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Wells called priciest bank for students; Senate bill targets 'live' checks

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Protection money
Credit Suisse said Wednesday it would buy back up to $3 billion of its stock over the next two years as it “confronts a steep drop in its share price.” It also said it will raise its dividend 5% a year starting next year. “The actions taken during the restructuring mean that the bank is now more resilient in the face of market turbulence,” CEO Tidjane Thiam said. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times

Wall Street Journal

Most expensive
Wells Fargo’s bank accounts for college students are “overwhelmingly the most expensive,” according to a previously unpublished Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report. The bank, which paid $2.13 million to the schools to be able to market accounts to students, “provided nearly one-quarter of the accounts reviewed by the CFPB, but earned about half the total fee revenue.” The Journal said the CFPB report “confirms” the finding of its own investigation published in January.

Appointments
As expected, President Trump nominated Mark Calabria, Vice President Pence’s chief economist, to become the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and Heath Tarbert to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Both positions require Senate confirmation.

By a vote of 55-to-44, the Senate confirmed Justin Muzinich as deputy Secretary of the Treasury. Muzinich, who “helped develop last year’s tax law and guide it through Congress, will gain a place in the agency’s formal power structure and be involved in nearly all of the department’s major decisions,” although he had been doing that before the official confirmation.

Financial Times

Just in case
The European Union is planning to grant temporary market access to clearing houses in the U.K. in the event there is no Brexit deal “as it steps up preparations to prevent financial turmoil should Britain crash out of the EU.” The proposal “would grant ‘equivalence’ rights allowing European traders to continue to use crucial U.K. derivatives clearing services temporarily in the event of a no-deal.”

Washington Post

Kill live checks
Lenders would be banned from mailing “live” checks to consumers under a proposed bipartisan Senate bill. Many people “don’t realize that these checks are actually high-interest loans until it’s too late,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas. “Congress should pass our bill now to stop this underhanded practice.” Mailing live checks “appears to be resurgent, consumer advocates said, in part because the practice allows lenders to refashion their customary pitches to consumers. New technology also enables the lenders to better target the mailings.”

Elsewhere

Honored
Jim Ayers, chairman of Nashville-based FirstBank, will receive a 2019 Horatio Alger Award and will be inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans next April. The organization recognizes “exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders who have succeeded despite facing adversities in their lives.” “In addition to leading the state's third-largest homegrown bank, Ayers is known for his philanthropy,” particularly in education.

Quotable

“Brexit is taking a considerable bite out of [U.K.] banking jobs, and with an ambiguous Brexit deal on the table, the City’s bracing for more pain ahead.” — Recruiter Morgan McKinley.

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