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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

Credit Suisse has won an exemption from the US government allowing it to continue managing billions of dollars in pension fund assets. The exemption covers some entities affiliated with the bank until November 2019 and others until November 2024. Credit Suisse already had a temporary exemption that was due to expire in December.

The bank pleaded guilty in May 2014 to a criminal charge of aiding US citizens in tax evasion by providing undeclared Swiss bank accounts and required the exemption in order to continue managing pension plan assets.

JPMorgan also had a good day, winning a $8.6 billion legal battle after a federal judge in New York rejected Lehman Brothers' claim that JPMorgan had illegally siphoned billions of dollars from Lehman before its collapse in September 2008.

In India, a host of banks have reduced their lending rates following the Reserve Bank of India's half-a-percentage-point cut in the repo rate on Tuesday. The country's second-largest lender, ICICI Bank, announced a reduction of 35 basis points in its base rate with effect from 5 October, while other banks that cut rates include Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank and State Bank of Travancore.

Meanwhile, State Bank of Travancore (SBT) has launched the Mudra credit card under the country's Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana scheme, which is aimed at providing credit to those involved in micro enterprises. SBT said the card is intended to provide credit to millions of micro enterprises in the non-farm sector.

The MasterCard Foundation has announced that it will invest $47 million in agricultural finance projects across the continent of Africa, including a $15 million investment in a partnership with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) that is aimed at providing financial assistance to 730,000 farming households in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.

Brazil's central bank has insisted that the country's banking system would be highly resilient to an adverse credit situation even under "the most extreme hypotheses". However, it acknowledged that the ongoing fallout from Brazil's biggest corruption scandal and the effect of the currency slump on banks' balance sheets require special attention.

Some of the country's largest lenders have been struggling with the effect of "Car Wash," an investigation that began in 2014 and found evidence of bribes from companies such as engineering firms paid to executives at state-controlled companies. The fallout led to a number of large firms seeking bankruptcy protection.

In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has signalled that it is prepared to set a deadline for an end to PPI compensation payments. It said it planned to hold a consultation on the proposal, with the deadline to become effective two years after the rule comes into force.

"We will set out the full detail of these proposed rules and guidance, the evidence we have considered, our reasons for proposing them, and our assessment of their costs and benefits, in the consultation paper we will publish before the end of the year," the FCA said.

Also in the UK, RBS has applied for a banking licence for its spin-off lender Williams & Glyn, as it prepares for the challenger bank's flotation late next year.

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