Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Meet Marcus: Goldman Sachs will name its new U.S. consumer banking arm Marcus. "The familiar first name, reportedly the product of extensive market research and lengthy internal discussions," according to the Financial Times, is the namesake of the company's founder Marcus Goldman. The name also tries to divert attention away from the parent company's various legal and political problems since the financial crisis, according to reports. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Anna heads for the door: Anna Raytcheva, who led Citigroup's proprietary trading desk, said she is leaving the bank later this month and will open her own hedge fund next year. The move follows Citi's decision earlier this year to exit proprietary trading to comply with the Volcker rule, which bans most types of that activity by banks. "The industry is going through a structural change," Raytcheva said. "I think there is an opportunity for smaller, more nimble players."
Want yield?: As investors desperately seek yield, the Journal's Heard on the Street column says they shouldn't continue to ignore bank stocks. "They offer reliable income, and eventual capital gains when interest rates finally start rising." The six biggest U.S. banks in the U.S. deliver an average dividend yield of 2.3%, but some high-quality banks do even better than that, including JP Morgan Chase at 2.9% and Wells Fargo with 3.1%.
Deficient audits: Federal accounting inspectors found problems in 77% of broker-dealer audits they reviewed last year. Yet the 77% deficiency figure was actually an improvement from the year before, when deficiencies were found at 87% of firms inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Nearly all of the firms that conducted the broker-dealer audits had deficiencies in one or more of their audits, the PCAOB said. Our sister publication Accounting Today also details the report.
Merger: United Bankshares is buying Cardinal Financial Corp. for about $912 million. The deal will give United the largest deposit market share among community banks in the Washington, D.C., area. "By uniting, we reinforce our position as the largest locally headquartered community bank," said United CEO Richard Adams. The deal values Cardinal at 224% of its tangible book value.
Revenue drip: U.K. banks will see a "slow but steady" decline in revenue and profits from regulatory proposals that make it easier for British customers to switch banks, Fitch Ratings warns. The Competition and Markets Authority wants big banks to offer more online services that would alert customers when they overdraw their accounts; the CMA says overdraft charges bring in one-third of total retail bank revenue. Fitch says these new technologies imply a "loss of revenue for banks."
Thanks, but no thanks: Eric Ben-Artzi, a former Deutsche Bank risk officer who helped expose accounting flaws at the German bank, has turned down his share of a $16.5 million whistleblower award to protest the SEC's failure to punish bank executives. The SEC fined the bank $55 million last year for improperly valuing a derivatives position at the height of the financial crisis.
In an accompanying op-ed article, Ben-Artzi said the "revolving door" between the SEC and the bank played a role in Deutsche Bank executives going unpunished. "Top SEC lawyers held senior posts at the bank, moving in and out of top positions at the SEC even as the investigations into malfeasance at Deutsche Bank were ongoing." He wants his share of the award be given to the bank's shareholders and "clawed back from the bonuses paid to the Deutsche executives, especially the former top SEC attorneys. I would then be happy to collect any award for which I am eligible."