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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Weekly Global News Wrap Up: Societe Generale reportedly eyeing to sell UK private banking arm; Wells Fargo slapped with $6.61m fine in Ireland

And bank licensing boom hits South Africa.

From Bloomberg:

Societe Generale SA is planning a retreat from UK private banking just three years after making a major acquisition to expand in the market, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Societe Generale has been divesting non-core assets as it seeks to boost its capital ratios. Last year it agreed to sell its Belgian private banking unit to ABN Amro Group NV and reached a deal to offload its Polish retail arm. Societe Generale has also been exploring a sale of its Nordic equipment leasing operations, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

From Reuters:

Wells Fargo & Co’s Irish subsidiary was fined $6.61m EUR5.9m on Friday for a prolonged series of regulatory reporting breaches, the second largest fine ever handed down by Ireland’s Central Bank.

The Central Bank said Wells Fargo Bank International Unlimited Company admitted to five breaches from 2014 to 2019, including a failure to accurately report its capital position that revealed “serious and systemic weaknesses” in its reporting capability. A spokesperson for Wells Fargo said the bank took its regulatory obligations seriously and had made significant improvements to its systems and processes since the breaches occurred.

From Bloomberg:

Since Kuben Naidoo’s appointment as South Africa’s registrar of bank, applications came from 27 commercial and mutual banks, as well as insurers and foreign representative offices of international lenders. Billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s TymeBank and Discovery, the country’s largest health-insurance administrator, were amongst those.

The sector is dominated by five large banks, which held 90.5% of the country’s banking assets at the end of March, Prudential Authority’s data show. The threat posed by new digital entrants has triggered price cuts and “zero-fee” account offerings by traditional players such as FirstRand Ltd.’s First National Bank and Nedbank Group.

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