Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Hacked: JPMorgan Chase and at least four other banks were hacked this summer in a "sophisticated" cyber attack, the Times reports, and the hackers are said to have stolen customers' checking and savings account information. The FBI and Secret Service are investigating whether the hackers have Russian ties. JPMorgan "isn't seeing considerable fraud related to the attack," the Wall Street Journal reports, citing anonymous sources, without really explaining what that vague statement means.
Going Public: LendingClub, a developer of peer-to-peer loan applications, filed for an IPO. The San Francisco company say it's financed more than $5 billion of loans in its history and paid out $494 million in interest to investors in the loans. LendingClub hopes to achieve a valuation of $5 billion in the IPO. Oh, and it also taunted traditional banks in its regulatory filing: "We believe a technology-powered online marketplace is a more efficient mechanism to allocate capital between borrowers and investors than the traditional banking system." LendingClub has already sold shares to some mutual funds and asset managers, like BlackRock and T. Rowe Price, the Journal notes.
Wall Street Journal
"Banks are just taking a break" from residential mortgage lending, the paper quotes the CEO of LoanDepot.com, a nonbank lender. Nonbank lenders have seen an uptick in their own lending. Consider this: Quicken Loans made more mortgage loans than Citigroup in the first half of the year, and an amount equal to Bank of America. "Does the banks' shifting their focus a little bit give us more opportunities to take market share? Of course it does," Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson said.
The "Heard on the Street" column predicts doom for ATM operator Cardtronics, comparing its business prospects to that of film cameras, pay phones and printed maps.
New York Times
The Times' op-ed pages include a collection of columns discussing the topic "Holding Bankers Accountable." Banking attorney Mark Pomerantz argues that it's strange banks are forced to pay billions to settle cases when no bank executives have been charged with misconduct. University of Virginia law professor Brandon Garrett says more resources should be applied to regulation. The collection includes four other columns.
Lombard Odier, a Swiss wealth-management firm, reported its financial results for the first time in its 218-year history. Another 200-year-old Swiss wealth firm, Pictet, reported its results earlier in the week. Foreign tax authorities have pressured Swiss banks to be more forthcoming about their operations.
Bank of America's $17 billion mortgage settlement will include about $30 million for a program that helps fund legal services for the poor, the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts program. IOLTA, "pools interest generated from client funds being held by lawyers in each state, and distributes the proceeds to civil legal services" but has struggled to generate funds as interest rates have hovered near zero.
The stigma of using a credit card for small purchases ($5 and under) has all but vanished, but most people still use cash for those small transactions, according to a CreditCards.com study released Wednesday. Young people are more comfortable with plastic than older people. But cash was the preferred payment for sub-$5 purchases for all age groups.