Google pays Mastercard for data; Wall Street’s AG choice

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Wall Street Journal

A rose by any other name?: Lawmakers and other government officials are trying to come up with a better name for the banking law passed in May. While they are “excited about their accomplishment,” the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act “is frustrating supporters who want to turn it into a talking point, but find themselves stymied by its dry title and unpronounceable seven-letter shorthand — EGRRCPA.”

“The acronym police were on strike that day, I think,” Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Randal Quarles said recently.

USA!: Times are good for Canadian banks — thanks to their American subsidiaries, which are boosting their parents’ profits. The big five banks that dominate the country up north “have been looking south for more growth and diversification. Third-quarter results indicate the initiatives are paying off.”

The American units could become even more important if Canada and the U.S. fail to reach a new trade agreement, which would impact Canada a lot more than it would the U.S. “There’s a concerted effort by the banks to remind investors how important the U.S. is to their businesses and how well they’re doing there,” said Gabriel Dechaine, an analyst at National Bank of Canada.

Almost settled: Société Générale said it expects to pay about €1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to settle charges that it dealt with countries under U.S. sanctions. The French bank said the cost of the penalties was “almost entirely covered” by provisions it had made.

Financial Times

Favorite son: Wall Street is getting behind the candidacy of three-term Congressman Sean Maloney to be the next attorney general of New York State. The post is “the single most consequential for Wall Street. Because of New York’s role as the U.S. financial capital, the state’s chief legal officer has become known as the ‘sheriff of Wall Street.’” Maloney "has won the biggest donations from Wall Street heavyweights," the paper reports.

Showing the love: Angela Merkel’s government is undergoing a “subtle yet substantial shift in political priorities” by trying to show the love to banks, an industry “it has been at best indifferent to, and at times suspicious of,” since the financial crisis. Now the German chancellor and her finance minister, Olaf Scholz, “have started a rapprochement.”

“On Tuesday, the chancellor will confirm the closer relationship with a speech at Frankfurt’s stock exchange — symbolic heart of the financial sector — on how to position Frankfurt as a financial hub for European finance after Brexit.”

Last ride: Melrose Credit Union, the Queens, N.Y.-based institution whose assets were heavily invested in loans backed by New York City taxi medallions, was liquidated Friday by the National Credit Union Administration. Melrose, the largest retail credit union to enter liquidation, according to the paper, has been in NCUA conservatorship since February 2017. “Several other New York credit unions are feeling the pain of falling medallion values,” the paper notes, including LOMTO Federal Credit Union, which is also in conservatorship. “Five years ago New York taxi medallions sold for over $1 million. Recently, as taxis face tough competition from ride-sharing services, medallions have changed hands for under $200,000.”

More troubles: TSB, the British bank that botched a customer data transfer back in April that “caused a crippling IT outage,” suffered another snafu on Monday, when “thousands of TSB customers were unable to access their accounts online” due to what the bank said were “intermittent issues with internet banking and the mobile app.”

On Tuesday the bank announced that CEO Paul Pester, who has run the bank for the past seven years, is stepping down, “paying the price for the disruption caused to millions of customers by the British bank’s disastrous IT upgrade earlier this year.” He will be succeeded by chairman Richard Meddings, who said Pester’s departure was “no reflection of any individual responsibility for what has occurred.”

They're out: Deutsche Bank confirmed it is being booted from the Euro Stoxx 50, the European version of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, “the latest blow in what has already been a difficult year.” The demotion “reflects the sharp decline in its market capitalization this year, which has plunged 30%.”

Elsewhere

Inside info: Google paid Mastercard “millions of dollars” over the past year for access to data that allowed select advertisers to track “whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store.” According to Bloomberg, Google and Mastercard reached a deal following four years of talks that “gave Google an unprecedented asset for measuring retail spending.”

“But the deal, which has not been previously reported, could raise broader privacy concerns about how much consumer data technology companies like Google quietly absorb,” Bloomberg says.

Room for improvement: Banks are safer today than they were before the financial crisis, but technology can make them better, former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins told CNBC Monday. “The most profound force bearing down on the industry now is technology,” Jenkins said.

Quotable

“EGRRCPA does sound like something out of an IKEA catalog.” — Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., about the acronym for the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

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