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To boldly go…: In what the New York Times is calling “the boldest such move to emerge from the banking sector,” Citigroup said Thursday it will require its business customers not to sell firearms to customers younger than 21 or those who have not passed a background check. They would also be prohibited from selling so-called bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. The policy would apply to clients who offer Citi-issued credit cards or borrow money, use its banking services or raise capital through the bank. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, American Banker here and here
Wall Street Journal
The big get bigger: The three largest U.S. banks by assets — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo — have managed to garner the lion’s share of the growth in bank deposits since the global financial crisis. According to regulatory data, the three banks combined have added $2.4 trillion in domestic deposits over the past 10 years and now hold 32%, or $3.8 trillion, of total U.S, bank deposits, up from a combined 20% market share in 2007.
“It marks a new phase of consolidation in the banking industry, one driven first by the acquisitions and then by customers’ attraction to the digital tools and ubiquitous locations of the biggest banks,” the paper says.
Liens are gone: The three big credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian — are planning to remove tax liens from consumer credit reports, “a move that will make some risky borrowers appear more creditworthy and increase the chance they will get new loans from banks.” The changes, which will go into effect as soon as next month, could benefit as many as 5.5 million consumers who will see their overdue tax bills wiped from their credit reports.
Crypto probe: The Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing to look into 100 or so hedge funds that invest in or are based on cryptocurrencies. The effort is separate from the SEC’s investigations into initial coin offerings that may be in violation of investor-protection laws.
Set free: JPMorgan Chase may spin off its main blockchain technology system, called Quorum, deciding it could achieve widespread adoption faster as an independent entity than under the bank’s roof. The bank developed Quorum as its own proprietary version of blockchain more than two years ago in order to make many operations, such as clearing and cross-border payments, more efficient. “The expected spin-off of Quorum underlines how banks have struggled to find the best way of harnessing blockchain technology,” the paper says.
He who hesitates…: A court decision in the District of Columbia means banks must foreclose on delinquent borrowers before a condominium association does. “If banks don’t want to lose money, they cannot wait to foreclose,” the paper reports.
“We don’t pretend that these answers are perfect, but as we looked at the things we thought we could influence, we felt that, working with our clients, we could make a difference. Banks serve a societal purpose — we believe our investors want us to do this and be responsible corporate citizens.” — Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat on the bank’s new no-guns policy.