Wall Street Journal
The Federal Reserve Board will soon be at full-strength for the first time since August 2013, thanks to the nomination of University of Michigan economics professor Kathryn Dominguez. Not so fast my friend, said Sen. Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Shelby said he's in no hurry to schedule confirmation hearings for Dominguez and for the other nominee, ex-Bank of Hawaii CEO Allan Landon. "We're not going to rush to judgment on them, but we will investigate them," Shelby said. Shelby's lack of urgency isn't a result of bankers telling him to slow down. Camden Fine of the Independent Community Bankers of America said he's urged Shelby to act ASAP. It appears highly unlikely that either Landon or Dominguez will be confirmed to the Fed in time for its Sept. 16-17 policy meeting when the board is expected to raise interest rates.
Several bank trade groups, including the American Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America and the Financial Services Roundtable, have raised red flags about Sen. Mitch McConnell's plan to offset new highway spending by reducing the dividend the Fed's regional reserve banks pay on the stock that private-sector banks hold. Shelby also opposes the move, saying it "will weaken the banking system. There's no connection between small banks, medium-sized banks and building highways and transit."
Wells Fargo passed Industrial & Commercial Bank of China as the world's most-valuable bank (measured by market value) and the paper takes the opportunity to lavish praise on Wells' "relatively simple" business model. CEO John Stumpf attributes at least some of Wells' success to how the banking industry is "so much stronger than what it was six, seven, eight years ago. The U.S. economy is doing quite well, especially in relative terms to the rest of the world. There's [also] been a lot of capital and liquidity raised [by banks]."
Stonegate Bank in Pompano Beach, Fla., reached an agreement to establish a correspondent bank account in Cuba, in partnership with Cuba's Banco Internacional de Comercio. The account will allow Stonegate to process transactions approved by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Stonegate's correspondent account could be the first step toward Cubans being able to use credit cards. Robert Muse, a Washington lawyer who specializes in U.S.-Cuba relations, told American Banker in January that he's never seen a credit card transaction in a private restaurant in Cuba. Stonegate in May confirmed it would open a bank account for the Cuban government, which allowed the opening of Cuba's embassy in Washington this week.
The Federal Trade Commission sued LifeLock, claiming the provider of identity-theft protection services makes deceptive claims about the benefits of its services. The FTC also said LifeLock has violated an earlier settlement agreement and it asked the court to order the company to provide "full redress" to consumers who've been affected, in the form of $12 million in refunds.
The Fed and the New York state banking regulator hit China Construction Bank with an enforcement order, after finding the bank fell short on anti-money laundering requirements.
The FBI's arrests of four suspects in Florida and Israel in the JPMorgan Chase cyberattack included two men who are accused of operating an illegal Bitcoin operation. Others were charged with attempts to manipulate the prices of penny stocks. While the arrests were directly related to fraudulent investment schemes, authorities said there is also a link to the JPMorgan data breach.
Public housing tenants may soon be subject to time limits on how long they can reside in housing projects or face stricter rules on finding jobs.
Charlotte Observer: Credit card issuer Synchrony Financial plans to add 200 jobs at its location near Charlotte, N.C., over the next six months, and could expand to as many as 1,000 employees.
Reuters: A former official with the Office of Foreign Assets Control expects some foreign banks to eventually test the waters of doing business in Iran, following the U.S.-Iran agreement.
MarketWatch: The asteroid 2011 UW-158, which flew close to Earth on Sunday, is estimated to contain up to $5.4 trillion worth of platinum and other precious metals and minerals.