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Barclays, UBS, Danske cut jobs; HSBC French retail ops go on sale; KBL rebrands

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week.

M&A corner

* HSBC Holdings PLC has started the sale of its French retail operations and has given several potential suitors an overview of the business, Bloomberg News reported.

* Doubts are growing about the success of a merger between German state-owned lenders DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale and Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale, Handelsblatt reported.

* Erste Group Bank AG has ruled out making an offer for Commerzbank AG's Polish subsidiary mBank SA, Reuters reported.

* A Latvian regulator approved AS Citadele banka's proposed acquisition of the remaining mortgage loans of Danske Bank A/S' Latvian branch, Reuters reported.

* Activist investor Teleios Capital Partners LLC urged Aareal Bank AG to conduct a process for full, minority sale of its software business Aareon AG, Reuters reported.

* A potential merger between state-owned Spanish lender Bankia SA and peer Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA cannot be decided by the authorities, Expansión reported, citing Bank of Spain Deputy Governor Margarita Delgado.

Profit guidance

* Denmark-based Vestjysk Bank A/S expects its full-year 2019 after-tax profit to be between 470 million kroner and 480 million kroner, up from the previous range of 420 million kroner to 460 million kroner.

* U.K.-based subprime lender Provident Financial PLC expects its 2019 group profit to be in line with market expectations.

* Nykredit A/S raised its full-year 2019 profit guidance for a third time by roughly 450 million kroner.

* Banca IFIS SpA plans to achieve a net profit of €147 million for 2022, compared to an estimated €123 million expected for 2019.


* Barclays PLC is likely to lay off around 100 senior employees, mostly in trading roles across its corporate and investment bank, Bloomberg News reported.

* UBS Group AG is making job cuts at every level at its global wealth management unit in Europe and Asia, which will likely impact about 500 employees, Bloomberg News reported.

* Danske Bank said it is not targeting a specific number of job cuts, despite offering 2,000 employees in Denmark a voluntary redundancy option, Bloomberg News reported.

Operations and strategy

* KBL European Private Bankers SA renamed itself Quintet Private Bank, while KBL Luxembourg and KBL España were rebranded Quintet Luxembourg and Quintet España.

* Intesa Sanpaolo SpA's CEO said the Italian banking group is prepared to fund €50 billion for investments in Italy linked to the EU's Green Deal, ANSA reported.

* Aareal Bank AG announced a new medium-term strategy that it said will maintain the group's fundamental strategic orientation.

Regulatory news

* The office of Estonia's prosecutor general is expanding the scope of its investigation into the alleged role of Danske Bank's now-defunct local branch in laundering billions of euros, a spokeswoman told Reuters.

* The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA, said it still has unanswered questions about Credit Suisse Group AG's surveillance activities, Reuters reported.

* Greek banks had the highest average ratio of nonperforming loans in the third quarter of 2019 among lenders supervised by the ECB, according to supervisory banking data published by the regulator.

* An Italian court rejected an appeal by ING Groep NV against an order by the Bank of Italy in March 2019 prohibiting the Dutch bank's Italian branch from conducting new business with new clients over lapses in money-laundering controls, Reuters reported.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Investment bankers set for disappointment over bonuses, surveys suggest: Some bankers' optimism ahead of bonus season might have been misplaced as employees in equities arms, in particular, face disappointment compared with last year.

Hungary's central bank tests green capital discount with eco-friendly mortgages: The regulator has set itself out as a trailblazer by becoming the first European central bank to offer preferential prudential treatment for energy-efficient mortgages.

Deadline to end Libor use for cash products set for Sept-end, warn UK regulators: Britain's regulators set the market a deadline to end the use of sterling Libor-linked cash products and remind firms of the potential use of supervisory tools if firms drag their feet on switching away from the benchmark rate.

British desire to win 'equivalence' status from EU boosted by finance report: Financial markets group outlines proposals to bring certainty to equivalence arrangements between EU and external countries in a move that lends support to U.K.'s proposals.

EU at risk of missing 2022 deadline for final Basel III capital rules: EU authorities may miss the Jan. 1, 2022, deadline for the implementation of the final Basel III capital requirements as the debate on the best way to transpose the rules into law is still ongoing and agreement is not yet in sight.