Major tech firms have spent an unprecedented $264 billion or more this year on acquiring rivals valued at less than $1 billion, according to Refinitiv data. The trend may draw increased attention from regulators such as the Federal Trade Commission, which has warned it can rescind acquisitions if it deems them anti-competitive.
Banks that are adopting hybrid working models are investing in new digital tools and training as they adjust to the new norms brought by such arrangements, particularly when it comes to conducting meetings. "We learned how to more effectively use these tools and adopt more respectful behavior in terms of driving more inclusive conversation, regardless of where people are," said Susan LaMonica, chief human resources officer at Citizens Financial.
Buy now, pay later lenders remain largely unfazed by research showing high volumes of missed payments. Consumers have favored BNPL installment loans over credit cards through the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, says Capco consultant Daniela Hawkins.
Home prices and rental costs are skyrocketing to unaffordable levels across the world, prompting governments to employ a range of strategies in their efforts to curb the rise. Tactics include rent caps, additional taxes on landlords, bans on foreign ownership, nationalization of property and turning vacant offices into housing.
A paper by French think tank Edhec concludes that passive environmental, social and governance-focused exchange-traded funds provide minimal financial benefit to bona fide ESG causes and frequently invest in companies with questionable environmental credentials. Felix Goltz, co-author of the paper, says habitual underfunding in the areas where it is most needed "would constitute the most dangerous form of portfolio greenwashing."
Central banks are normally averse to bond market disruption, but Stefano Rebaudo contends it could prove beneficial on this occasion for the Federal Reserve. Persistently low yields have dominated the market, but an abrupt sell-off could prompt them to jump, providing a better reflection of US economic growth, Rebaudo writes.
Financial firms are increasingly facing cyberattacks known as "salami" attacks, in which attackers target smaller amounts from thousands of bank accounts. "It may be less than 10 cents per instance, but you do that across 10,000 accounts that were created on that platform, and it can add up pretty quickly," said Dwolla director of information security Ben Blakely.
Further delays in confirming Rohit Chopra as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could postpone major policies the bureau is looking to pursue, experts say. Acting director Dave Uejio is likely leaving major decisions for Chopra, who is expected to be confirmed in the next couple months.
The Consumer Bankers Association and 40 other groups representing the banking industry have urged Congressional leaders in a letter to abandon a legislative proposal that would significantly expand banks' transaction reporting requirements to the Internal Revenue Service. "While the stated goal of this vast data collection is to uncover tax dodging by the wealthy, this proposal is not remotely targeted to that purpose or that population. In addition to the significant privacy concerns, it would create tremendous liability for all affected parties by requiring the collection of financial information for nearly every American without proper explanation of how the IRS will store, protect, and use this enormous trove of personal financial information," the groups state.
PNC has a stronghold on key growth markets in consumer banking, in part thanks to its BBVA acquisition, and will be able to grab market share by cross-selling new products to clients, said PNC CEO Bill Demchak. PNC will capitalize on key areas that BBVA lagged, such as treasury management and California -- where there's a lot of opportunity, Demchak said.
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