Wall Street Journal
Banks and other financial-services companies will increase spending on cybersecurity by $2 billion over the next two years, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study. Citigroup, for example, now spends about $300 million yearly on cybersecurity, an anonymous source told the Journal. Wells Fargo spends about $250 million per year. JPMorgan Chase now spends about $250 million, but that could double over the next years, CEO Jamie Dimon has said. JPMorgan has about 1,000 workers focused on cybersecurity.
The paper looks at the state-owned Bank of North Dakota, noting the bank is riding high thanks to the state's oil industry. The article reveals no new information, but it points out various curiosities, such as the fact the bank is more profitable than Goldman Sachs and has a better credit rating than JPMorgan Chase. Because of the state's gusher of oil revenue, BND's its customary $30 million annual payment into the state's general fund hasn't been requested by the state since 2010. The Journal article notes one BND failure: in the early 2000s the bank lent money to a movie set in North Dakota starring Kris Kristofferson in a bid to spur tourism. The movie flopped and the bank wrote off the loss.
Banks targeted by U.S. regulators, if found guilty, should expect to pay U.S.-sized fines, even if they aren't American banks, Brooke Masters writes in a column.
New York Times
It's the return of the robo-signers. This time around, the scourge of robo-signed mortgages involves debt collectors hired by Fannie Mae, Gretchen Morgenson writes in her weekly column. Fannie Mae shouldn't be allowed to pursue these debts because they are associated with foreclosures that were based on an unlawful robo-signing, according to a Suffolk law professor. A Fannie Mae spokesman told Morgenson that the GSE is going after debts where the borrower had the ability to pay, but chose not to. Fannie Mae's efforts to collect off of robo-signed documents appears to be limited to Florida.
Now New York City is looking into two of Banco Santander's subprime auto lending units. The city's Department of Consumer Affairs is investigating whether Santander misled low-income borrowers into loans with hidden fees. The NYC department joins an armada of government agencies poking around into subprime auto lending.