* JPMorgan is reorganizing its wealth management businesses and will combine its U.S. wealth management operations for affluent clients, the Chase branch network's financial advisory business and the You lnvest online brokerage into one single unit, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a company memo.
* New Orleans-based Liberty Bank and Trust agreed to acquire Louisville, Ky.-based Louisville Development Bancorp, the holding company for Metro Bank, in a deal expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
* Tallahassee, Fla.-based Capital City Bank agreed to acquire 51% of Lawrenceville, Ga.-based Brand Mortgage Group in a deal set to close in the first quarter of 2020.
* U.S. electronic market maker GTS Securities agreed to buy the assets of British lender Barclays' equities automated options trading unit for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
* Japanese firm Nomura Holdings is acquiring U.S.-based boutique investment banking firm Greentech Capital Advisors, a financial and strategic advisor in sustainable technology and infrastructure.
* E*TRADE Financial, which has long been a rumored takeout target, remains open to a possible buyout but has not been approached with an offer yet, CEO Michael Pizzi said at the Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference.
* U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Heath Tarbert warned of the so-called “zombie LIBOR" threat, a possible occurrence if the London Interbank Offered Rate does not entirely go away while banks stop making submissions to calculate it The CFTC is now monitoring discussions on proposals to prevent this, Tarbert said.
* U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing letters used to support rules that would impose new requirements on proxy advisory firms and higher thresholds for shareholder proposals, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Pensions & Investments reports. Clayton had voted for the new rule proposals citing these letters but several of those letters have reportedly been traced back to people affiliated with an advocacy group, members of which include large corporations.
* Bills banning mandatory arbitration clauses in broker and investment adviser client contracts have been introduced in both chambers of Congress, but have not yet gotten a thumbs up from Republican lawmakers, InvestmentNews reports.
* The Federal Reserve terminated its supervisory letter dated May 11, 2015, against The Bancorp that prevented the company from paying dividends without prior approval.
* Five days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission turned down its plan to overhaul the mechanics on direct listings, the New York Stock Exchange resubmitted to the regulator a series of rule changes for review that seek to allow more companies to go public through the so-called direct listing model while raising capital in the process.
* As promised, online brokerage Robinhood Markets on Dec. 11 rolled out its cash management service, which will offer an annual percentage yield of 1.80%, to the first set of customers. Robinhood, in 2018, announced plans to launch a checking and savings account backed by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. but later rebranded the product as a cash management program since the SIPC does not protect cash held for anything other than purchasing securities.
* On the insurance front, Allstate Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Wilson said the property and casualty insurer has seen fewer accidents but higher repair costs in claims involving autonomous driving technology. During a presentation at the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference, Wilson said while the use of such technology results in fewer accidents, the parts associated with capabilities make accidents more expensive.
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