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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

The growing trend for countries to develop their own payment card systems saw Turkey launch a new electronic card payment clearing system on Thursday. The system, named TROY, will start operating on 1 April 2016, according to the Istanbul-based InterBank Card Centre (BKM).

"We are pleased to have our own brand, which you will see at the bottom-right corner of every card," BKM Chairman Soner Canko said. Mr Canko added that fees for using cards on the TROY system will be lower than those charged by international card networks.

Swedish mobile payments company iZettle has announced that it has raised €60 million to move into small business lending. The company plans to offer small amounts of credit without conducting traditional credit checks. Instalments will be repaid as a fraction of future card transaction at iZettle terminals.

SoftBank has led what it describes as the largest single financing round in the fintech space to date: a $1 billion investment in US financial services start-up SoFi. In a joint statement, SoftBank and SoFi said that the Series E funding round will accelerate SoFi's development as a financial services partner for consumers disenchanted with traditional banking.

SoFi refinances student loans and mortgages.

Australia's ANZ has a new chief executive. Mike Smith announced he was standing down yesterday after eight years at the helm. He is to be replaced by Shayne Elliott who will take charge from 1 January 2016. The bank's chairman, David Gonzki, promised that the hallmark of Mr Elliott's reign would be "evolution, not revolution". Mr Elliott is the first internal successor at ANZ since the 1980s.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's largest listed retailer Warehouse Group, has bought out Westpac's stake in its financial services joint venture for NZ$7.3 million as it seeks to continue its development of an in-house financial services business.

A federal judge has decided that HSBC will have to face a US lawsuit accusing it of predatory mortgage lending in Chicago in violation of the US Fair Housing Act. The judge rejected a HSBC motion to dismiss the March 2014 lawsuit by Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago.

Cook County alleges that HSBC affiliates used algorithms and software to steer black and Hispanic borrowers into taking out sub-prime loans they often could not afford, irrespective of whether they qualified for cheaper loans, in a process known as 'reverse redlining'.

"The county has alleged a widespread scheme of discriminatory lending which involved all the various defendants," the judge wrote. "This is sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss."

Also in the US, today is the deadline for merchants to assume responsibility for fraudulent credit card transactions if they have not upgraded their systems to accept EMV-compliant microchip cards. It has been widely reported that many merchants have not upgraded and that most consumers do not have the new cards.

In Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia has said it will exceed its C$150 million cost-cutting target prompting fears of year-end job losses.

Finally, Paul Fisher, deputy head of the UK's Prudential Regulation Authority has warned of the risks of acceding to pressure from the banking sector by watering down reforms before they have been tested in a crisis.

"We probably won't know for sure just how effective the new regime is until we reach another crisis. Meanwhile, we need to guard against the reforms being rolled back as a result of a period without crisis. Let's complete the programme, give it time to work, be supportive of growth wherever we can, and be open-minded about change," Mr Fisher said.

"But let's also be cautious about the siren voices of financial self-interest that were partly responsible for luring us on the rocks in the first place," he added.

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