Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Wells Fargo Becomes Primary Dealer: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has added Wells Fargo Securities as a primary dealer for the U.S. government bond market. As a primary dealer, Wells Fargo will trade directly with the New York Fed and underwrite U.S. government debt sales. It’s a rare move: There are only 23 primary dealers and the last time the Fed added a primary dealer was in February 2014 when TD Securities received the honor. The deal is expected to be a boon to Wells Fargo, as primary dealers benefit from their status by attracting Treasury market clients and having an improved profile. "But the benefits of committing to be a primary dealer have been tested in an era of cost cuts," the Financial Times says. The government has stricter capital requirements now, which has made some hesitant to assist in deals. Credit Suisse abandoned its status as a primary dealer for the European bond market as part of its cost-cutting plans.

Wall Street Journal

Visa is rolling out new technology aimed at cutting down the transaction time for chip-enabled credit and debit cards. Consumers have widely expressed frustration that the new card take more time to use.

Financial Times

The organizers of the World Economic Forum have brought together a group of finance leaders that urge collaboration in order to keep financial technology growth safe. The group argues in a position paper that regulators, start-ups and industry leaders need to take steps to minimize the risk to systemic stability posed by the rapidly growing fintech sector. The group isn’t just concerned with unregulated fintech products coming to market, but also with traditional financial services companies making excessively risky moves in an attempt to remain ahead of the curve.

New York Times

In the weird election year of 2016 bankers have been left without a clear candidate to rally around as many head to the primary polls Tuesday in New York. Former banker and writer William D. Cohan told the paper, “The choices couldn’t be worse.” Some are backing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who leads the field in donations from securities and investment employees, while others have warmed up to former Lehman Brothers employee and Ohio Gov. John Kasich on the Republican side. For more moderate Wall Street employees, Ted Cruz’s social conservatism erases any favor he may cull by being married to a Goldman Sachs executive. And, of course, there’s Bernie Sanders who has effectively rallied the support of those angry with Wall Street, making banks the big enemy in his campaign. It all stands as a stark contrast to 2012 when Mitt Romney easily gained favor with the financial crowd.

Elsewhere ...

Fortune: A bank in Michigan is planning a rare deal that complies with Islam’s sharia-based banking rules. University Bank, which specializes in Islamic finance including sharia-compliant mortgages, is planning to sell perpetual Islamic bonds, called sukuk, to raise its Tier 1 capital. The bonds will pay a maximum profit rate of 5.75%.

Voice of America: Asia has become a hotbed for mobile banking cyberattacks, with South Korea receiving the most viruses. Overall, Android mobile banking apps across the continent are chockfull of malware due to the lack of awareness among users and the frequent usage of third-party software. South Korea sees more mobile banking Trojans than any other country in the region, including China, Vietnam and Indonesia, the paper notes.

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