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The Friday Express: North American financials

* Conflicting actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on deposit advance products could allow banks to jump back into the fee-heavy, high-risk products.

* California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure prohibiting financial institutions from using closed-door arbitration to settle disputes whenever employees use customer information to commit fraud, the American Banker reports.

* Citigroup is "looking very closely" at establishing an onshore cash equities business in China and expanding its research coverage of Chinese stocks, Reuters reports, citing Richard Heyes, the head of its regional equities unit. The bank is also planning to hire at least 10 people to join its Hong Kong and Singapore locations.

* U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar dismissed the insider trading-related complaints against former and current Wells Fargo senior executives, including CEO Timothy Sloan. However, Tigar found it "implausible" that the executives were unaware of the creation of unauthorized accounts given that they had greater access to cross-selling metrics and whistleblower complaints.

* Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein rejected the proposed over $6 million settlement that would end Bank of America's years-long mortgage dispute over a foreclosed property in California, The Wall Street Journal reports. The judge will review the new terms of the settlement on Oct. 18.

* Citizens Financial Group projected a cumulative net pretax loss of $8.3 billion during the hypothetical nine-quarter horizon in the company's midcycle stress test. For Ally Financial, it estimated a pretax net loss of $2.9 billion.

* Berkshire Hathaway unit Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance is launching a commercial lending division.

* U.S. commercial P&C insurance rates climbed 1% in the third quarter, MarketScout reports.

* Navigators Group projected its financial impact from natural catastrophes in the third quarter to be between $50 million to $70 million pretax and $33 million to $45 million posttax. Hanover Insurance Group estimated third-quarter catastrophe losses to range from $185 million to $225 million pretax and net of reinsurance. Ernstar Group anticipated that consolidated combined catastrophe underwriting losses for the third quarter would be $39 million due to ownership interests in StarStone Insurance and Atrium Underwriting Group.

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