S&P Global Market Intelligenceoffers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week.
* TheBank of England's FinancialPolicy Committee decidedthat from March 29, 2017, the U.K.'s countercyclical capital buffer rate will beincreased to 0.5% from zero percent of risk-weighted assets, while the PrudentialRegulation Authority set out proposed standards for buy-to-let mortgage underwriting.
* TheBoE laid out the key elementsof the 2016 stress test for the U.K. banking sector, in which the regulator willuse for the first time an annual cyclical scenario to assess risks associated withcredit, financial and other asset markets.
* Swedenwill introduce highertaxes on banks and other financial companies in 2017, reportedly in the form ofa scrapped tax deduction on subordinated debt that could generate 1.4 billion Swedishkronor.
* Accordingto the European Banking Authority, the bonus cap introduced in 2014 did not have any substantial effect onbanks' financial stability and cost flexibility.
* FitchRatings believes thatthe Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's proposal that only mortgages backedby easily realizable collateral should benefit from low risk-weightings might encourageinsolvency regime reform in the EU.
* Some87% of 176 banking and capital markets CEOs surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers that over-regulation was thebiggest threat to their companies' growth prospects.
* Italy'sgovernment may ask banksto help reimburse 12,500 savers who incurred losses from its rescue of , , CARIFE SpA and Cassadi Risparmio della Provincia di Chieti SpA in 2015.
* , Raiffeisen Gruppe Switzerland, Credit Suisse Group AG, Zürcher Kantonalbank and PostFinance AG are in discussions with SIXGroup AG and several Swiss retailers for the launch of a digital paymentsystem.
* A U.S.judge allowed a groupof investors to pursue federal antitrust claims against some of the largest banks,including Barclays Plc,BNP Paribas SA and CreditSuisse Group, over an alleged conspiracy to manipulate from 2009 to 2012 interestrate benchmark ISDAfix
* Spain'sHigh Court will will launch a probeinto four former executives of CajaMadrid for alleged systematic overvaluation of mortgages between 2002and 2007.
* receive €3.2 million in damages fromRolf Breuer, a former CEO of the bank, and a net €90.1 million from insurance contractscovering Breuer. Comments from Breuer questioning Kirch group's creditworthinessin 2002 led the bank into a legal tussle.
On the deal table
* GeneralElectric Co. agreed tosell General Electric Capital Corp.'smajority stake in Bank BPH SA'score bank to Alior Bank SA.
* TheBundeskartellamt, Germany's antitrust regulator, approved the merger of DZ Bank AG and WGZBank.
* reportedly financial advisory group Rothschildto search for potential buyers for its Italian wealth management unit. The salecould be valued at up to €300 million.
* about 0.5%, or €1 billion, of its totalmortgage portfolio to insurance company VIVATNV.
* parent Albaraka Group may consider buyinga bank in Turkey.
* 'sfirst-quarter resultswill include a 5.9 billion Swedish kronor charge, mainly stemming from a goodwillimpairment.
* Co-operativeBank Plc, which approachedformer Santander UK PlcCFO Stephen Jones on the possibility of succeeding Niall Booker as CEO, a full-year 2015 loss attributableto equity holders of £623.3 million, compared to the year-ago restated loss of £226.6million.
In other news
* is its commodity tradingand agribusiness office in Geneva, Switzerland, to reduce the U.K.-based bank'sexposure to the oil, gas and agriculture sectors, Bloomberg News reported.
* TheAd-Hoc group of Heta Asset ResolutionAG creditors is prepared to talkwith the state of Carinthia to reach a settlement regarding the buyback of bonds.
* a fine of 110.1 million Turkishlira imposed by Turkey's Ministry of Customs and Trade for breaching the country'sconsumer protection law.
* PAO Sberbankof Russia is reportedly set to wind down and possibly even its corporate and investmentbanking activities in London and New York, while AO Gazprombank plans closure of its London operation.
Featured during the week on SNLi
* Shareholders and analysts are alert to heightenedrisks stemming from governance uncertainty at the Swedish bank after its chairman,CEO and CFO have departed within a short time of each other.
* The rescueof development bank VEB would have no direct effect on the rest of the Russian bankingsector, according to analysts.
* Portugal has already abandoned one sale of Novo Bancobecause bids were less than it hoped for. But with Portuguese bank valuations plunging,the odds of getting back the €4.9 billion poured into the Banco Espírito Santo "goodbank" are now even lower.
* Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner has received the backing of the ruling familyof Qatar, a move that underlines the challenges facing the German bank.