Receiving Wide Coverage ... AML Déjà Vu: Standard Chartered has agreed to pay $300 million, accept temporary restrictions on its dollar-clearing activity and cut ties with some business clients in the United Arab Emirates in order to settle charges related to flaws in its system for identifying suspicious transactions. This is the second time the New York State Department of Financial Services has hit the British Bank with an anti-money laundering penalty in just two years.
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Dorsey Heads to #Ferguson: Twitter co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey joined protestors in Ferguson, Mo., over the weekend as they demonstrated against the police shooting of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown. Dorsey, a St. Louis native, documented the protests in tweets, retweets, photos and Vine videos on Saturday and Sunday. Although some of Dorsey's retweets reported fighting and tear gas in parts of Ferguson, his own posts captured peaceful marches, including
Receiving Wide Coverage ... PwC's $25M Penalty: Bank auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers has agreed to pay $25 million over charges it watered down a report on sanctions violations by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, according to the New York Times. The settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services would also impose a two-year ban on PwC's ability to do some kinds of consulting work for banks under New York regulation. Bank of Tokyo hired PwC in
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Debt for Sale: Get it while it's cheap. Banks are selling bonds in the U.S. at a record pace, thanks to low rates and emerging confidence in the banking sector, the Journal said. Comerica has sold a total of $600 million in bonds this year, the Dallas bank's first bond sales in almost four years. Synchrony Financial, the credit card business spun off from General Electric, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Amazon's Card Reader: Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos is notorious for his predilection for spending money and his apparent lack of concern with making a profit. So it should come as no surprise when the Journal quotes an Amazon analyst saying the e-commerce giant won't make any money off its new Square-like mobile card reader, Amazon Local Register, which American Banker reported on Wednesday. The Journal notes that while Square has become
Receiving Wide Coverage ... What Housing Rebound? That must have been a dream. Two reports in Wednesday's papers served as ice-cold buckets of water on any hope you may have had that the value of your home was surging. First, the Journal reported on a National Association of Realtors release, which said single-family housing prices rose 4.4% in the 12 month-period that ended in the second quarter; that's the slowest annual pace since 2012. In sum,
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Sold: JPMorgan Chase is selling half of its $4.5 billion in holdings in its One Equity Partners private-equity unit, in part because of the requirement that banks reduce investments made with their own money, and in part because of new capital requirements. The Journal story on the sale also throws in another reason for selling the business unit, by pulling a quote from Jamie Dimon from a recent earnings conference call: "It
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Recovery and Liftoff: There are signs of an improving economy, yes. Factory orders are up, there are fewer vacancies in apartment buildings. Unemployment is falling, too, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg report. But, until there is more significant improvement in the job market and wage growth, Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other Fed officials in all likelihood are going to lean toward keeping short-term interest rates near zero, the Journal says.
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Credit Where It's Due: Banks may start offering more affordable loans to a broader range of Americans because of changes in the way credit scores are calculated. FICO will place less weight on unpaid medical debt and exclude all overdue bills that have been settled with collection agencies, according to news reports. "The moves follow months of discussions with lenders and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aimed at boosting lending without creating
Receiving Wide Coverage ... BofA's Very Big Deal: Bank of America has reached a tentative agreement with the Justice Department to pay between $16 billion and $17 billion to settle charges related to the sale of shoddy mortgage-backed securities, according to multiple news reports. The expected deal is a bit of an about-face for BofA, which just a few weeks ago was drawing the line at a $13 billion fine and protesting that it was being
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Living Wills Need Do-Over: Eleven big banks remain dangerously unprepared to wind down in the event of a crisis, according to U.S. regulators. "The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said bankruptcy plans submitted by big banks make 'unrealistic or inadequately supported' assumptions and 'fail to make, or even to identify, the kinds of changes in firm structure and practices that would be necessary to enhance the prospects for' an
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Ocwen Under Fire: New York financial watchdog Benjamin Lawsky is turning up the heat against mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial. The superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services is accusing Ocwen of routing as much as $65 million worth of fees each year to an affiliated insurance company, Altisource. In a letter to Ocwen's general counsel Lawsky also highlights "serious concerns about the apparently conflicted role played by Ocwen executive chairman William
Receiving Wide Coverage ... HSBC Earnings Fall: HSBC's first-half profit dipped 5% from the same period a year ago because of sluggish performance in its investment banking, wealth management and retail businesses. Its net profit was $9.46 billion, compared to $10 billion. HSBC chairman Douglas Finch cited employees' fear of regulatory punishment as a mounting concern. "There is an observable and growing danger of disproportionate risk aversion creeping into decision-making in our businesses as individuals,
Receiving Wide Coverage ... GAO No Help on TBTF: So are certain banks "too big to fail"? The release of the Government Accountability Office's report on Thursday did little to answer that question, with both sides claiming victory, as an American Banker article noted Thursday. The Financial Times quoted Paul Saltzman of the Clearing House (the group representing JPMorgan Chase, Citi and other big Wall Street firms) saying, too big to fail "perceptions have substantially diminished."
Receiving Wide Coverage ... B of A to Pay for 'Hustle': Federal Judge Jed Rakoff ordered Bank of America to pay $1.3 billion for selling toxic mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as part of its so-called "Hustle" program. The $1.3 billion penalty was less than the $2.1 billion the government sought, but "greatly in excess of what the bank hoped to pay," the Financial Times reported. Rakoff, who called the scheme "brazen fraud," also
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Forex Probe Update: U.S. prosecutors have stepped up their probe into Barclays' alleged foreign exchange manipulation, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Financial Times all report. The London bank said the U.S. extended a pact known as a "nonprosecution agreement" in the investigation. The new pact gives the Justice Department more time to decide if Barclays breached the 2012 nonprosecution agreement it had previously signed not to commit crimes in
Receiving Wide Coverage ... UBS Dark Pool Probed: Swiss bank UBS disclosed on Monday the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the New York attorney general are investigating its dark pool operation, the Wall Street Journal reported. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank got an inquiry about high-speed trading, the Financial Times said. Barclays is already the focus of an Eric Schneiderman probe into whether it has deceived electronic trading investors. Dark pool trades are
Receiving Wide Coverage ... JPMorgan Unloads: JPMorgan Chase agreed to sell a $1.3 billion debt and securities portfolio to Bain Capital's Sankaty Advisors, both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported. Chase's Hong Kong-based portfolio group, called the Global Special Opportunities Group, invests mainly in high-yield debt. Chase's sale of the unit is part of the wider trend of big banks unloading assets to comply with rules that they improve capital ratios and comply with the
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Foreign Banks to Face the Music: Banks outside the U.S. will have to deal with loan losses sooner under a new accounting rule issued by the International Accounting Standards Board. "Under the new standard, non-U.S. banks will have to book loan losses based on their expectation that future losses will occur, beginning in 2018," the Wall Street Journal reports. "That is expected to speed up the booking of losses and require greater
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Deutsche Bank's Troubles: The news of the New York Fed's stern rebuke to Deutsche Bank over its questionable financial data has industry observers making bets on the fallout. Deutsche Bank's chief financial officer, Stefan Krause, is now in the hot seat, according to the Wall Street Journal. Krause launched an effort to whip the bank's financial data into shape in 2010, but progress has been slow. Krause is far from the bank's
Receiving Wide Coverage ... CIT Goes Big: CIT Group's plan to buy OneWest Bank for $3.4 billion is a big deal in more ways than one. Not only is it the industry's biggest purchase since 2012, CIT would become "the world's first intentionally created SIFI" with $67 billion in assets, as noted by the Journal's John Carney. Investors are cheering CIT chief John Thain's decision to leap over the $50 billion asset threshold because the deal
Breaking News This Morning ... CIT Buying OneWest for $3.4 Billion: "CIT Group Inc., the business lender led by Wall Street veteran John Thain, said Tuesday it had reached a deal to buy the parent company of OneWest Bank NA for $3.4 billion, a move Mr. Thain called 'transformational.' " Wall Street Journal, New York Times Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Wall Street Journal New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman isn't alone in his concerns about Barclays' dark pool activities. Trading firms including RBC Capital Markets and T. Rowe Price Group worried in the months before Schneiderman sued Barclays that their orders were getting subpar treatment on the dark pool because of high-frequency traders. What's more, "a number of Barclays employees privately expressed concerns to top stock-trading executives that the firm was giving high-frequency traders too much
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Return to Stability: Gains in wealth management and investment banking helped Morgan Stanley nearly double its profit in the second quarter. The papers played up how the bank has focused on stable businesses while relying less on fixed income. The Wall Street Journal said Morgan Stanley has largely shrugged off" bond trading declines that have hurt other firms. The New York Times said the bank has proved skeptics wrong that it could
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Deal or No Deal: Bank of America and the Justice Department are at odds over how much the Charlotte, N.C., bank should pay to settle charges that it sold shoddy mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis. According to the Wall Street Journal, DOJ lawyers rebuffed B of A's offer to pay $13 billion in cash and consumer relief in a Tuesday meeting. The Financial Times' sources say Bank of
Breaking News This Morning ... Earnings: Bank of America, PNC, US Bancorp Receiving Wide Coverage ... Yellen Ties Labor Market, Rate Hikes: Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee the improving employment picture could lead to interest rate hikes. The Washington Post led with her views on the labor market, although it also mentioned the Fed's plans to continue to cut back on its bond purchases and how that affects interest rates and the
Breaking News This Morning ... Earnings: JPMorgan Chase, Comerica, Commerce Bancshares Receiving Wide Coverage ... Citigroup Settlement, Day 2: Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle Justice Department charges it sold mortgage-backed securities stuffed with subprime mortgages to unsuspecting investors in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. About $4 billion of the penalty will go into the U.S. Treasury's general fund. The rest will be divided among other federal agencies, with about $2.5
Breaking News This Morning ... Earnings: Citigroup Receiving Wide Coverage ... Settled: It's official. Citigroup and the Department of Justice reached a $7 billion mortgage-backed securities-related settlement. Here's the breakdown: a $4 billion cash penalty paid to Justice, $2.5 billion in mortgage relief for borrowers, and $500 million to state attorneys general and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the New York Times reports. The $4 billion payment is the largest to date. Citigroup said it would take a
Breaking News This Morning ... Earnings: Wells Fargo Receiving Wide Coverage ... Alibaba IPO Looms: Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba plans to hold its initial public offering within the next few weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal. Alibaba's hotly anticipated IPO could raise more than $20 billion. The Financial Times takes a more dramatic approach to the news: Alibaba's "self-imposed deadline is in danger of slipping as the company gets close to the moment when it will have
Receiving Wide Coverage ... The End of Bond Buying: The Federal Reserve will likely end its bond-buying program in October, according to minutes from the central bank's June policy meeting. The Fed minutes say that the decision "should not be interpreted as evidence that rate increases were likely to begin sooner," according to the New York Times. The Times focuses on Fed officials' cautious economic outlook, reporting that many remain concerned about unemployment, sluggish economic output
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