RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: Regulators sound alarm over US leveraged loan market; HSBC Q3 pre-tax profit surges 28%

And British challenger bank Monzo has hit unicorn status.

From Reuters: Leveraged loans are coming under increasing fire from international regulators who are warning that loosening lender protections mark a huge deterioration in corporate lending that could pose a systemic risk to the banking sector.

Janet Yellen, the former chair of the US Federal Reserve, has joined a growing chorus of regulators who are highlighting leveraged loans as a possible source of a wave of bankruptcies as the next downturn draws closer.

Regulators updated US leveraged lending guidance in 2013 but those efforts have been relaxed as the US Republican administration focuses on deregulation and as cash continues to pour into the market and loan terms grow ever more aggressive.

From CNBC: HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, said on Monday its its third-quarter reported pre-tax profit jumped 28 percent from a year ago to $5.922 billion. 

The bank’s revenue for the July-to-September quarter was $13.798 billion, 6.32 percent higher than the same period a year ago.

From Reuters: British app-only bank Monzo said that its backers now value the lender at 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion), giving it unicorn status, after it raised 85 million pounds to fund the doubling of its workforce.

That makes Monzo the latest of Britain’s digital banks to reach unicorn status - or a valuation of at least $1 billion without tapping the stock market - after rival Revolut passed the landmark earlier this year.

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