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Federal regulators take over small bank in Idaho, marking 3rd US bank failure of 2014

WASHINGTON - Regulators closed a small lender in Idaho on Friday, marking the third U.S. bank failure of 2014 after 24 closures last year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said it has taken over Syringa Bank, based in Boise, Idaho. The lender, which operated six branches, had $153.4 million in assets and $145.1 million in deposits as of Sept. 30. Sunwest Bank, based in Irvine, Calif., has agreed to pay the FDIC a premium of 0.75 per cent to assume Syringa Bank's deposits. It also agreed to buy essentially all of the failed bank's assets.

Nordea reports annual profit stable as cost cuts continue

Swedish bank Nordea posted on Wednesday a stable profit for 2013 despite a low-growth environment and falling interest rates, thanks to a cost-cutting programme. The yearly net profit slightly decreased to 3.116 billion euros ($4.261 billion) in 2013 from 3.126 in 2012, and revenue fell by one percent to 9.891 billion euros. "2013 was another year of low growth and interest rates declined to record-low levels," chief executive Christian Clausen said in a statement. "For the 13th consecutive quarter, we have kept costs flat."

Nordic banking group Nordea's Q4 profits drop by 8 per cent, expects low growth

STOCKHOLM - Nordic banking group Nordea AB says its fourth-quarter net profit dropped by 8 per cent because of subdued market growth. The bank said its net profit fell to 773 million euros ($1.06 billion) from 842 million euros in the same period a year ago. Total revenue for the quarter fell by 4 per cent to 2.47 billion euros from 2.57 billion euros, while the key net interest income rose by 1 per cent to 1.39 billion.

Default on $500 mn Chinese investment scheme 'averted'

A looming default on a $500 million Chinese investment product sold by China's largest bank ICBC to hundreds of investors appears to have been averted days ahead of deadline, a document seen by AFP Tuesday showed. A default by the "Credit Equals Gold #1 Trust Product" would send a shockwave through the multi-trillion dollar "shadow banking" system in the world's second-largest economy. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said last week it had no direct liability for the product, but is now processing a return of principal for investors.

Regulators take over small bank in Oklahoma, the 2nd bank failure of 2014

WASHINGTON - Regulators have closed a small lender in Oklahoma, the second U.S. bank failure of 2014. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday that it has taken over The Bank of Union. BancFirst, based in Oklahoma City, has agreed to assume Bank of Union's deposits and to buy $225.5 million of the failed bank's assets. Bank of Union has one branch in Oklahoma City and another one about 30 miles away in El Reno, Okla. It had $331.4 million in assets and $328.8 million in deposits as of Sept. 30. The FDIC will keep the remaining assets to try to sell later.

Lombard Odier says former Deutsche Bank executive to become partner

ZURICH (Reuters) - Former Deutsche Bank risk chief Hugo Baenziger will become a managing partner of Lombard Odier, the family-owned Geneva-based private bank said on Wednesday. "As we continue to grow our private client, institutional and banking infrastructure businesses, Hugo's breadth of expertise, especially in finance and risk management, will be a significant advantage in our international expansion," said Patrick Odier, Lombard Odier's Senior Managing Partner.

Citi offers automated RMB cross-border pooling in Shanghai free trade zone

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Citi <C.N> said on Monday it had launched an automated RMB cross-border pooling solution for its clients in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone, a move that could help multinational companies optimize their cash management and enhance capital efficiency. The solution enables companies to automatically sweep RMB between their onshore and offshore entities freely, without providing supporting documents or applying for approvals on a deal basis.

Exclusive: HSBC still in regulators' crosshairs over money-laundering

By Brett Wolf and Aruna Viswanatha (Reuters) - U.S. regulators continue to find weaknesses in the way HSBC Holdings tries to prevent money laundering, according to people familiar with the matter, even after the British bank was forced to pay nearly $2 billion in penalties and invested millions in increasing its compliance.

HSBC suspends 2 foreign exchange traders in London amid wider market-rigging probe

LONDON - U.K.-based bank HSBC PLC says it has suspended two of its foreign exchange traders in London amid a global investigation into the alleged manipulation of currency markets. The bank confirmed the suspension in a brief statement Friday, but declined to provide any details. HSBC said late last year that it is one of several banks being investigated for the possible rigging of foreign exchange markets. The other banks include Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase HSBC said in November that it was co-operating with the probe by British regulators.

Dispute over foreign bank assets sent to New York's highest court

By Dena Aubin NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a case with wide implications for the global banking industry, New York's highest state court has been asked to decide if banks operating in the state can be forced to turn over to litigants assets held in their foreign branches. At issue are two high-profile cases being heard by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. The cases involve U.S. companies that are trying to reach assets held overseas by UK-based Standard Chartered Plc and Bank of China.
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