RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: JPMorgan rolls out cryptocurrency; Estonia kicks out scandal-hit Danske bank

And the market rout weighed on HSBC's full-year earnings.

From CNBC: The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. 

"So anything that currently exists in the world, as that moves onto the blockchain, this would be the payment leg for that transaction," said Umar Farooq, head of J.P. Morgan's blockchain projects. "The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger which involves corporations or institutions can use this."

From Bloomberg: Estonia took the extraordinary step of telling Danske Bank A/S to get out in the latest twist in a $230b money laundering scandal that erupted last year.

Within two hours, Danske did the country’s financial watchdog one better: the harassed Danish lender announced a retreat from the entire Baltic region as well as Russia.

“We acknowledge that the serious case of possible money laundering in Estonia has had a negative impact on Estonian society, and we acknowledge that the Estonian FSA, against this background, finds it best that Danske Bank discontinues its Estonian banking activities,” said Danske’s interim CEO Jesper Nielsen.

From CNBC: HSBC missed expectations on several fronts as markets globally experienced a sharp sell-off and reduced activity.  Europe's largest bank reported pre-tax profit for the whole of 2018 was $19.89b, 15.9% higher than the previous year. Reported revenue last year was $53.78b, 4.5% higher than 2017.

HSBC was expected to record a 23.8% jump in reported pre-tax profit to $21.26b for 2018, according to forecasts compiled by Refinitiv. Revenue for the year was projected to be 6.28% higher at $54.674b, data by Refinitiv showed.

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