same bank, RBC reported. The bill is expected to come into force in 2020.

* Czech central bank Deputy Governor Tomas Nidetzky said interest rates could remain at their current level for one more year as the outlook for the country's economy is clouded by global risks, Bloomberg reported.

* The representatives of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, local business associations, banks, as well as Mastercard and Visa launched a working group to boost the density of the payment terminal network in the country, Hospodarske Noviny reported.


Asia-Pacific: China scraps insurance JV ownership limits; Philippines probes Westpac

Middle East & Africa: QNB names CEO; Fitch downgrades HSBC's UAE unit; Tunisian insurer plots IPO

Latin America: XP said to mull higher IPO pricing; Banco BMG nominates new CEO

North America: Texas banks in deal; Morgan Stanley cutting 1,500 jobs; Cboe buying EuroCCP

Global Insurance: US commercial insurance price hikes; global life outlook; Lloyd's debt raise


New rules hasten shake-out in UK P2P market as firms exit retail lending: The U.K.'s peer-to-peer lending space is long overdue a shake-out, and new rules from the Financial Conduct Authority that came into place on Dec. 9 should speed up the process.

Lunar leads the way in challenging 'defensive' Nordic banking system: When Danish challenger bank Lunar received a banking license earlier in 2019, it was the first of its kind to do so in the Nordics.

UAE asset manager offers foreign investors Aramco IPO access via protected cell: Although these finds are not publicly available to retail investors, the protected cell provides an alternative way to access equities listed on the Saudi stock exchange, while also presenting tax benefits.

Deza Mones, Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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