Eastern Bank's $643 million purchase of Century Bank raises Eastern's market share from 2.5% to 3.7% in the Boston area, which has seen at least six bank sales since 2018. Eastern executives plan to close redundant Century branches and reduce the bank's operating expenses by nearly half.
US consumer credit increased by $27.6 billion in February from the previous month, the biggest jump since November 2017, while revolving credit rose $8.1 billion, according to the Federal Reserve. Nonrevolving credit increased the most since June of last year, rising $19.5 billion.
The Department of Justice under the Biden administration is expected to take a tougher view on the review process for bank mergers and acquisitions, experts say. "When the Trump administration started reviewing the bank merger standards, it was telegraphing that it was planning to loosen the standards to make them easier to pass," says University of Michigan professor and former Federal Reserve attorney Jeremy Kress. "I do not expect that the Biden administration will follow through in that direction."
State officials in New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, Massachusetts, New York and Nebraska have introduced measures to prohibit debt collectors from seizing the third round of federal relief payments from consumers who owe money. Federal officials included stipulations that the checks could not be garnished in the first two rounds, but those protections were not included in the third round.
Although they have been around for a while, special-purpose acquisition companies bring with them "some significant and yet undiscovered issues," says John Coates, acting director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Corporation Finance division. The surge in SPAC deals "is turning up some questions that have to be thought through more carefully," Coates says.
UK fintech Revolut is reviving its plan for a major expansion into the US market, which was put on hold last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The digital bank aims to garner a million US customers within a year, and will kick off a "pretty aggressive marketing campaign" within the next few months, US Chief Executive Ron Oliveira said.
Walmart has filed to trademark "Hazel by Walmart" and a complementary logo, hinting at a possible name for the retailer's planned new financial tech arm. Walmart said earlier this year that Ribbit Capital is its partner on the new venture, which will aim to provide fintech services tailored to the needs of the retailer's customers.
Goldman Sachs is working to stave off a wave of staff departures at its Marcus consumer bank, as employees scramble to meet an aggressive timeline on the rollout of several products, sources say. A Goldman spokesperson said estimates on the number of departures are overstated and the business "continues to be a magnet for talent."
Growth among fintechs and other nonbank lenders is outpacing that of traditional banks, Jamie Dimon, president and CEO of JPMorgan Chase said in a letter to shareholders. Dimon says he is confident Chase will grow despite increased competition, noting: "Acquisitions are in our future, and fintech is an area where some of that cash could be put to work."
Plaid, the payment technology startup the US government prevented Visa from buying on antitrust grounds, raised $425 million in a funding round that valued it at $13.4 billion. CEO Zachary Perret says he expects the company to go public but doesn't have any plans to file for an initial public offering in the near future.
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