Receiving Wide Coverage ...

More cuts: Wells Fargo said it plans to cut an additional $2 billion in expenses by the end of 2019, on top of the $2 billion of cuts it announced in January. The bank said it plans to close about 450 branches this year and next, focusing on those with lower deposit growth and income. It also plans to consolidate "similar operational activities" and automate more of its processes. See how the bank discussed cross-sellingat its investor day. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, American Banker

Moving up: Barclays, one day after its annual investor meeting, announced executive promotions and an expansion in its investment banking business. The bank said Tim Throsby, the head of its corporate and investment banking unit, will take interim control of the bank's markets business. Joe Corcoran, who currently heads the markets business, was named to the newly created position of vice chairman of markets. Joe McGrath, chief executive of the Americas division, also assumed the role of global head of banking. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times

Separately, New York Times financial columnist James B. Stewart examines the questions surrounding the judgement of Barclays CEO Jes Staley.

Meet the new boss: American International Group plans to name Brian Duperreault, chairman and CEO of Hamilton Insurance Group, as its new CEO. Duperreault, who worked at AIG for 16 years, ending in 1994, is also the former CEO of ACE, where he "gained a reputation in the industry as a prudent underwriter who priced plans and set reserve levels conservatively," the Wall Street Journal said.

"Mr. Duperreault should have the credibility to reassure investors and rating agencies like A.M. Best, which is considering an AIG downgrade," the Journal added. "Importantly, he also has the stature and track record necessary to stare down challenges from activist investors like Carl Icahn." Wall Street Journal, Financial Times

Why him?: Seven Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are questioning the Trump administration's "unusual move" to name Keith Noreika, a banking lawyer, as acting Comptroller of the Currency, a top banking regulator. "We see no reason to disrupt the agency's operations by replacing a strong, independent leader like Comptroller [Thomas] Curry with an untested outsider who has not been confirmed by the Senate," the senators said in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. According to the Journal, the role of acting comptroller has typically been filled by an senior official already at the agency. Meanwhile, American Banker delves into the question of whether the OCC can unilaterally change the Volcker Rule. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, American Banker

Financial Times

Canadians iced: Moody's downgraded the long-term credit ratings of six of Canada's largest banks, citing growing consumer debt levels and high home prices. Toronto-Dominion, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Bank of Canada and Royal Bank of Canada were all cut by a notch. The downgrades, the first in more than four years, Moody's said, "reflect our ongoing concerns that expanding levels of private-sector debt could weaken asset quality in the future."

Big bet: A lot is riding on Goldman Sachs' major reshuffling of its investment banking division, announced this week, which is intended to shore up its core business following a rough 2016.

New York Times

Shaky foundation: Many struggling retail chains are being propped up by the profits of their credit card units, but that trend "has worrisome implications for the industry and its customers," the paper reports.

"Those profits on plastic are helping obscure the true extent of the industry's pain, a major pressure point for a piece of the economy that employs one in 10 Americans," the paper says. "But the businesses may be in worse shape than they appear, since store cards are a shaky foundation. If more consumers fall behind on their payments, the profits could dry up, intensifying retailers' troubles."


The New Yorker: Compliance officers are spooked by "the tone from the top" – what else is new, you might ask? In this case, the top means not the C-suites but the Oval Office.

Quotable ...

Tim Sloan, president and CEO of Wells Fargo.
Tim Sloan, president and CEO of Wells Fargo. Bloomberg News

"I want to make it very clear that operating at this level is not acceptable; we're committed to improve our efficiency." – Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan

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