Industry News
Banking
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/21/2022

An academic study finds that more than 130 US companies use the same China-based auditors that have been used by the roughly 200 Chinese companies whose US stock listings are in jeopardy due to the use of said auditors. At issue is the inability of US regulators to inspect the work of the Chinese audit firms, following some recent high-profile auditing scandals involving US-listed stocks, though the law that threatens the Chinese firms' listings does not apply to US companies.

1/21/2022

The Securities and Exchange Commission has reopened a request from fund managers to investigate the fees they are charged by processors of investor communications. Analysts say Broadridge Financial Solutions, the primary vendor of such services, charges the maximum fees allowed by New York Stock Exchange, though Broadridge has said it "is agnostic as to who sets the fees and looks forward to supporting all stakeholders."

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SEC
1/21/2022

A bipartisan group of senators has called on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to complement initiatives by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and play a bigger part in overseeing cryptocurrencies. The senators contend that bitcoin and ether qualify as commodities and therefore come under the CFTC's purview.

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Financial Advisor IQ
1/21/2022

The office of New York City Mayor Eric Adams said his first paycheck will be deposited to the online cryptocurrency platform Coinbase and then used to buy two cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ethereum. Adams had previously hoped to be paid directly in bitcoin, but the city stated in a release that federal labor rules prohibit it from doing so.

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The Associated Press
1/21/2022

Rising interest rates are generally said to be good news for banks, but as rates head higher, the stocks of Wall Street banks are headed lower. Stock market investors know that inflation is sending bank wages higher, investment banking could take a hit from higher rates and trading revenues are already in a downturn.

1/21/2022

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it will look into anti-competitive practices by the leading credit card companies, and is seeking ways to make it easier for consumers to compare and refinance credit cards. "These credit cards are issued after an underwriting process has taken place to ensure consumers are qualified. It is also important consumers have access to credit from a heavily regulated industry and not by fly-by-night entities or expensive payday lenders," Consumer Bankers Association President and CEO Richard Hunt said in response to the CFTC's announcement.

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American Banker
1/21/2022

Banks will be pivotal in the digital assets space but the industry needs more clear guidance from regulators, the Consumer Bankers Association and Bank Policy Institute said. "The sustained growth in digital assets highlights the need for further federal regulatory guidance and the value of increased involvement by banks, which are key components of the domestic and global financial system," the groups said.

1/21/2022

H&R Block has launched Spruce, a mobile banking platform developed in partnership with MetaBank. CEO Jeff Jones said Spruce aims to be "the sweet spot" for customers between a fintech and a traditional bank.

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Spruce
1/20/2022

Trade groups representing retailers are calling on antitrust regulators including the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to examine the merchant fees charged by Visa and Mastercard, which they say are excessive. The appeal follows the dispute between Amazon and Visa in the UK over fees, with the Merchants Payments Coalition calling on US authorities to "look closely at what Amazon has done in the UK" and "be aware that many retailers here feel the same."

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Visa
1/20/2022

With so much focus on banks' expenses this earnings season, investors should play close attention to which internal investments will improve a bank's bottom line and which will merely add to the cost of doing business, writes Telis Demos. This gets especially difficult to gauge when it comes to technology investments, Demos writes.

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Telis Demos