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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

A London-based UK start-up has claimed that it has made a blockchain breakthrough — by creating a workable model capable of processing more than a billion payments a day.

Setl, according to the Financial Times, is in talks with about 20 institutions to develop the prototype. The company's chief operating officer, Peter Randall said its prototype was the first to demonstrate that the blockchain could handle the volumes required to make it work for the financial services sector.

The partial sale of Poste Italiane through an IPO will launch this week with the government planning to sell up to a 40 percent stake in the business and to raise up to €3.9 billion. The company, which has €420 billion in postal savings deposits, expects to list by 27 October.

Santander is apparently planning to circumvent the UK's ring-fencing rules by insisting that much of its British business should be run from Madrid. The bank is believed to be seeking several waivers from the incoming rules that require the retail operations of UK banks to be ring-fenced from their other businesses by 2019.

Tidjane Thiam, the new Credit Suisse chief executive who is due to unveil a revised plan for the bank in the coming weeks, is reportedly considering massive job cuts, with Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag reporting that department heads have been told to find savings in excess of £1 billion.

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm spent the weekend in custody ahead of an extradition hearing due to take place in a Boston tomorrow. Mr Drumm has been living in the US since he resigned from the bank, which was bailed out to the tune of €29.3 billion, in 2009. It has been reported that Mr Drumm could face up to 30 criminal charges.

Royal Bank of Scotland is planning a new logo to symbolise its more modest outlook since it began to withdraw from global operations. According to the Guardian, 'RBS' is to decapitalise (after a fashion), becoming 'rbs' instead.

Erkki Liikanen, a member of the European Central Bank's (ECB) governing council who in 2012 chaired an investigation into the need for EU banks to undergo structural reforms, has said that the ECB's risk assessment of Europe's banking sector could have been on the wrong track, according to CNBC.

Speaking to CNBC at the annual meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Lima, Mr Liikanen said that the ECB's asset quality review of eurozone banks' books last year could have weighted the risks of those assets incorrectly — inadvertently making it harder for small and medium-sized enterprises to access funding.

"It wasn't our purpose to make funding of the SMEs more complicated and perhaps create a bubble in the housing market, it should be perhaps more balanced. I just feel that if there is a problem, as this has been identified, we must be able to look at it," he said.

In India, two senior officials at state-run Bank of Baroda have been suspended and the Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into an alleged forex scam in one of the bank's Delhi branches. The move follows the discovery of illegal transfers of $952 million in foreign exchange transactions made to Hong Kong. The money was allegedly transferred by some 59 companies through newly opened current accounts in the branch.

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