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Swift Attack: Swift has reported a second attack involving its messaging system, this time targeting an unidentified commercial bank. Details emerged as investigators continue trying to solve the $81 million cyberheist involving the New York Fed and the Bangladesh central bank. This second attack suggests those behind it were sophisticated in their strategy and did not depend on weaknesses in the Swift system. In both incidents the thieves had at least one insider handing over valid credentials and other details that would allow them to access the fund-transfer system, but the system itself was not actually breached, Swift maintains in a letter it plans to share with its users Friday. It also said both attacks were probably part of a "wider and highly adaptive campaign targeting banks," and not customer accounts. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times
Wall Street Journal
BancAlliance, a 20-member consortium of small banks, has temporarily suspended a loan purchasing program it entered into last year with LendingClub, through which it has facilitated about $200 million of loan purchases by community banks. The consortium can end the program if it determines it cannot suggest LendingClub loans to members. In that case, member banks could establish independent relationships with the online lender but, since they wouldn't be working as part of a group, they would lose the advantages, including scale and collective negotiation. Jefferies and Goldman Sachs also stopped buying LendingClub loans, they announced earlier this week, following the ouster of former chief Renaud Laplanche. Laplanche said in February that banks provide about 25% of the capital for the company's loans.
The Delaware Supreme Court has told trial courts to scrap any future cases challenging mergers that were properly approved by shareholders. It should be welcome news to investment banks that give advice to directors, whose financial advisors can now be freed of liability, as long as shareholders are fully informed and approve of the deals. Failure to recognize potential conflicts of interest is a common complaint in shareholder litigation, but with this decision companies will have to give boards and investment banks incentive to disclose all possible flaws in the sale process.
HSBC has no intention of pursuing any new business with Iran, its chief legal officer, Stuart Levey, said in an op-ed following U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit with European banking leaders to urge them to increase lawful business ties with Iran. Why is Washington is pushing them to do what it is still illegal for American banks to do, he asks. "Our decisions will be driven by the financial-crime risks and the underlying conduct," Levey says. "Governments can lift sanctions, but the private sector is still responsible for managing its own risk and no doubt will be held accountable if it falls short."
A letter to Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen signed by 11 senators and 116 representatives calls for improved diversity inside the "overwhelmingly and disproportionately white and male" central bank. It also urges higher priority in securing full employment for minorities as an economic goal. Among the signatories are senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. All Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus put their names to the letter. It was not signed by any Republican lawmakers.
New York Times
Britain and Singapore have agreed to build a "fintech bridge" that would allow startups and investors in both countries to do business together and help each country attract fintech talent from the other. An agreement signed by the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. and the Monetary Authority of Singapore outlines regulators' plans to share and use information about financial services innovation in their markets. The fintech industry brought $9.5 billion of revenue to the U.K. in 2015 and more than 60,000 jobs. Singapore has positioned itself as one of the top locations for fintech talent and innovation in Asia.