Layoffs at JPM; SEC rejects nine bitcoin ETFs

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Cutting back: JPMorgan Chase is laying off about 100 employees in its asset management division, or about 1% to 2% of the unit. These follow layoffs in its fixed income, administration and sales units, and job cuts are also expected in the bank’s equity group. The cuts are the result of “staffing adjustments amid market shifts,” the Wall Street Journal says. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times

Wall Street Journal

Unprotected: It was a busy day for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which rejected applications for nine bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds on Wednesday. “The commission leaned on the same reasoning as for earlier rejections, mainly that there aren’t enough protections against fraud and market manipulations of the underlying products. The denial is a blow for exchange companies Cboe Global Markets and CME Group, both of which launched bitcoin futures late last year. Some of the ETFs that have been rejected would have invested in those contracts,” the paper reports.

Not ready for prime time: Experts in artificial intelligence at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley say the technology could one day be useful in detecting fraud and improving trading, but it still needs human help. “As we work on some of these new models, it’s important to proceed carefully and have a human in the loop,” Ambika Sukla of Morgan Stanley said at an AI conference in Brooklyn. “It’s not clear that these models are learning or just memorizing the data,”

Giving a push: Senate Republicans filed a procedural motion to move forward on President Trump’s nomination of Richard Clarida as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. "A full Senate vote hasn’t been set, but the motion indicates Mr. Clarida could be confirmed before the Fed’s Sept. 25-26 policy meeting," the paper says.

Financial Times

More money: Upgrade, the new fintech venture of LendingClub founder Renaud Laplanche, said it has secured $62 million in its latest funding round that values the company at about $500 million. “We believe Upgrade will grow into a mainstream consumer credit brand that is dedicated to helping consumers better understand their credit and encourages responsible credit behavior,” said an investor in the company.

London calling: Deutsche Bank’s CEO told 8,000 London employees “to adopt a more aggressive mentality to win new business and help the bank earn its way out of trouble after three years of annual losses.” At a town hall meeting, Christian Sewing said he plans to “keep a significant presence in the capital after Brexit” and that London “will remain one of the world’s top financial centers even after [Britain] leaves the EU.”

Separately, Goldman Sachs said its consumer bank, Marcus, will start taking deposits in the U.K. Thursday, its first expansion outside the U.S. The bank called the move “an important milestone in the growth of Goldman Sachs’ consumer business, as well as continued diversification of the firm’s funding.”

Goldman also agreed to sell its new London headquarters and lease it back from Korea’s National Pension Service in a deal that values the property at £1.2 billion. Goldman plans to consolidate its 6,000 London employees in the building next year.

Quotable

“We cannot live by farming alone, we need to get the hunter mentality back.” — Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing at a townhall meeting with the bank’s London-based employees.

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Layoffs Bitcoin ETFs Artificial intelligence Brexit Lending Club
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