Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Making amends: Citigroup said it plans to issue around $335 million in refunds to about 1.8 million credit card customers whose interest rates it neglected to lower. The refunds average about $190 per account. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act requires card issuers to lower interest rates on customers who previously missed payments but remained current for a subsequent six months. Citi said some customers received smaller rate reductions than they should have while others received no reduction. Citi has about 120 million U.S. credit card accounts. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Underpaid: Women working at British asset managers make about 40% less than their male counterparts while their bonuses are even stingier — about 72% less than what men get. “Fund managers linked the difference in pay to the lack of senior women in their organizations, as well as more women working part-time,” the Financial Times reported.
Working conditions in the world of cybercurrencies and the blockchain technology that supports them apparently aren’t much better, the New York Times reports. Those businesses “were intended to be democratizing and equalizing forces, buoyed by a utopian exuberance,” it says. “But women who have been trying to participate in the gold rush are finding a lopsided gender divide. And some say the culture is getting worse, with the male-dominated culture buoyed by a new fleet of wealthy crypto speculators known as ‘blockchain bros.’” But some women investors and entrepreneurs are beginning to push back.
Unlevel playing field: There are still “significant gaps” in the way the U.S. regulates American banks, the Systemic Risk Council warns. The think tank, which is headed by Paul Tucker, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England, says in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the government needs to regulate not just the companies it oversees but the markets in which they operate. It also takes issue with Treasury’s rejection of the idea to subject large asset managers to stress tests.
Jerome Powell makes his first appearance on Capitol Hill this week as Federal Reserve chair. Bank regulation will be one of the topics he’s asked about. He testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.
Closed: ABLV Bank, Latvia’s third biggest bank, which has been accused by the U.S Treasury of helping North Korea launder money, was liquidated over the weekend after the European Central Bank declared it “failing or likely to fail.” Wall Street Journal, Financial Times here and here
Wall Street Journal
Logical choice?: Marianne Lake, JPMorgan Chase’s chief financial officer and a contender to succeed chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon when he decides to step down, possibly in five years, is profiled. Lake, “one of the most senior women on Wall Street [who] has been on the bank’s short list of possible successors for years … would be a historic choice, the first female chief executive of one of the largest U.S. banks,” the paper says. “A single mother of three young children, Ms. Lake has already become a role model for women in finance, juggling a high-profile job and family demands.”
System restored, mostly: BB&T said Friday it was still trying to solve technical problems that left some customers unable to use the bank’s online-banking services, but that it had resolved problems with its automated telephone services and ATMs. The bank said it would waive or reimburse any fees that customers incurred as a result of the outage. Several banks have experienced similar widespread technical glitches over the past few months. BB&T acknowledged some problems on Thursday.
BB&T still plans to pay a special dividend due to a lower tax rate.
Good showing: Royal Bank of Canada said its fiscal first quarter profit got a boost from a 13% increase in net income in its capital markets unit, its largest department.
Old wounds: General Electric said it could face legal action from the U.S. Department of Justice following an investigation into WMC Mortgage, the subprime lending unit that it sold in 2007 during the financial crisis. The warning, included in the company’s annual 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is “the latest example of the persistent difficulties resulting from its now largely discarded financial services operations.”
“Women, consider crypto. Otherwise the men are going to get all the wealth, again.” — Venture capitalist Alexia Bonatsos.