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The hangover from the financial crisis lingers on at the Royal Bank of Scotland. The state-backed bank is the biggest failure in the UK’s annual stress tests and has been forced to present regulators with a new plan to bolster its capital position by at least £2bn.

The Bank of England warned that the result of the US election “reinforced existing vulnerabilities” in the financial system, citing UK banks’ exposure to emerging markets and the threat of financial firms pulling out of London because of Brexit. (FT)

In the news

No side deals European leaders have rejected efforts by UK Prime Minister Theresa May to secure an early agreement guaranteeing the post-Brexit status of EU nationals living in the UK, and vice versa. Her failure is evidence of the hardening tone towards Britain across Europe. European Council president Donald Tusk appeared to blame the UK electorate for causing “anxiety and uncertainty” for millions of British and EU citizens living abroad, in a terse letter to British MPs. (FT, Guardian)

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Fears for Aleppo’s civilians The UN says about 16,000 civilians have fled rebel-held areas of Aleppo as Syrian government forces retake territory in the city, with thousands more likely to leave if the fighting continues to spread and intensify. Those fleeing the fighting warn that massacres will occur as regime troops enter opposition strongholds. If the city falls to Bashar al-Assad, it will only intensify the turmoil in Syria, writes the FT’s David Gardner. (BBC, BuzzFeed, FT)

Opec roils the markets Oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia and Iran, two of Opec’s most powerful members, said they were hopeful of reaching the first deal to cut supplies since prices started to plummeted two years ago. (FT)

Who’s who in Trumpland The president-elect’s cabinet continues to take shape, with former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin chosen as Treasury secretary. Read the FT’s wrap-up of which key positions are now filled. US economic data released on Tuesday also suggest Donald Trump may not have to do much to make America great again after all. (FT)

Britain’s beefy banknotes A petition demanding the replacement of the UK’s new plastic £5 notes — which the central bank has confirmed contain animal fat — with a vegan alternative has attracted thousands of signatures. (Independent)

It’s a big day for

UN Security Council The council will vote on tighter North Korean sanctions aimed at punishing Pyongyang for a nuclear test in September. The council will also hold an emergency session on the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Aleppo. (Bloomberg, VOA)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s WeekAhead

Food for thought

Aid in a war zone As part of the FT’s seasonal appeal, Erika Solomon looks at how a commitment to impartiality helps staff at Médecins Sans Frontières function on the front lines and in refugee camps in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. (FT)

The man who invented the world’s most important number When Minos Zombanakis devised Libor half a century ago, he had no way of knowing it would star in one of history’s greatest financial scandals. (Bloomberg)

How to get money out of China Smuggling fossils, gambling and buying insurance are on the long list of roundabout ways to move money out of China. The list keeps evolving as regulators constantly find and close loopholes. The FT’s Gabriel Wildau explains why Beijing is set to impose new restrictions on outbound deals. (FT)

Working to death The tragic suicide of a 24-year-old employee of Japanese advertising company Dentsu is prompting a backlash against the country’s tradition of karoshi — literally working to death. But many are questioning whether the government is doing enough to end the practice. (NAR)

Get thee to a brokerage! Ultralow and negative interest rates have hit savings and investments around the developed world, crushing the incomes of many mom and pop investors, including German nuns. Enter the nuns that have become traders. (WSJ)

Video of the day

Why the Italian referendum matters Italy will go to the polls in a referendum on constitutional reform on December 4, but most voters see it as a test of confidence in the prime minister and the government.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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