Wall Street Journal
Another mortgage bill comes due: More homeowners are missing payments on the home equity lines of credit they took out 10 years ago as the lines reset to include principal payments, not just interest. That can lead to a huge payment shock totaling hundreds of dollars a month for which many homeowners find they aren't prepared. The 30-day delinquency rate on Heloc balances that were originated in early 2006 jumped to 4.4% from 2.9% before the lines reset recently, according to Equifax. Most lines of credit are held on banks' books.
"Worsening Heloc performance underscores that banks aren't completely past all the problems sown in the run-up to the housing bust," the Journal reported. "While delinquencies on mortgages used to purchase or refinance homes have dropped substantially in recent years, Heloc delinquencies are rising and some large banks are warning of the risk of more to come."
Mondo goes mobile: Mondo received U.K. regulatory approval on Thursday to begin operating a mobile bank, following Starling, Tandem and Atom, which got the green light earlier this year. The Competition and Markets Authority is trying to encourage more competition in the U.K. market, which is dominated by large banks.
Citigroup boosts healthcare group: Citigroup, which has been active in advising companies in the rapidly consolidating health care sector, has added to its U.S. investment banking team. The company named two new North America co-heads and a new biotech chief as part of the unit. The healthcare sector has undergone a wave of mergers and acquisitions recently as large pharmaceutical companies try to boost revenues with new drugs developed by smaller biotech companies.
Taxi lender warns: New York-based Melrose Credit Union, a leading lender to the city's taxicab companies, warned that it has become undercapitalized, and the National Credit Union Administration ordered it to take "prompt corrective action."
"The deteriorating financial strength of the 94-year-old institution underlines how the likes of Uber are inflicting pain not only on the traditional taxi industry, but also the banks and co-operatives that fund it," the Financial Times reported. Melrose also provides savings accounts, debit cards and mortgages to the public.
New York Times
Beating heart of finance: The World Economic Forum strongly endorsed Bitcoin's underlying technology, the blockchain, predicting it will soon become central to the global financial system. "Rather than stay at the margins of the finance industry blockchain will become the beating heart of it," the organizers of the annual Davos conference said in releasing the 130-page report, which took a year to complete and included the participation of major institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Visa, MasterCard and BlackRock. "The report estimates that 80 percent of banks around the world could start distributed ledger projects by next year," the New York Times reported. "Large central banks are also studying how the blockchain will alter the way money moves around the globe."
Judge says no thanks: A U.S. District Court judge in Manhattan rejected a request by Citigroup for a preliminary injunction to stop AT&T from using the phrase "AT&T thanks" on a customer loyalty program. The bank sued AT&T on June 9 after the phone company launched an "AT&T thanks" marketing campaign. Citigroup claims the wording is too similar to its trademarked "thankyou" loyalty and reward programs. The judge has yet to rule on whether AT&T actually infringed Citigroup's trademark.
Trading made simple—and cheap: New mobile apps and trading platforms are making it easy for people to start investing with as little as $5. Customers can use the apps to help create portfolios that are in line with their investment goals and risk tolerance. Several of the providers don't charge fees for their service. These new offerings include Acorns, Stash, Robinhood, Folio and Betterment.