Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Ally's Shakeup: The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both take a closer look at the leadership shakeup at Ally Financial. Unnamed sources tell the Times that former Ally Financial CEO Michael Carpenter was politely shown the door because the Ally board was frustrated the company had "stagnated" during his tenure and Carpenter appeared to "lack the vision" needed to dig the bank out of its rut. Furthermore, Carpenter wasn't pushing Ally quickly enough into new business lines like credit cards and home equity loans. Oh by the way, there was also this comment that angered the board: Carpenter, during a conference call with analysts, said General Motors' decision to snub Ally in a leasing-business deal "pisses us off." (Carpenter's departure itself wasn't surprising, as many had expected the 67-year-old executive to retire soon, but the timing was curious because Carpenter had handled Ally's earnings conference call last week and no mention of his impending departure was made during that call, both papers reported.) Graciously, new Ally CEO Jeffrey "J.B." Brown praised Carpenter's stewardship of the company, saying he turned Ally around while at the same time helping generate a $2.4 billion profit for taxpayers.
Wall Street Journal
Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce both have had serious talks about acquiring Boston Private Bank & Trust, or at least making an offer for the company, anonymous sources told the Journal. RBC has likely bowed out of the discussions, after having reached an agreement to acquire City National in Los Angeles. RBC had decided Boston Private wasn't a good fit because RBC wanted a wealth-management platform, not a private-banking platform. RBC also was in "serious discussions" about acquiring First Republic in San Francisco, but later passed. It's not known if CIBC held talks with Boston Private or is still considering making an offer. As for Boston Private, it's not known if the company is running an active auction of itself.
New York Times
Surely they didn't think it would be easy. The Times has a story on the trials and tribulations of marijuana-related businesses in Colorado and the banks and credit unions that want to make loans to those entrepreneurs. Kristi Kelly, owner of a Lakewood, Colo., business that grows and sells medical marijuana, said she's had 23 bank accounts canceled. When you read a comment like this one from Don Childears, chief executive of the Colorado Bankers Association, you can understand why banks might be skittish to manage the accounts of pot shops: Childears' reading of the federal law is that "the very receipt of a deposit is the definition of money laundering." With banks having a hard go of it, a group is trying to set up a credit union that would cater to marijuana merchants. But they, too, have hit obstacles in what would likely be a minor, routine procedure for any other de novo financial institution. In its application to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for a master account, the organizers of Fourth Corner Credit Union received a letter from the Fed saying the issuance of a master account was "within the Reserve Bank's discretion" and the application was forwarded to a risk specialist within the Fed. Fourth Corner CU also submitted an application to the National Credit Union Administration for deposit insurance and if that doesn't work, the organizers intend to apply for private insurance with Lloyd's of London.
Bloomberg: The Turkish government's seizure of Bank Asya has its roots in the struggle between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a Pennsylvania preacher, Fethullah Gulen, according to a Bloomberg synopsis of the situation. Erdogan and Gulen are former allies and they together attended the launch of Bank Asya in 1996. Bank Asya was founded as an Islamic lender by Gulen's supporters. But the two have had a falling out in a power struggle, largely related to the longstanding tension in Turkey between secular groups and groups that want to found an Islamic state. Bank Asya has a large number of U.S. shareholders, including Wells Fargo, BlackRock and Vanguard, and Bank Asya has the largest free float of any lender on the Turkish exchange.