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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily Briefing - 13 February 2018

Daily Briefing - 13 February 2018

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The independent report on behalf of the British regulator into alleged mistreatment of Royal Bank of Scotland customers by its now-defunct Global Restructuring Group (GRG) has been leaked. The 360-page document, which had been previously withheld, details "systematic" and "widespread" inappropriate treatment of customers. (GRG specialised in small and medium-sized businesses.) It also outlines that, of the 207 cases it reviewed, 86 percent of them involved "inappropriate mistreatment". The report also describes how certain customers were in "perilous financial condition" before being transferred to GRG. The figures who leaked the report, cloaked under the aliases of "Mad Mitch" and "Frank Ryan", have called for a full public inquiry, compensation for victims and the resignation of both the bank's chairman and chief executive.

In the United Arab Emirates, the current financial year is expected to be better than its predecessor as banks will benefit from the rising price of oil and superior support from state bodies. "Overall, we expect this year to be a better year than last year and we are starting at a much better place than we were starting last year...We saw increases in net interest margin, decreases in cost income ratios, decreases in cost of risk. We saw positive trends that will continue this year", said Saeeda Jaffar, managing director of consultants Alvarez & Marsal. Emirati banks have been performing well of late, with positive fourth-quarter results from Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank: it is thought that the uptick in performance has been linked with internal improvements that have complemented the external economic factors.

The wealth management and retail banking businesses of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) in Singapore, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia has been bought by Singapore-headquartered DBS Bank. ANZ's transfer of this portfolio on Monday winds up a process which was kick-started in mid-2017. "This acquisition takes our business to the next level and gives us access to a sizeable number of new customers, especially in our key markets like Indonesia and Taiwan", said Tan Shu Shan, DBS' group head of Consumer Banking & Wealth Management. Indeed, as outlined by DealStreetAsia.com, DBS will gain some 370,000 customers from the deal in Indonesia, while it will see an additional 520,000 customers on-boarded in Taiwan.

Figures from China's central bank have revealed a record increase in the amount of new loans over December and January. Rising from 584 billion yuan ($92bn) to 2.9 trillion yuan, the spike exceeded expectation considerably. According to Caixin, regulators are now focused on curbing lending ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday on Friday.

Finally, in Australia, the New Payments Platform (NPP) has been launched following the collaboration of 13 financial institutions, including the country's central bank and the Big Four firms. The solution aims to provide the infrastructure needed to facilitate real-time payments, with as many as 60 banks expected to introduce services that will utilise it in the coming months. The NPP will enable people to transfer funds using their phone number, email address or company identifier code thanks to an innovation called PayID. "PayID will make payments simpler because it means you don't have to remember, or share, your [branch code] and account details with others. Being able to see the name of the person you are paying before you confirm the payment provides more reassurance", said NPP's CEO, Adrian Lovney.

India hopes to curb bad-loan problem with weekly reports from banks
Revolut rolls out Visa prepaid cards
Kuwait: Some banks plan to cut minimum salary limit for expats to obtain loans
UK: Digital challenger bank Starling adds pensions, savings, mortgages

Lafferty Bank Quality Benchmarking

Of the banks mentioned above, RBS and ANZ were given two-star scores in Lafferty's 2017 Quality Benchmarking report. ADIB, Emirates NBD and DBS were each given three stars. The maximum possible is five stars.

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