Receiving Wide Coverage ... Good news, bad news: Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo had some good news and some bad news for U.S. commercial banks on Monday. First, he said the Fed is proposing easing stress-test requirements for banks with less than $250 billion in assets that don't engage in significant nonbank or international activity. But the central bank is also considering a separate proposal, to be issued sometime next year, that would have the effect
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Backwater no longer: Payment systems have long been a backwater of finance, but all that is changing, the Financial Times says in a special report on "The Payments Revolution." While the expansion of online shopping and mobile payment devices has spurred massive growth, "the industry is entering a period of extreme disruption. The dominant players — the banks and credit card companies — face an uncertain future. A fast-growing group of upstart
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Another day, another woe: The pressure on Wells Fargo continues to increase. Eight Democrat senators Thursday asked the Labor Department to open an investigation into the bank's workplace practices. Specifically, the senators, led by Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., asked the department's Wage and Hour Division to examine whether Wells "aggressively skirted" overtime laws and failed to properly compensate its lower-level employees. Labor said it was taking "very seriously" complaints about how the bank
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Round Two: Congress isn't through with Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf just yet. Following his pummeling before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday, Stumpf has been asked to testify before the House Financial Services Committee next week on the bank's phony accounts scandal. The New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson says Wells' recent behavior was no surprise to attorneys who battled the bank in mortgage foreclosure cases after the housing meltdown. "During the financial crisis,
Receiving Wide Coverage ... How long?: Wells Fargo CEO John G. Stumpf told the Senate Banking Committee the bank's pervasive pattern of illegally opening banking accounts without its customers' permission may have gone on even longer than previously believed. "Although the bank has traced the illegal account openings to 2011, it is investigating whether they may have begun even sooner," Stumpf told the panel, according to the New York Times. Stumpf said he found about the
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Deeply sorry: Wells Fargo CEO John G. Stumpf will tell the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday that he is "deeply sorry" the bank opened bank accounts and credit cards for customers without permission and that he takes "full responsibility" for scandal, according to his prepared opening remarks that were obtained by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Stumpf will strike "a decidedly contrite tone" before the committee, the Times said. "I
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Too much pressure: Wells Fargo's sales culture "rooted itself so deeply … that it eventually spiraled out of control," the Wall Street Journal reports. "Questionable sales tactics … were an open secret in Wells Fargo branches across the country," according to interviews the paper conducted with more than three dozen current and former employees, from area presidents down to tellers. "Many branch managers routinely monitored employees' progress toward meeting sales goals, sometimes
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Opening bid: The Justice Department has proposed that Deutsche Bank pay $14 billion to settle a series of mortgage-backed securities investigations dating back to the financial crisis, "a number that would rank among the largest of what other banks have paid to resolve similar claims and is well above what investors have been expecting," the Wall Street Journal reported. The figure is preliminary, and it's unclear how much of that proposed amount
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Wells probed: Federal prosecutors in at least three districts have begun investigating Wells Fargo's sales practices in the wake of last week's $185 million settlement. The Wall Street Journal reported that federal prosecutors in Manhattan and San Francisco sent subpoenas to the bank. The investigation "is focusing on whether someone senior within the bank directed employees to falsify documents in conjunction with the opening of accounts and products without consumers' knowledge or
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Blame game: Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and CFO John Shrewsberry both tried to deflect blame for the company's phony accounts scandal. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Stumpf "appeared to lay blame for the problems with the employees involved than with any flaw in Wells Fargo's systems or culture."
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Stumpf to the Hill: The Senate Banking Committee plans to question Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf as pressure on the bank grows in light of the unauthorized accounts scandal. Several Wells executives are scheduled to brief panel members Tuesday prior to the hearing, which is scheduled for September 20. "Clearly there is a disconnect between whatever Mr. Stumpf was telling the public and what was actually going on at Wells Fargo —
Receiving Wide Coverage ... It ain't over...: Wells Fargo's settlement last week didn't end its woes. While the bank was making apologies, officials were assessing the situation. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, called on the panel to hold hearings to find out exactly what happened. A member of the Federal Reserve Board also weighed in. "What I have seen is that too many banks, instead of putting in place a
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Incentive to cheat?: Wells Fargo was hit with the largest penalty in the history of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to settle charges that thousands of employees created unauthorized bank and credit card accounts for customers in order to collect bonuses for themselves. The company fired 5,300 employees as a result. The bank agreed to pay a $185 million regulatory enforcement action plus another $5 million in customer remediation. Wells' own analysis
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Two heads...: JPMorgan Chase said Mark Leung, head of its Asia Pacific equities business since 2014, and Jason Sippel, global head of prime services, will together run the bank's global equities division. The two replace Tim Throsby, who left to run Barclays' corporate and international division. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times Wall Street Journal
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Leaving: Tim O'Hara, the head of Credit Suisse's global markets division for just the past 10 months after a 30-year career at the bank, is leaving. He will be replaced by Brian Chin, co-head of credit. The unit has suffered heavy losses over the past year. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times Wall Street Journal
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Barclays expands team: Tim Throsby, JPMorgan's global head of equities, is moving toBarclays as head of its corporate and international division and chief executive of its corporate and investment bank. He is the latest JPM executive to join CEO James E. Staley, himself a former JPM veteran, at the British bank. Previous JPMorgan hires include Paul Compton, who was named Barclays group chief operating officer in February, and CS Venkatakrishnan, Barclays' new
Editor's note: Morning Scan will not publish on Monday, Sept. 5 in observance of Labor Day. We'll be back on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Wall Street Journal Stressed out: Bank trade groups are mulling whether to sue the Federal Reserve to challenge the methodology it uses to perform its annual stress tests on financial institutions. Some banks believe the Fed is violating the Administrative Procedure Act by not allowing public input into the test, including from the banks
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Call for consolidation: Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan called for more consolidation in the profit-challenged European banking industry, just after a German magazine reported the bank had considered amd rejected a bid for rival Commerzbank. "It is undeniable that Europe's banks are stuck in a fundamental dilemma," he said in remarks prepared for delivery at a conference in Frankfurt. "We have become significantly more secure since the financial crisis. We maintain more
Wall Street Journal AML clarification: U.S. banking regulators issued a "Fact Sheet" that tries to clarify anti-money-laundering rules that some critics say are forcing banks to cut off access to innocent countries, businesses and individuals for fear of being penalized. The report is intended to "dispel certain myths" about the rules, which have caused some banks to refrain from serving customers in island nations, emerging-market countries and those in drug-ridden areas, such as the U.S. border
Wall Street Journal Cutting out banks: Transferwise, the global money transfer startup that has so far worked indirectly with consumers through its bank partners, wants its own independent licenses, eschewing banks. The five-year-old London-based company currently partners with Barclays in the U.K. and Community Federal Savings Bank in New York. It has licenses in 37 states, and can operate independently in three states that don't require licenses. The company's CEO says having its own licenses will
Wall Street Journal Different strokes: As trading revenues shrink and more stringent regulations and higher capital requirements pinch their top and bottom lines, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley "have turned to more basic banking businesses, betting that the cachet of their brand names can overcome relative lack of experience in dealing with the deposits and loans of middle-class Americans."
Wall Street Journal More sales at Barclays: Barclays is ready to announce three separate asset sales as it trims its balance sheet. The British bank is expected to announce the completion of the sale of its Italian retail business in the next few days, followed soon after by its Iberian credit cards unit and its Egyptian franchise.
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Launching Concord: R3 CEV, a startup tech company that is working with more than 60 banks to build a new banking infrastructure system using blockchain technology, filed for a patent. Concord, as the project is called, aspires to be "a universal platform connecting bank operations within firms and across rival firms. It is aimed at digitizing and speeding up so-called middle- and back-office functions, like clearing and settling securities trades, registering a
Wall Street Journal Arbitration rule comments: The CFPB received nearly 13,000 comments on its proposed rule that would restrict the use of mandatory arbitration clauses and make it easier for consumers to sue banks. The rule would prohibit financial services companies from using the clauses to block class-action suits, although consumers would still be required to use arbitration to resolve individual disputes. The agency is expected to issue a final rule next year after it reviews
Wall Street Journal Paying for convenience: More than 20% of bank customers would be willing to pay as much as $3 a month to use their bank's mobile app while about 40% would be in at $1 a month, according to a survey by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Banks could generate as much as $500 million in annual revenue by charging customers, S&P says, with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase the biggest winners.
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Blame it on bitcoin: Bitcoin may be fueling the recent surge in ransomware attacks, which have quadrupled in the past year to about 4,000 a day, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, "Attacks spiked this year amid the growing use of bitcoin and improved encryption software," the Wall Street Journal said. "Bitcoin is now the preferred payment method of most ransomware infections because it allows users to send and receive money
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Meet Marcus: Goldman Sachs will name its new U.S. consumer banking arm Marcus. "The familiar first name, reportedly the product of extensive market research and lengthy internal discussions," according to the Financial Times, is the namesake of the company's founder Marcus Goldman. The name also tries to divert attention away from the parent company's various legal and political problems since the financial crisis, according to reports. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Convicted: Sean Stewart, a former investment banker at Perella Weinberg and JPMorgan Chase, was found guilty in federal court on all nine counts of securities fraud for passing tips about pending healthcare mergers to his father. The scheme, in which the father recruited a partner to trade on the information, reaped $1.16 million in profits, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times Wall Street Journal
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Musical tech chairs: Citigroup named Gavin Michael, American Banker's Digital Banker of the Year, its head of technology for global consumer banking. Michael, head of digital for consumer and community banking at JPMorgan, will replace Mark Torkos, who retired in July. Michael will assume his new role in November. Bill Wallace, who was head of operations for JPMorgan's consumer bank, was named to replace Michael. The two announcements follow the departure of
Receiving Wide Coverage ... ValueAct buys Morgan Stanley stake: The activist hedge fund ValueAct Capital Management said it has bought a 2% stake, valued at about $1.1 billion, in Morgan Stanley, but said it is not looking for the bank to make major changes. "We are completely supportive of [Morgan Stanley CEO James] Gorman and impressed by his leadership over the past six years," ValueAct founder Jeff Ubben told the Financial Times. ValueAct said the market
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