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On his own terms: Richard Cordray announced he will resign as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first director before the end of this month. His early departure “ends a tumultuous six-year tenure and paves the way for President Donald Trump to restructure the agency,” the Wall Street Journal said. His term wasn’t set to end until next July.

In an email sent to agency staff, Cordray didn’t give a reason for leaving, although rumors have flown for months that he planned to step down to run for governor in his home state of Ohio, where he was attorney general. Shares of publicly traded payday and installment lenders jumped on the news of Cordray’s impending departure. “Such companies have long been in the crosshairs of the CFPB,” the Financial Times noted. American Banker looks at candidates to head the CFPB. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, American Banker

Wall Street Journal
Ahead of the curve?: Square said it will allow a “small number” of users of Square Cash, its mobile money-transfer service, to buy bitcoin from its smartphone app. “We believe cryptocurrency can greatly impact the ability of individuals to participate in the global financial system, and we’re excited to learn more,” the payments company said.

Allowing customers to buy and sell the digital currency could expose Square to liquidity and counterparty risks, Credit Suisse said, but also noted it could place the company “in an early-mover position as a mainstream fintech company providing cryptocurrency services.”

Separately, readers sound off on the paper’s recent article calling bitcoin “The World’s Most Dramatic Bubble Ever.” Apparently not everyone agrees with its assessment.

Wells fined in AML case: The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Wells Fargo’s broker-dealer unit $3.5 million for violating anti-money laundering regulations, but not for actually engaging in criminal activity. Rather, the SEC order alleges “the broker-dealer’s new management team, installed in 2012, told anti-money-laundering investigators that they were filing too many reports to the U.S. Treasury Department,” the paper says. As a result, Wells failed to file at least 50 suspicious activity reports about some of its clients.

Quite a haul: Vanguard Group said it expects to take in a record $350 billion in new investor cash this year, beating the previous record by $27 billion, CEO F. William McNabb III told the paper. “The expected haul reinforces an industrywide shift away from money managers who specialize in handpicking winners,” the paper says.

New York Times
Too cozy?: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which had been “one of the banking industry’s friendliest regulators” before the Obama administration turned it into one of the toughest, “is now starting to look like its old self — and becoming a vital player in the Trump administration’s campaign to roll back regulations,” the paper reports.

“The shift … is unfolding without congressional action or a rule-making process, but is happening instead through directives issued at the stroke of a pen by the agency’s interim leader, Keith A. Noreika,” the paper says.

Keith Noreika, acting Comptroller of the Currency
Keith Noreika, acting Comptroller of the Currency Bloomberg News

“We have made a real and lasting difference that has improved people’s lives. It has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the consumer bureau by working alongside all of you here. I am confident that you will continue to move forward, nurture this institution we have built together and maintain its essential value to the American public. And I trust that new leadership will see that value also and work to preserve it.” — CFPB Director Richard Cordray in his resignation email to staff.

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