ICAP Plc, the largest broker of interbank transactions in the world, will buy electronic currency trading system EBS for $775 million. EBS, which is owned by a coalition of 13 banks, including Citigroup, HSBC and JP Morgan Chase, handles an average $120 billion of the $1.9 trillion of the world's daily currency trades, according to Bloomberg News.
A Securities and Exchange Commission advisory panel has moved forward with a plan that could exempt thousands of small public companies from parts of the Sarbanes-Oxley law. The SEC move could remove the internal-controls requirement of the 2002 reform law, which would free an estimated 70% of U.S. public companies from rules requiring outside auditors. The SEC will discuss the panel's recommendation at a meeting in May.
Freddie Mac said it would pay $410 million to settle a series of lawsuits related to an accounting scandal that led to a $5 billion profit restatement in 2003. The deal comes just two days after Freddie Mac agreed to pay $3.8 million to settle a dispute with the Federal Election Commission over alleged violations of campaign-finance law. Freddie Mac's CEO said the settlement allows the firm to move past these issues and focus on its mission.
New client assets at Fidelity Brokerage Co. jumped 65% in the first quarter from a year earlier. The influx of new money helped total assets under management rise 27% to $1.5 trillion in the first quarter.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of dozens of banks sued for allegedly rigging IPOs during the Internet boom bull market, has agreed to pay $425 million to settle the case. The deal is likely to pressure other defendants such as Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs Group to settle as well. A spokesperson from JPMorgan acknowledged a settlement was reached but still denied the allegations, adding the firm has adequate funds to pay the settlement without impacting financial results.