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Banks' lending rates rise for 2nd month in Dec.

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean banks' lending rates rose for the second straight month in December as demand for funds by larger firms increased, the central bank said Tuesday. The average rates for new loans to households and firms stood at 4.52 percent in December, up 0.02 percentage point from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The central bank froze the key interest rate at 2.5 percent for the eighth straight month in January after making its first rate cut in seven months in May.

Exclusive: Global regulators eye forex benchmarks after rigging probe

By Douwe Miedema WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A powerful global financial regulator will scrutinize benchmarks used in currency trading, it said on Friday, a first sign that the largely unregulated market may be kept on a tighter leash after allegations of manipulation. The Financial Stability Board, which coordinates regulation for the Group of 20 leading economies, is already working on a reform of interest rate benchmarks after the Libor interbank rate-fixing scandal.

China central bank adds cash ahead of holiday

China's central bank said Tuesday it injected cash into the country's financial system, in a move seen as heading off a potential liquidity crunch ahead of the country's lunar new year holiday. The People's Bank of China (PBoC) injected 255 billion yuan ($42.1 billion) worth of funds into the interbank market on Tuesday, according to a statement. Demand for cash traditionally soars ahead of the Chinese New Year, which starts next week, as hundreds of millions of Chinese return to their hometowns.

China eases credit squeeze with lots of cash and surprising transparency

By Pete Sweeney SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's central bank moved to head off another destabilizing cash squeeze on Tuesday with a big injection of cash - flagged in advance in a surprising act of transparency to relieve anxious markets.

Canada's banks will follow new Basel leverage standard, says regulator

TORONTO - Canada's banking regulator says it will require the domestic industry to adopt a new leverage standard soon to be used by other banks around the world. Starting next year, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions will begin following a leverage ratio created by the Basel committee on banking oversight. Under the Basel III leverage ratio, a Canadian bank will be required to have capital that is at least three per cent of its total assets — which is down from a longtime practice of five per cent.

Three ex-Rabobank traders charged over Libor in US

Three former traders at Rabobank -- British, Australian and Japanese citizens -- were charged in the United States Monday for manipulating Libor benchmark interest rates. The charges come less than three months after the bank agreed to a deferred prosecution deal with the US Justice Department as part of its Libor manipulation probe and agreed to pay a $325 million penalty. Briton Paul Robson, Australian Paul Thompson and Tetsuya Motomura of Japan, were charged in New York as conspirators in the rate-manipulation scheme.

Banks' foreign currency deposits dip in Dec.

SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) -- Foreign currency deposits in South Korean banks declined for the first time in seven months in December as companies withdrew money to cover import bills, the central bank said Monday. Outstanding foreign currency-denominated deposits held by residents reached US$48.44 billion as of end-December, down $170 million from a record high of $48.61 billion in November, according to the Bank of Korea. It marked the first decline since May when such deposits fell by $1.66 billion.

Regulators ease new bank rule on leverage to aid economy

By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Global banking regulators agreed on Sunday to ease the way a new rule, meant to rein in risky balance sheets from 2018, is compiled to try to avoid crimping financing for the world's economy. Sunday's decisions were the latest sign of how regulators have become more willing to accommodate banks as the focus switches to helping economies recover.

Regulators ease new bank rule on leverage to aid economy

By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Global banking regulators agreed on Sunday to ease the way a new rule, meant to rein in risky balance sheets from 2018, is compiled to try to avoid crimping financing for the world's economy. Sunday's decisions were the latest sign of how regulators have become more willing to accommodate banks as the focus switches to helping economies recover.

Edmonton police chief wants changes to social assistance cheque distribution

EDMONTON - Edmonton's police chief wants the provincial government to consider changing the way it distributes social assistance cheques to help reduce crime against the poor and the handicapped, especially in the inner city. The government distributes more than 80,000 cheques on one specific day each month to people across the province who are on income support programs. About three-quarters of those cheques are directly deposited to bank accounts, but others are mailed out and must be cashed.
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