Receiving Wide Coverage ...
StanChart to Settle … Again: Standard Chartered expects to pay another $330 million in order to settle claims by U.S. agencies that it violated U.S. sanctions. Negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Manhattan district attorney's office are currently underway and expected to close "very shortly." You may recall that the U.K.-based bank has already paid $340 million to settle rebel regulator Benjamin Lawsky's anti-money-laundering allegations related to transactions with Iran earlier this year. That charge will affect the bank's earnings in March, but StanChart still expects pretax profit to be roughly 5% higher than last year's $6.78 billion and, according to Finance Director Richard Meddings, the bank remains "firmly in growth mode." Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times
Wells Banker Accused of Being Insider Trader: Another day, another insider trading charge. This one involves Wells Fargo investment banker John W. Femenia. (Noted the Guardian's Heidi N. Moore in a tweet: "The world (including Wall Street) didn't even know 'Wells Fargo investment banker' was a real thing. But now ... ) Femenia is being accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of tipping off his stockbroker friend (who tipped off his friends who tipped off their friends) about four impending mergers involving bank clients. According to Dealbook, the mergers include "the acquisition of the Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation by the Rock-Tenn Company and the sale of the Shaw Group to Chicago Bridge & Iron." Wells told the FT Femenia was suspended shortly after it learned of the SEC's allegations.
Citi's Big Announcement: Very shortly after yesterday's Morning Scan, Citi announced plans to cut 11,000 jobs, largely in its consumer banking division. News outlets, of course, were quick to analyze what the announcement means. (Per the Journal, the move "is likely the opening salvo in a wave of cutbacks, business sales and other moves that could reduce the company's global reach." Per American Banker, the plan "suggests Citi is hedging its strategy of being an omnipresent, upper-tier player in emerging markets." Per the Times, it reflects "a new emphasis on aiming at commercial banking jobs" within the industry in general.) However, they were also quick to analyze how the announcement reads. Business Insider declared the press release should get "a gold medal for over-the-top PR speak," before going on to criticize the firm's decision to refer to the layoffs as "repositioning actions" throughout the corporate-jargon-laden text. Luckily, The Atlantic thought to provide Cliff Notes. "In other words," senior editor Derek Thompson wrote. "Citigroup today announced [layoffs]. These actions will [save money]."