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NY banks in $111.6M deal; Goldman drops Fisher's firm; 2 BNP Paribas units fined

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NY banks in $111.6M deal; Goldman drops Fisher's firm; 2 BNP Paribas units fined

Uniondale, N.Y.-based Flushing Financial Corp. is buying Islandia, N.Y.-based Empire Bancorp Inc. in a transaction valued at about $111.6 million. The combined company is expected to have approximately $8.0 billion in assets, $6.3 billion in loans, $5.8 billion in deposits, and 23 branches in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and on Long Island.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. too is cutting ties with Fisher Investments after several of the asset manager's clients dropped it because of founder Ken Fisher's offensive remarks at a recent industry conference, sources told Bloomberg News. Goldman Sachs is pulling out $234 million from Fisher Investments, the news outlet reports, saying Fisher's clients, including Fidelity Investments, have so far pulled out more than $2.7 billion over the past two weeks.

Citigroup Inc. named Jane Fraser the bank's president and CEO of global consumer banking. Fraser most recently was Citi's CEO of Latin America and her appointment to the second-highest position makes her a potential candidate to eventually succeed CEO Michael Corbat and to become the first woman to run a major U.S. bank, according to Bloomberg News.

SVB Financial Group's management does not foresee any broader weakness in the tech IPO market, saying on the bank's third-quarter earnings call that recent struggles among companies planning initial public offerings have not impacted SVP Financial's portfolio at all.

Capital One Financial Corp. is pushing forward with its plan to move more of its operations into the cloud, even in the wake of a massive data breach that compromised millions of customers' information, Chairman and CEO Richard Fairbank said on an earnings call. The hack was allegedly orchestrated by a former Amazon.com Inc. employee who worked in the e-commerce giant's cloud business, Amazon Web Services, and exploited a weakness in the system. Meanwhile, Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission to open an investigation to assess whether "Amazon's failure to secure the servers it rented to Capital One may have violated federal law."

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined BNP Paribas Securities Corp. and BNP Paribas Prime Brokerage Inc. a total of $15 million for failing to implement an anti-money-laundering program and properly supervise penny stock deposits and resales and wire transfers over a four-year period. The regulator found that from February 2013 to March 2017, BNP did not develop and implement a written AML program that could detect potentially suspicious transactions.

Financial technology payments company Square Inc. launched both stock and fractional-share trading on its peer-to-peer mobile app, Cash App. Square had been testing the free stock trading service since at least September when Bloomberg News reported that employees had been testing the service in recent weeks.

Online lending startup Kabbage Inc. is venturing into payment processing for its clients with the launch of Kabbage Payments. The new payment processing solution for small businesses will enable customers to send payment requests through texts, emails or the web to collect card payments quickly. Among other things, the solution provides quick invoice tracking and a dashboard to view all payments activity.

U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in Manhattan sentenced Oct. 24 former Deutsche Bank AG traders Matthew Connolly and Gavin Black not to jail but to only months of home confinement and took U.S. prosecutors to task for using the two men as "proxy wrongdoers" for an industry-wide bad practice, Reuters reports.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Postal Bank gets nod for China IPO; Bank of Japan flags risks from global cycle

Europe: Barclays' Q3 loss; Commerzbank plan concern; Bank J. Safra Sarasin criminal case

Middle East & Africa: NCB, First Abu Dhabi post higher profits; Angola ups bank cash reserve ratio

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Big US banks struggle for grace under margin pressure: Amid a bleak interest rate environment and fears that it could get far worse, some large banks have shown that balance sheet growth, control over expenses and diversified revenue streams can serve as powerful buffers.

Big-bank surcharge may lead to year-end money market volatility: The Federal Reserve's monthly purchases of $60 billion in short-term Treasury securities may not be sufficient to quell volatility in the money markets as the end of the year approaches.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.49% to 26,667.39, and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.22% to 22,799.81.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.56% to 7,287.66, and the Euronext 100 down 0.45% to 1,094.03.

On the macro front

The consumer sentiment report, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report and the Treasury budget 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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