RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: HSBC, Citi, JPMorgan amongst those facing EU fines over forex rigging: report; UniCredit gears up for Commerzbank's bid

And Austrian Post is venturing into branch banking.

From Reuters:

Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, JPMorgan and three other banks are set to be fined by EU antitrust regulators in coming weeks for rigging the multi-trillion dollar foreign exchange market, two people familiar with the matter said.

The other three lenders are Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and a small Japanese bank, the people said. The banks will see a 10% cut in their fines for admitting wrongdoing.

Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS have entered related guilty pleas in a US case, and been collectively fined more than $2.8b.

From Reuters:

UniCredit has stepped up preparations for a potential bid for Germany’s Commerzbank by drafting in investment bankers including a former top German official, three people familiar with the matter said.

The Italian bank had engaged Lazard and its banker Joerg Asmussen, the former German deputy finance minister, along with JP Morgan for a possible takeover, the sources said, raising the prospect of a deal that could allow UniCredit to pivot away from its struggling domestic market.

From Bloomberg:

Austria’s state-controlled mail operator is starting a lender with something that most finance startups are proud to shun in the age of fintech: bricks-and-mortar branches. “We’re targeting customers that are no longer served by banks that are retrenching,” Georg Poelzl, Oesterreichische Post AG’s chief executive officer said. “Traditional clients that appreciate the postal service.”

After a long screening process and a failed cooperation with Germany’s FinTech Group AG, Austrian Post is now buying Bruell Kallmus Bank, a specialist firm it plans to turn into a traditional bank offering products including current accounts, payment services and deposits. It will seek partners for products like mortgages, insurance or savings products.

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