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Banking
Top stories summarized by our editors
11/23/2020

The Small Business Administration has sent a questionnaire to recipients of Paycheck Protection Program loans of $2 million or more asking for further details on why they needed the funds. Some trade associations have objected to the questions, saying it is inappropriate to ask for details now that were not covered in the original application.

11/23/2020

Western Union has bought a 15% interest in stc pay, the digital payments business of Saudi Arabia's STC Group, in a $200 million deal. The Saudi telecommunications operator said the investment will bolster its capital and fund long-term expansion.

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Reuters
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Western Union, STC Group
11/23/2020

Bitcoin shot up to its highest value in almost three years Friday as traders kept buying in the hope that it might top its all-time high just short of $10,000. Now that bitcoin has a fully developed derivatives market, institutional investors, rather than retail investors, are leading the rally.

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Reuters
11/23/2020

Banks are making good on their commitment to increase lending and investment to Black-owned businesses by paying Black-owned suppliers earlier and charging lower fees. JPMorgan Chase is already creating a program for businesses in the retail and industry sectors, and Bank of America is using $2 billion from an environmental, social and governance bond it issued to boost financing for minority-owned suppliers.

11/23/2020

A recent proposal by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency gives banks the freedom to work with a business without political pressure to deny them services, write acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks and the OCC's chief economist Charles W. Calomiris. "Banks are not free to refuse credit simply because they don't agree with a customer's business," they write.

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Charles W. Calomiris
11/23/2020

The decision by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to end some of the Federal Reserve's coronavirus relief programs next month could portend efforts by Republicans in Congress to scale back the Fed's influence over the US economy. President-elect Joe Biden's transition team called Mnuchin's action as "deeply irresponsible."

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Steven Mnuchin
11/20/2020

Community banks plan to continue adding to their reserves into 2021 to cover loan losses as they brace for a wave of defaults, a survey by IntraFi finds. About two-thirds of bankers expect they will need to adjust loan terms to help borrowers meet their obligations after deferral periods end.

11/20/2020

Environmentally conscious investors are turning to litigation to bring about a shift in attitudes on climate change among companies, governments and asset managers. The number of shareholder resolutions in Europe is on the rise, and where those resolutions fail, investors have the choice to either divest or sue.

11/20/2020

Withdrawals on crypto exchange OKEx — which were halted more than a month ago after an employee with access to the firm's private keys went incommunicado while cooperating with a Chinese probe — are set to resume by Nov. 27. Founder Xu Mingxing has proclaimed on social media that he has been found innocent of any wrongdoing in the probe.

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11/20/2020

President-elect Joe Biden's transition team has reached out to financial groups, including the Consumer Bankers Association, to "get our thoughts about the status of financial regulation," says Richard Hunt, CBA's president and CEO. Hunt said banks' role in the Paycheck Protection Program has improved their image among Democrats, adding: "It's a very different environment."

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Reuters
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Richard Hunt