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Morning Briefing

Morning News

Consumers in the UK can now spend up to £30 per transaction with contactless cards after the limit was increased from £20.

The increase, initially announced in February, comes as contactless payments continue to gain ground in the UK. The UK Cards Association said the £25 average for supermarket spending would now be covered by contactless.

Two months after the service was suspended, Western Union is again able to offer money transfers out of Greece after the Greek government lifted restrictions on some money transfer operators under special conditions.

The company's customers in Greece can use its Paylink agent to send up to €500 a month to other countries.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) has said that it injected 110 billion yuan ($17.25 billion) of liquidity into the country's banking system in August through its medium-term lending facility.

In a statement on its website, the PBOC said that the credits, which went to 14 financial institutions, have a maturity of six months with an interest rate of 3.35 percent. The funds are to be used support small businesses and the agricultural sector.

Separately, the PBOC said it also injected 60.4 billion yuan in liquidity into the banking system in August through pledged supplementary lending , bringing total outstanding pledged supplementary lending to 906.8 billion yuan at the end of August.

ATM Japan is to get a foothold in the Chinese market by partnering with China Minsheng Bank to monitor and maintain ATMS in the country.

The companies will form a joint venture in November, and it will begin monitoring China Minsheng's network of 12,500 ATMs in 2016. In 2017, the venture will start operating Chinese ATMs.

The Reserve Bank of India has decided that two of the country's major banks are too big to fail. The RBI designated State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs), meaning their collapse could have a cascading effect on the financial system and the country's economy.

The RBI has never previously designated banks as D-SIBS but it is expected to make such designations an annual event that will occur every August.

In the UK, the Times has raised questions over how much the Bank of England knew about Libor rigging after the emergence of an email sent to the bank in mid-2008 warning that the rates could be rigged.

Paul Tucker, who was then deputy governor of the bank, was told by the chief treasurer of RBS, John Cummins, that banks might not be submitting realistic rates.

"In an email seen by the Times, John Cummins wrote in May 2008 to Mr Tucker and the heads of treasury at all of Britain's leading lenders outlining a series of measures to reform the now-discredited Libor-setting process that allowed traders and managers to input artificially low or high figures to improve profits or to give a false impression of their bank's financial strength. Mr Cummins suggested to Mr Tucker that some kind of punish-ment might be required to keep banks honest," the Times reported.

The news that senior bankers and policymakers had been made aware of potential Libor manipulation before the financial crisis raises questions about evidence Mr Tucker gave to MPs during a parliamentary investigation in 2012.

Also in the UK, RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank customers were hit with another technical problem yesterday when some of them were unable to log on to their online banking accounts for an hour. Those who could log on could not make payments or transfer funds.

RBS was fined £56 million by regulators earlier this year for a computer failure in 2012 that left millions of customers without access to their accounts.

In Australia, the government has abandoned plans for a new tax on bank deposits that were first mooted by the country's Labor Party when it was in government in 2013. The tax had been expected to put a 0.05 percent levy on bank deposits of up to $250,000 in order to fund a deposit insurance scheme.

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