Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Targets: House Republicans are looking to scrap rules on how brokers sell retirement investments, as well as interest rate limits and disclosures on payday lenders, once President-elect Donald Trump takes office. The push is being led by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who is under consideration to become Treasury secretary. He asserts the rules were written by bureaucrats, not Congress. He also called for stripping the Financial Stability Oversight Council of its authority to designate nonbank financial institutions as "systemically important." Wall Street Journal, New York Times, American Banker
Starting over: Renaud Laplanche, the Lending Club CEO who was forced out of the company he founded last May following a scandal, is planning to start a competing company that will be located just a couple of blocks away in San Francisco. The new company, called Credify Finance, has filed papers to create a marketplace lending site. The company hopes to start making loans to consumers sometime next year and expects to generate $50 million in revenue its first year. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, American Banker
Wall Street Journal
Hurry up: Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., has asked the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for an expedited review to determine whether any Wells Fargo employees were fired for speaking out or not cooperating with the bank's aggressive cross-selling tactics. "Wells Fargo appears to have terminated employees because they either refused to break the law, or reported unauthorized and abusive activity to their supervisors, the Wells Fargo ethics hotline or human resources," a letter Casey sent to Finra Wednesday said.
Viva Mexico: Despite President-elect Donald Trump's tough talk on Mexico, Citigroup – which announced a $1 billion investment in the country shortly before the election – "remains fully committed to our franchise in Mexico," according to a bank spokesman. CFO John Gerspach, speaking at a conference on Wednesday, said, "I think the market's view of Mexico perhaps is not quite as constructive right now as our view of Mexico is." Regarding Trump's proposals on Mexico, including building a wall and tightening trade with the U.S., "we'll have to see exactly where this all translates to," Gerspach said.
Thinking digital: Sweden's Riksbank, the world's oldest central bank, is debating whether to become the first major central bank to issue a digital currency. The bank, which began issuing paper currency in the 1660s, has been forced to look at a digital currency as the amount of cash in circulation has fallen by 40% since 2009. "This is as revolutionary as the paper note 300 years ago," said Cecilia Skingsley, deputy governor at the Riksbank. "What does it mean for monetary policy and financial stability? How do we design this: a rechargeable card, an app or another way?" It hopes to make a decision in the next two years.
Winning: Paytm, the Indian electronic payments company, has won the inaugural FT Future of Fintech impact award. The company, which is backed by China's Alibaba, has seen "unprecedented growth" since the Indian government's recent decision to scrap 86% of the country's cash by value. Transmit Security, a cyber-safety start-up that combines biometric and other security services in one platform, was awarded a prize in the innovation category. The two companies were selected from more than 200 entrants.
New York Times
Still TBTF: Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Fed, said Wall Street banks are still too big to fail, and the hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations written since the financial crisis won't prevent another failure. "Comparing banking to the nuclear power industry, Mr. Kashkari said regulators needed to take even more drastic steps to bolster capital levels at the big banks because the risk of another financial calamity outweighed the costs of increased regulation," the New York Times reported.
Debt happens: Goldman Sachs plans to begin advertising Marcus, its online consumer bank, on Thursday with 15- and 30-second video ads on social media sites, including Facebook and YouTube. The tag line: "Debt happens. It's how you get out that counts."
"These are just two examples of rules promulgated by the unelected and the unaccountable. These are just two rules that hurt struggling citizens. And these are two examples of rules the House Financial Services Committee, working with a President Trump, hopes to reverse" — Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, on his plans to scrap rules on payday loans and how brokers sell retirement investments.