Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Citi never sleeps: Citigroup “has gotten off to a slower-than-expected start” in its plan to grow its already big credit card business, the Wall Street Journal reports Monday. “Among the factors pressuring the business are more activity on cards that don’t tend to generate as much lending income and consumers’ increasing demand for rewards,” the paper says.
Separately, Citi is launching an online shareholder voting platform that “could save the global investment industry more than a billion pounds in annual costs and untold hours of manual labor,” the Financial Times reports. The system, called Proxymity, enables investors to vote in real time. It’s the second product developed by the bank’s Discover 10X (D10X) fintech initiative.
Wall Street Journal
Looking up: The Trump administration has good news if you’re a banker: “You’re not the villain anymore.” So says the paper, noting “President Donald Trump’s newly minted financial regulatory team — growing in size with recent confirmations — is sounding a friendlier tone than its predecessor, which restricted the industry following the 2008 bank bailouts.”
And here’s more good news: Year-end bonuses for bankers are expected to grow by 5% to 10% this year, the first increase in four years, according to Johnson Associates.
Coal for Christmas: Equifax, which last week reported a 27% drop in third-quarter earnings and identified more than $100 million in costs related to the data breach, is now scrapping executive bonuses and suspending share buybacks, the paper reports.
“In the wake of a public outcry, Equifax, which handed five senior managers $17 million worth of incentive awards last year, is axing payouts for executives including interim chief Paulino do Rego Barros,” the paper says.
Planning for Brexit: Some of the largest American banks are drawing up “stop gap” measures to avoid moving their employees out of London once the U.K. leaves the European Union. The banks are planning to use the London branches of their EU subsidiaries “to smooth the process of building new headquarters on the continent,” the paper reports. The process, called “branch-back, is essentially a reversal of the current set-up, where U.S. banks tend to use their London operations to ‘passport’ their services across the rest of the EU.”
New York Times
Reminiscing: Gretchen Morgenson, the long-time business columnist for the New York Times, who will join the Wall Street Journal as a senior special writer later this month, looks back at “what’s changed and what hasn’t in the financial world, for better or worse,” since she joined the paper in 1998.
“In addition to a string of garden-variety banking and business scandals, four seismic financial events occurred during my time as a columnist,” she writes: “The collapse of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund in 1998, the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, the accounting scandals of Enron in 2001 and WorldCom in 2002, and the mother of them all — the mortgage debacle — in 2008. That many episodes of financial tumult in two decades seem like a lot.”
“The amount of regulatory reform has been limited, but the way that people are thinking about and interpreting it is better.” — Terry Dolan, chief financial officer of U.S. Bancorp.