Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Remember the past: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen took issue with plans by the Trump administration to roll back regulations on American banks enacted after the global financial crisis, saying that they had made banks and other financial services providers safer. When asked, Yellen said she doesn't believe there will be another financial crisis "in our lifetimes" as a result of the regulation.
Speaking to an audience of academics at the British Academy in London, Yellen said: “In the decade since the crisis hit, memories tend to fade and I hope those of us who lived through it remind the public of the need to have a safer financial system.” Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Nevertheless, “global regulation is set to take a new direction” as several prominent international regulators are set to step down “and the post-crisis appetite for reform fades away,” the Financial Times reports. “The changes mark the end of an era in which regulation was radically overhauled after the 2008 financial crisis.”
Wall Street Journal
Bank baron: Berkshire Hathaway may become the biggest shareholder in Bank of America if the bank gets approval from the Federal Reserve to raise its dividend, based on stress test results expected as early as Wednesday. The in that could be released Wednesday. A higher payout could prompt Berkshire to swap its preferred shares for about $16 billion worth of common stock. Should that happen, the company run by Warren Buffett would be the largest shareholder in both BofA and Wells Fargo.
Cost savings: JPMorgan Chase has engaged General Electric to install new energy management and digital tools in about 4,500 of its bank branches, saving the bank several hundred million dollars over the next 10 years.
Bigger buffer: The Bank of England told U.K. banks that it is raising their “countercyclical capital buffer” from zero to 0.5% of their risk-weighted assets to protect them from growing risks in their consumer loan portfolios. The BoE said the buffer would rise further to 1% of assets by the end of the year. “The BoE has become increasingly concerned about non-mortgage borrowing, including rising car loans and credit card debt,” the paper says. Consumer credit outstanding has grown by more than 10% in the past year.
Payment pals: A week after becoming the largest European fintech company to receive a banking license, Sweden-based Klarna has a new big investor: Visa. The payments giant announced Tuesday it is making a “strategic investment” of less than 10% in the company and offering a future partnership. Visa said its investment in Klarna was “part of a global strategy to open up the Visa ecosystem and support a broad range of new partners.” Klarna is a leading online payments provider in Germany and Scandinavia and is looking to expand elsewhere in Europe and to the U.S.
New York Times
Financial fitness: In what it is calling “the next benefit frontier for leading employers,” SunTrust Banks has acquired the firm that ran its financial wellness program and is offering it to other organizations. So far about 30 companies — including Home Depot, Delta Airlines and Equifax — use the program and another 10 plan to start soon. SunTrust's version offers a paid day off for employees "to put their financial lives in order" and $1,000 seed money for an emergency savings account.
“Will we never ever be in another financial crisis? No, but I think we are very much safer.” — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.