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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

In a special report, Reuters has revealed details of another cyber theft from banks involving the SWIFT network. The incident occurred in January last year and involved an instruction that appeared to come from Banco del Austro in Ecuador to Wells Fargo for money to be transferred to bank accounts in Hong Kong. Over a ten-day period Wells made at least 12 transfers totalling $12 million over the SWIFT system. Both banks now accept the funds were stolen and are involved in litigation over the issue. SWIFT is not involved in the legal case.

Reuters said the case, the third to emerge, raises new questions about oversight of the SWIFT network and its communications with member banks: "Neither SWIFT nor its client banks have a full picture of the frequency or the details of cyber thefts made through the network, according to more than dozen former SWIFT executives, users and cyber security experts interviewed by Reuters."

HSBC is to close just under half of its branches in India as it seeks to focus more on digital banking in the country. Twenty-four of its 50 branches will close as it looks to develop "the right mix of digital versus physical branch distribution," the bank said in a statement. It also said the branches earmarked for closure account for under ten percent of its retail customer base in India.

Deutsche Bank shareholders voted against its new executive pay plan yesterday as the bank faces shareholder ire over its dramatic share price decline and ongoing legal costs.

The bank's chief executive, John Cryan, warned of further significant legal charges to come this year. The bank has set aside $6 billion to settle pending litigation. "Litigation expenses of this magnitude are completely unacceptable," Cryan said. Meanwhile, Deutsche revealed that co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen, who is stepping down, will continue to work with key corporate clients.

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