* Deutsche Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has hinted that he is open to succeed Mario Draghi as president of the ECB, saying every member of the Governing Council "should have the willingness to contribute to monetary policy also in a different role," Bloomberg News wrote, citing an interview with Weidmann by Funke Mediengruppe. Meanwhile, current Bank of Finland Governor Erkki Liikanen said he will not be campaigning for the post.
* The International Swaps and Derivatives Association will launch a consultation in the coming weeks on devising an emergency contingency plan for the derivatives market in the event that the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, is phased out before market players have switched to an alternative reference interest rate, the Financial Times reported.
UK AND IRELAND
* Barclays PLC is repackaging and selling the £4 billion worth of Irish residential mortgage loans it purchased from Lloyds Banking Group PLC, Reuters wrote. Cecile Hillary, head of Barclays' asset finance business, said the bank has already lined up a group of investors to acquire the loans.
* Advisory group Institutional Shareholder Services recommended that Lloyds shareholders vote against the bank's 2017 remuneration report after the lender gave CEO António Horta-Osório an 11% increase in pay, taking his total salary to £6.2 million, the Financial Times reported. The group argued that Horta-Osório's pay package was nearly 100x larger than the average employee.
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC is considering resuming dividend distributions on a scale that could match that of Lloyds, an insider told The Times. Lloyds, which restarted dividend payouts in 2014, has committed to return at least half of its earnings to shareholders.
* A special resolution for the creation of a new advisory committee at RBS that would have a say on issues such as pay and governance looks set to be voted down at the lender's May 30 annual meeting, The Sunday Times wrote. The UKGI, the body that controls Britain's 71% stake in RBS, is expected to abstain, making the resolution extremely unlikely to pass.
* A report from TheCityUK and consultancy firm Ernst & Young said the costs for hiring bankers, accountants and lawyers from outside the U.K. will increase post-Brexit and could undermine London's position as a global financial center unless Britain secures a bilateral agreement with the EU on the movement of people, Reuters reported.
* NEX Group PLC shareholders voted to approve the company's $5.5 billion merger with U.S. derivatives trading firm CME Group Inc.
* Customers of TSB Banking Group PLC are still unable to access online accounts or make online payments a month after the bank's botched IT upgrade, The Guardian reported.
* London Stock Exchange Group PLC said the London-Shanghai Stock Connect will begin later this year, enabling Chinese firms to sell global depository receipts in the U.K. while allowing London-traded companies to list similar securities in Shanghai, Bloomberg wrote.
* Sparkasse Bank Malta Plc plans to establish an office in Dublin, sources told The Irish Times.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Deutsche Bank AG is expecting a reduction in restructuring costs in 2019, CFO James von Moltke told Börsen-Zeitung. "Larger amounts, such as in connection with the Postbank integration or for the investment bank, should no longer be incurred in 2019," he said. The bank last year slated €400 million for the Deutsche Postbank AG merger and recently increased the forecast for its 2018 restructuring costs related to its investment bank unit by €300 million to €800 million.
* Meanwhile, Deutsche Postbank is looking to shutter more than 100 branches by year-end, Bild am Sonntag reported. Despite the move, which would close some 10% of the lender's total branches in Germany, the bank is not planning any job cuts.
* DZ Bank AG will halt financial dealings with Iran beginning July 1 following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out from the landmark nuclear deal reached with the Middle Eastern country in 2015, Reuters reported, citing a spokesman for the Frankfurt-based lender.
* German public sector trust RAG Foundation acquired a 4.5% stake in Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG from state-owned Hypo Real Estate Holding GmbH, Reuters wrote.
* The Swiss National Bank opposes the introduction of an electronic version of the Swiss franc, saying it sees no need and no advantages but rather incalculable risks in introducing the so-called E-franc, Finews.com reported.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* Private equity group Montefiore Investment has purchased 70% of Premium Group and its life insurance and savings broker Arca Patrimoine, Les Echos reported. The amount of the transaction has not been disclosed, but Montefiore usually invests between €20 million to €100 million, the paper noted.
ITALY AND GREECE
* The European Commission urged Italy to maintain its commitments over Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA after the leaders of the League and 5-Star Movement, which are expected to form a new government, called for the bank to be given a new "mission" and to scrap its current turnaround plan, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Monte dei Paschi CEO Marco Morelli said in an interview with Corriere Economia that the Italian government had committed to a multi-year plan for the bank and must define next year the terms of its exit from the bank's share capital.
* University professor Giuseppe Conte has emerged as a frontrunner to become Italy's next prime minister, Reuters and Bloomberg reported. League leader Matteo Salvini and 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio said yesterday that they have agreed on a candidate for the post but declined to name the person, saying they would first notify Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The three are expected to meet today.
* Hoist Finance AB (publ) is in informal talks with Italian banks as it seeks to invest in a bad loan management platform in the country, CEO Klaus-Anders Nysteen told Il Sole 24 Ore.
* With the application of the internal Solvency II model, Società Reale Mutua di Assicurazioni has freed up €457 million that can be used for acquisitions, general manager Luca Filippone told Milano Finanza, noting that the insurer is eyeing growth in South America but could also expand in Portugal, Spain and other European countries.
* Generali CEO Philippe Donnet told Affari & Finanza that the insurer would favor growth in profits over growth in volumes, while adding that acquisitions are possible in Europe, along with Asia and South America, in particular in Brazil and Argentina.
* The Bank of Ireland authorized FinecoBank Banca Fineco SpA to establish Irish unit Fineco Asset Management, Il Sole 24 Ore said.
* Greece has reached an initial agreement with its international creditors on the progress of the country's reforms under its final bailout review, Reuters reported, citing Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. The European Commission said Greece will present the agreement at a May 24 meeting of eurozone finance ministers and that Greek authorities aim to implement the reforms ahead of another meeting June 21.
* Finnish President Sauli Niinistö named Olli Rehn to succeed Erkki Liikanen as governor of the Bank of Finland, effective in July.
* Norway's central bank said it will continue to assess a plan to introduce its own digital currency as an alternative way for storing assets, in an effort to ensure an efficient and robust payment system robust amid a decline in cash usage, Reuters reported, citing a working paper by Norges Bank Governor Øystein Olsen.
* Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev proposed JSC Russian Agricultural Bank's head Dmitry Patrushev to become the minister of agriculture in Russia's new government, RIA Novosti reported.
* The Polish Financial Supervision Authority allowed Bank BGZ BNP Paribas SA to take over financially troubled savings and credit union SKOK Rafineria, news agency PAP reported.
* Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree expanding sanctions against Russian companies and entities, Reuters reported. The new sanctions will be in force for at least three years, the newswire noted, adding that the decree did not specify the names of individuals or companies included in the extended sanctions list.
* Bank of Georgia Group Plc said all the conditions for the proposed separation of BGEO Group Plc investment business by demerger to Georgia Capital PLC have been satisfied and that the scheme has now become effective. In line with the scheme, the BGEO shares have been cancelled and BGEO has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Georgia Group.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Woori Bank to restructure; Inditrade Capital exits broker unit; CBA may cut jobs
Middle East & Africa: Beltone eyes Oragroup stake; NCB has new chairman; Kigali to list in Kenya
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
French, Spanish banks most exposed to Italian bonds outside Italy: BNP Paribas SA and Dexia hold more Italian debt than any other banks outside the country, whose likely next government is sending tremors through bond markets.
Lloyd's to scrap paper trading, wants 80% electronic by end-2019: CEO Inga Beale told the U.K.'s biggest broker conference that Lloyd's of London has crossed a big barrier on trading technology adoption.
Leo Magno, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Stephanie Salti, Praxilla Trabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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