JPMorgan Chase & Co. has temporarily suspended applications for small business loans made outside of the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program as it deals with more than 375,000 requests for $40 billion of loans under the scheme, the Financial Times reports, citing a bank spokeswoman. JPMorgan is currently utilizing all of its small business underwriting resources to process the PPP applications and will continue to process non-PPP applications that are already in the pipeline, according to the report.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board is looking to propose an optional, one-year delay of its leases standard in the coming days in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The delay on the leases standard will be available to "certain private companies and not-for-profit organizations," FASB Chairman Russell Golden said in a statement. Additionally, FASB is looking to offer guidance and address questions on issues including accounting practices for loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.
House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and other Democrats urged Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chair Jelena McWilliams to postpone any rulemaking not concerned with the coronavirus pandemic, including the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA. The members said the NPRM has a "misguided approach" and undermines the CRA to a great extent.
The Independent Community Bankers of America also called on the FDIC and OCC to make necessary changes to their proposal to reform the CRA. The ICBA has recommended, among other things, that community banks be allowed up to $5 billion in assets to opt into the revised framework and exempt traditional, branch-based banks from keeping an eye on the location of deposits and delineating deposit-based assessment areas.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to the Small Business Credit Availability Act and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act concerning business development firms and other closed-end funds. The move will allow eligible BDCs and registered closed-end funds to engage in a streamlined registration process already available to operating companies, including modernized communications and prospectus delivery procedures and requirements.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Federal Reserve hopes to provide more details on a lending program for medium-sized businesses this week, Bloomberg News reports, citing Mnuchin's interview with CNBC. The so-called Main Street lending program will be aimed at firms with more than 500 employees that are not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program and too small for federal loans that are earmarked for larger businesses.
A bipartisan group of senators are asking Mnuchin to offer temporary liquidity to mortgage servicers facing massive volume of requests for forbearance due to the coronavirus pandemic, American Banker reports. In the letter to Mnuchin, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., alerted that the mortgage providers will be unable to cover obligations to their investors, as borrowers get forbearance on federally backed mortgages. The news comes after mortgage servicers appealed for aid from the Fed and the Treasury Departments after the Federal Housing Finance Agency Head Mark Calabria said nonbank servicers will receive no relief from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
JPMorgan Chase fired Edward Koo, a corporate bonds and credit derivates trader, for violating the company's rules by creating a WhatsApp group and using it to exchange market chatter with other trading employees, sources told Bloomberg News. The company reportedly penalized the other traders by slashing their bonus payouts.
Blucora Inc. amended an agreement to acquire privately held HK Financial Services in response to current economic conditions. Among other things, the amended agreement adjusts the purchase price to $100 million, from $160 million, while also adding a financing contingency and setting a new target closing window between April 9 and Oct. 1.
The Stern Group has agreed to acquire the outstanding publicly held common shares of Asta Funding Inc. via the merger of Asta Funding with a wholly owned unit of Asta Finance Acquisition Inc., where Asta Funding will remain as the surviving entity. Under the terms of the deal, each outstanding Asta Funding common share will be purchased for $11.47 in cash.
In other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: China said to pursue further easing; AMTD lists on SGX
Europe: Top bank execs give up millions amid pandemic; Danske ex-CEO could face lawsuit
Middle East & Africa: Lebanon drafts crisis plan; pandemic impact reverberates across MEA economies
Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence
De novo banks class of 2020: Women-owned Agility Bank files: A women-owned, Houston-based banking startup has filed the second de novo application of 2020.
Bank M&A 2020 Deal Tracker: Deal announcements drop to 8-year low in March: The median deal value-to-tangible common equity ratio for deals announced this year was 148.3%, down from 158.1% in all of 2019.
Coronavirus bailout already towers over TARP, with more to come: The Federal Reserve and U.S. Congress are committed to making the small business lending program work, even though it got off to a rocky start and additional funds may not arrive fast enough.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, Hang Seng rose 1.38% to 24,300.33, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.04% to 19,345.77.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1.01% at 5,735.29, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.31% at 877.12.
On the macro front
The U.S. jobless claims report, producer price index, consumer sentiment report, wholesale trade, EIA natural gas report, Fed balance sheet, and money supply report are due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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