Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency, libra, "could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says. The threat is serious enough to be considered a national security issue, he says.
Deutsche Bank said that it has appointed former AQR Capital chief technology officer Neal Pawar as chief information officer, effective as of early September. Pawar will report to Bernd Leukert, who will lead the technology, data and innovation unit from September.
Thirteen of M&T Bank's 30 branches will close in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and the bank will invest $9 million in modernizing its remaining locations in the area. The bank has about 1% of the market share in the area, so it plans to shift to a business model that focuses on commercial and business loans, wealth management and private banking, according to Ira Brown, area executive.
Now is the time for banks to invest in mergers and acquisitions, but smaller banks will likely be the ones to invest since larger banks have regulatory hurdles, according to Richard Kovacevich, former CEO of Wells Fargo. "Anytime you have high regulations in any industry, you get concentration, and banks are cheap," Kovacevich said.
President Donald Trump's nomination of Christopher Waller to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors is seen as a safe choice, while the nomination of former campaign adviser Judy Shelton has received mixed reviews. Republicans have expressed support for Shelton's nomination, but Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, says she is unqualified.
Fifth Third's payment venture with fintech AvidExchange Inc., 167% Xcelerated RTP, recently won a real-time payments contest sponsored by the Carolina Fintech Hub, The Clearing House, Oracle and Yodlee. The B2B payment system will pay invoices early if the client has money in its account and gives the company a discount for the early payment.
The Federal Reserve is still seen as independent by economists despite continued criticism by President Donald Trump, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal conducted July 5-9. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed expect the bank's next move to be a rate cut at its meeting later this month.
Bank of England monetary policy committee member Gertjan Vlieghe said he would support cutting interest rates to nearly zero if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. If a Brexit deal is reached, rates could rise as high as 1.75% over the ensuing three years, he said.
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