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Friday Express: Bank deals in New York, Georgia; FINRA fines Robinhood Financial


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Friday Express: Bank deals in New York, Georgia; FINRA fines Robinhood Financial

* Hamburg, N.Y.-based Evans Bancorp agreed to acquire Fairport, N.Y.-based FSB Bancorp for $17.80 per share for total consideration of about $34.7 million. The stock-and-cash deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020. Upon closing, FSB Bancorp and its unit Fairport Savings Bank will merge into Evans Bancorp and its subsidiary Evans Bank.

* In Georgia, Elberton-based Pinnacle Financial agreed to acquire Clarkesville-based SBT Bancorp and its unit Southern Bank & Trust in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at about $36.0 million, or about $27.37 for each outstanding share of SBT common stock. Upon completion of the deal, which is expected in the first half of 2020, Pinnacle will have about $1.2 billion in assets based on financials reported as of Sept. 30.

* India-based CRISIL agreed to acquire a Stamford, Conn.-based benchmarking data and analytics firm Greenwich Associates. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, and upon closing, Greenwich Associates' partners and its team of roughly 150 people will join CRISIL.

* Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., told Reuters that a U.S. congressional committee will summon Wells Fargo's board in 2020 to testify about the bank's sales scandal. However, Wells Fargo declined to comment to the news outlet.

* FleetCor Technologies said it has reached an impasse in its talks with the Federal Trade Commission regarding claims relating to the company's advertising and marketing practices, mainly in its U.S. direct fuel card business within its North American fuel card business. FleetCor said the impasse is related to what it believes are the FTC's "unreasonable demands for redress." The company continues to believe that the claims are without merit and that the situation is not and will not be material to its financial performance.

* The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined Robinhood Financial $1.25 million for violation of the regulator's best execution rule related to its customers' equity orders and supervisory failures from October 2016 to November 2017. In addition, Robinhood Financial agreed to retain an independent consultant to review its systems and procedures related to best execution.

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in the federal court in Sacramento, Calif., charging Springer Investment Management, d/b/a Springer Financial Advisors, and owner Keith Springer with defrauding retail clients, the majority of whom were in or close to retirement. The charges include violation of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws as well as SEC rules concerning advertisements, compliance, required disclosures, SEC reporting and recordkeeping.

* The SEC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against Edward Espinal and his company Cash Flow Partners over an alleged $5 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 90 investors, many of whom were members of the Hispanic community.

* In a letter to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Democratic lawmakers asked the company to list steps the bank has taken to demonstrate its commitment to combat discrimination against its customers. The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

* Despite opposition from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, over the House-passed cannabis banking bill, supporters of the SAFE Banking Act stand firm. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., for instance, said the bill "responsibly addresses the conflict between state marijuana laws and federal banking laws." American Bankers Association EVP James Ballentine said the ABA will provide the Senate Banking Committee with the necessary information it needs related to the SAFE Banking Act.

* According to a Federal Reserve survey, several large U.S. banks cited regulatory restrictions on their balance sheets and unchanged demand from counterparties as reasons for not lending extra despite higher overnight funding rates in mid-September.

* The Federal Reserve is investigating the most recent significant disruptions in the automated clearinghouse system, which is a payments service administered by the central bank, Bloomberg News reports. The probe comes after several banks complained about delays in certain transactions.

* The Monetary Authority of Singapore's scrutiny of precious metals trading at JPMorgan has resulted in the ousting of two bank employees, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the situation. However, the exact nature for the regulator's probe is unclear, the news outlet added. U.S investigations of the bank's metals trading practices has led to six current and former employees being criminally charged.

* Allstate will phase out its Esurance brand in 2020 as a part of a new growth plan, under which, Allstate, Esurance, Encompass and Answer Financial will be combined into one business model.

* California's Department of Insurance expanded its one-year ban on insurers dropping policies for homes in wildfire-hit areas to include 200,000 more homes, including in San Bernardino County and Northern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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