Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Everybody breathe: That could have gone a whole lot worse. The Federal Reserve unveiled the results of the second part of its annual stress tests on Wednesday and just two banks failed – the U.S. units of Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander had their capital plans rejected. Both are repeat offenders that have had trouble with the exams in the past.
Morgan Stanley got a conditional pass and will have to resubmit its plan by the end of the year, though it's still able to move forward with dividends and share buybacks.
The "biggest winners" this year are Bank of America and Citigroup, which "have been the most constrained by the Fed's annual stress tests, with capital returns lagging well behind their peers," according to the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column.
Still, the mostly good news comes as priorities evolve in a tough business climate. "The sector is shifting to caring more about profits than the capital demands of its regulators," says the Financial Times' Lex column.
Goodbye, Hotel California: General Electric's financing unit, GE Capital, has won its bid to shed its "systemically important" label. Industry analysts and some lawmakers previously raised concerns that the Financial Stability Oversight Council hadn't laid out clear enough instructions for how institutions could earn removal of the designation. MetLife is fighting its label in court, but GE took a different tack: shedding billions of dollars in financial assets.
GE's market value has risen $50 billion since it announced plans to sell those assets, according to the New York Times.
Rare show of unity: The Senate passed a relief package Wednesday evening to help Puerto Rico restructure its $72 billion debt. The measure, which has been approved by the House, is now headed to the White House for a signature. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post
Wall Street Journal
Breaking up isn't so hard to do: A study found that more than one-third of people who left their bank in the past year switched to an online-only bank or to services like PayPal, instead of moving to another traditional institution. One in ten people left their bank last year, according to the Accenture survey. The number opting for non-banks has risen from 32% last year, 25% in 2013 and 16% in 2012.