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StanChart's new US woes; KBC looks east; Credit Suisse cost cuts

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StanChart's new US woes; KBC looks east; Credit Suisse cost cuts

Bundesbank official urges end for political aidto banks: AndreasDombret, a board member in charge of supervision at the Deutsche Bundesbank,called for an end to political support for Europe's banking sector,Reuters reports.His statement comes after DeutscheBank AG insisted that it does not need German government support intalks with the U.S. Department of Justice over settling MBS cases.

* The European Commissioner for economic and financialaffairs, Pierre Moscovici, called on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to triggerArticle 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start formal Brexit negotiations before theend of March 2017, Bloomberg reports.Separately, former U.K. Chancellor George Osborne said his country mustmaintain the "closest possible" ties with the EU, warning that aso-called "hard Brexit" would have severe consequences for the U.K.economy, the newswire writes.

* Meanwhile, U.S. banks have started hiring for roles inEuropean cities other than London, such as Frankfurt and Paris, in the wake ofthe U.K.'s decision to leave the EU, Sky News writes,citing a report by recruiters. Stephane Rambosson, managing partner of globalexecutive search firm DHR International, said some companies were using Brexitas a "handy excuse" for dealing with the unpleasant task of movingjobs outside London.

*Aberdeen Asset ManagementPlc CEO Martin Gilbert tells Bloomberg News that the bondmarket is nearing a "dangerous situation" as bond prices hit all-timehighs amid bond-buying programs by central banks.  

* The ECB reachedan agreement with the Chinese central bank to extend their existingcurrency-swap arrangement for three more years, maintaining a maximum size of350 billion Chinese yuan and €45 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports.

UK AND IRELAND

New US troublesfor StanChart: StandardChartered Plc shares fell yesterday following reports that it isfacing a probe by theU.S. Department of Justice over allegations of possible bribery and misconductat Indonesian power plant builder MAXpower Group Pte. Ltd., which it controls, City A.M. reports.The DOJ is investigating whether StanChart officials on MAXpower's board knewof or approved the bribes allegedly made by the Indonesian firm's executives towin contracts. The issue could lead U.S. prosecutors to consider dropping adeferred-prosecution agreement previously reached with StanChart over sanctionsviolations, The New York Times notes.

* StanChart is close to deciding on a plan that would seeprincipal finance chief Joe Stevens and his team set up a private investmentfirm to manage the bank's $5 billion in investments, the Journal reports.StanChart has been looking for ways to exit private equity amid a regulatoryclampdown and losses from some investments.

* Royal Bankof Scotland Group Plc agreed with theU.S. National Credit Union Administration Board to settle for $1.1 billion twooutstanding civil lawsuits relating to two RMBS sold to American credit unionsin the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. RBS said the settlement will nothave a material impact on its common equity Tier 1 ratio as it is"substantially" covered by existing provisions.

* Separately, RBS CEO Ross McEwan warned that the group maynot be able to sell its Williams & Glyn business by year-end, leaving it in"uncharted territory," the FinancialTimes reports.Banco Santander SAearlier dropped out of talks to buy the business, reportedly due to adisagreement on price. 

* Former Barclays Plc COO Justin Bull said he was"uneasy" suspending former traders accused of manipulating thecurrency market, Bloomberg writes.Bull was providing evidence before a London employment tribunal against MarkClark, whom Barclays suspended in 2013 amid investigations into alleged forexrigging.

* Writing in The Guardian, U.K. Financial ConductAuthority head Andrew Bailey said some financial firms appear to be obscuringreal responsibility in an apparent effort to evade stricter accountabilityrules on senior managers. Bailey said the regulator has seen evidence ofoverlapping or unclear allocation of responsibilities, while other firms appearto be sharing responsibility among junior staff.

* RBS CEO Ross McEwan said aims to increase itsshare of the Irish mortgage market and lower costs, the Irish Independent writes.Ulster Bank is also targeting a more capital-efficient use of its legacy loanassets.

GERMANY, SWITZERLANDAND AUSTRIA

Credit Suisseeyes deeper cost cuts at global markets biz: CEO TidjaneThiam is seeking further cost reductions at its global markets unit, Bloomberg reports.Thiam said Credit Suisse is on track to meet a target CHF1.4 billion in netcost cuts in 2016, adding that the group will lay off a further 1,200 employeesthis year.

* CommerzbankAG and private equity firm Apollo submitted bids for 's 90% stake inOldenburgische LandesbankAG, Reuters writes.

* DeutscheBörse AG's plans to establish a joint venture with China's foreignexchange trading operator CFETS have been postponed owing to the German firm'smerger with London Stock ExchangeGroup Plc, Reuters writes.

* Germanofficials are ready to ask ECB President Mario Draghi critical questions aboutthe central bank's monetary policy in a closed-door meeting scheduled today inBerlin, Reutersand Bloombergreport. German lawmakers have criticized the ECB's policies as having beenlargely ineffective in reviving inflation and improving economic growth in theeurozone.

* Deutsche Bank appointed Ashley Wilson to oversee itstrading desk for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Reuters reports.Wilson will assume the role in addition to his responsibilities as co-head ofglobal prime finance.

* Julius BärGruppe AG concludeda legal dispute in Singapore against two former clients who filed a claim in2013 for damages totaling around CHF90 million arising from alleged unfavorableshare accumulator transactions.

* SIX GroupAG's SIX Securities Services AG expandedits cooperation with ChinaConstruction Bank Corp. beyond Swiss francs and euro clearing tomoney market services, namely repo trading and global custody services.

* HSBCHoldings Plc unit HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA hired 10 top bankers fromcompetitors including Julius Bär, Credit Suisse, and for itsalternative investment unit and as investment counselors, finews.ch reports.

* AustrianAnadi Bank AG followed other financial institutions in acceptingthe buyback offer for bonds of former Hypo Alpe Adria Bank International AG.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

KBC eyes eastern Europe deals: KBC Group NV is interested in taking over and hashired JPMorgan as an adviser for a potential transaction that could mark thegroup's return to eastern Europe, L'Echoreports.KBC CEO Johan Thijs also told Hungarian paper Világgazdaság that the group would "look at" if it is ever putup for sale, accordingto Reuters.

*Rabobank andABN AMRO Group NVapologized for selling dodgy derivatives, HetFinancieele Dagblad reports.Rabobank CEO Wiebe Draijer and ABN AMRO managing board member Joop Wijn toldthe Dutch parliament that their banks have made mistakes in the sale ofderivative contracts in 17,600 cases.

* The saleof Propertize BV, thereal estate unit of the former SNS REAAL NV, to U.S. investors has been finalized, Het Financieele Dagblad writes.The paper addsthat SNS Bank NVcannot stay in the hands of the Dutch government indefinitely as a permanentstate bank would be in conflict with agreements made with the EuropeanCommission in 2013.

*SFIL SA, set upfollowing the collapse of DexiaSA, could fail to meet the leverage ratio imposed by the BaselCommittee on Banking Supervision and due to be implemented in 2018, Les Echos reports.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

Portugal faces October ratings test: Portugal faces another key testOct. 21, when DBRS is due to review the country's investment-grade rating, the Journal notes. While the rating agency still has a stableoutlook on the sovereign rating, diminishing the possibility of a downgrade, anoutlook revision to negative come October could still raise questions about theeligibility of Portuguese government bonds to be included in the ECB'sbond-buying program.

* FitchRatings said the lifting of 20% cap on 's voting rights ispositive for Portuguese banks, as it represents an important step in thetakeover process by CaixaBankSA that, if successful, will enable BPI's new owners to implement arationalization plan, potentially encouraging other lenders to follow suit.

* Thegovernment of Madeira, Portugal, proposed a 10-year loan facility financed bythe Portuguese government and Banco Santander Totta SA to help cover the claims of customers hit bythe collapse of Banif-BancoInternacional do Funchal SA, Jornalde Negócios reports.

ITALY AND GREECE

Greece approvesnew reforms: Greece's parliament approved a fresh package of structuralreforms needed to receive a further €2.8 billion of bailout funds from itsinternational creditors, the FT reports.The measures include the creation of a fund to speed up the country'sprivatization program and additional pension reforms.

* Business and household deposits at Greek banks increasedby about €1.32 billion in August to stand at €123.89 billion, Reuters writes,citing Greek central bank data. The amount marks the lowest level sinceNovember 2003.

* The ECB launched an inspection on that could increasethe amount of NPLs it will sell to €1 billion from €900 million, Il Messaggero writes.

* BancaPopolare dell'Emilia Romagna SC will hold a shareholders meeting atthe end of November for the bank's transformation into a joint stock company, MF writes.

* Due diligence on the portfolio of nonperforming loans thatBanca Monte dei Paschi di SienaSpA will sell should be completed by mid-October, possiblycoinciding with the bank's presentation of its new business plan, MF reports.

* The Lisippo association of retired employees in will vote against the bank's merger with Banco Popolare Società Cooperativa at an upcomingshareholder meeting, La Repubblica reports.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

Sampo commences mandatory offer forTopdanmark:Sampo Oyj yesterdaycommenced its mandatory offer for shares in Topdanmark A/S that it does not currently own at 183Danish kroner per share in cash, after recently acquiring a 33.34% stake in theDanish insurer. The offer period will run from Sept. 27 to Oct. 25.

EASTERN EUROPE

HealthyRussian banking system to take up to 5 years: Vasily Pozdyshev, deputy governor ofRussia's central bank, said the country needs three to five years to establisha healthy banking system, Reuters reports. Pozdyshev added that"dishonest lenders are being weeded out of the market."

* The Russiancentral bank intends to develop new standards regarding the supervision ofinsurance groups in 2017, with the new rules to apply to both Russian andforeign insurers, Vedomosti reports.

* Hungary's central bank maintained its countercyclicalcapital buffer at zero to boost lending, Budapest Business Journal reports. The decision came after aFinancial Stability Board review found that cyclical systemic risks in thecountry's financial system remain low.

*PAO Sberbank ofRussia unit Sberbank(Switzerland) AG was granted international membership of theShanghai Gold Exchange, providing Sberbank's corporate and investment bankingarm with direct access to the Chinese gold market, Reuters writes.

* Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo named Pawel Nieradafirst vice-president of the management board at , accordingto Rzeczpospolita. The bankdoes not currently have a management board president.

* converted 69 of itsoffices into franchising branches under the management of 62 employees, Puls Biznesu reports.The move is part of the lender's business transformation plan announced inJanuary.

* assessedinsured losses from storms that affected Slovenia in mid-August at €6 million,SEENews reports. The insurer noted that the losses will notaffect its year-end results.

* AltaInvest agreed to acquire the brokerage business of , SEENews reports. The financial details of the deal were notdisclosed.  

IN OTHER PARTS OF THEWORLD

Asia-Pacific:

Middle East & Africa:

Latin America:

North America:

North America Insurance:

NOW FEATURED ONS&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE

Data DispatchEurope: 'Jury still out' on too-big-to-fail as G-SIB capital lags smallerbanks: Many of the world's biggest, most important banks have lowercapital ratios than smaller lenders. Some regulators fear it is still too earlyto say that the problem of "too big to fail" has been solved.

$10B UScapital release in sight for HSBC: Having mollified U.S.regulators, HSBC Holdings could now be poised to release up to $10 billion inlow-earning capital from its operations in the country.

Banks arecyber-laggards, as secrecy hampers fight against hackers: Thebanking industry is lagging behind other sectors in the fight against hackers,as lenders are too fiercely secretive to share crucial information aboutbreaches, experts have warned. 

Leo Magno, Erin Tanchico,Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, ThanasisKakalis, Yael Schrage, Stephanie Salti, and Helen Popper contributed to thisreport.

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