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Senate Dems pressing for another Wells hearing; bank eyeing mortgage bond sale

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Senate Dems pressing for another Wells hearing; bank eyeing mortgage bond sale

Some Senate Democrats are calling for a second hearing with Wells Fargo & Co. CEO Tim Sloan and Chair Elizabeth Duke, saying there have been "rampant consumer abuses and other compliance breakdowns" and "widespread and persistent failures" at the bank over the last year. In a letter to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Mike Crapo, the senators said that since Sloan's testimony in October 2017, "more scandals have mounted at the bank" despite the CEO's claims that Wells Fargo was on track to resolve its issues.

In deal news, LendingTree Inc. agreed to buy insurance comparison marketplace QuoteWizard.com LLC for $370.2 million. QuoteWizard.com reported revenue of about $75.6 million and adjusted EBITDA of about $12.8 million for the first half of 2018.

Elsewhere in California, Bank of Commerce Holdings is buying Merchants Holding Co. in a $37 million cash-and-stock transaction.

A New York federal judge trimmed a proposed class-action lawsuit against 20 banks and their affiliates over an alleged conspiracy to manipulate the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate, or SIBOR, and Singapore Swap Offer Rate, or SOR, saying the plaintiffs did not allege wrongdoing by several of them, Law360.com reported. The so-called panel banks, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS Group AG, which help calculate the two rates on a daily basis by submitting the interest rates at which they would borrow U.S. and Singapore dollars, still remain in the litigation. Plaintiffs Sonterra Capital Master Fund Ltd. and FrontPoint Asian Event Driven Fund LP accused the panel banks of manipulating SIBOR and SOR from 2007 through 2011 by submitting fraudulent rates on a daily basis.

Wells Fargo & Co. will re-enter the private-label residential mortgage-backed securities market with a planned offering of a $441 million bond tied to U.S. home loans without government backing, sources for Bloomberg Quint say. The sale of the non-agency bond, which will be the company's first post-crisis mortgage bond, is reportedly expected to be finalized during the week of Oct. 8.

Banks stand to benefit from increased interest rates and a steepening yield curve, former Wells Fargo & Co. CEO Dick Kovacevich told CNBC.

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors plans to create an ongoing sentiment index of community bankers. The index will be based on CSBS' annual survey and is aimed at focusing on market conditions and how they impact the prospects for growth and participation for community banks in their communities.

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase Inc.'s head of the institutional platform group, Adam White, is departing the company, Bloomberg News reports, citing a company email.

And Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk has criticized index fund managers for allegedly fueling short sellers, saying large fund managers like BlackRock Inc. make huge profits by lending shares they hold to short sellers, Bloomberg News reports. "Index managers like Blackrock [generate] excessive profit from short lending while pretending to charge low rates for 'passive' index tracking," Musk said in a tweet. BlackRock held roughly a 3.8% stake in Tesla as of the end of June, according to Bloomberg.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Luxembourg, Australia sign fintech deal; Moody's downgrades Suruga Bank ratings

Europe: Danish FSA asks Danske to bolster capital; court to probe CaixaBank/BPI deal

Middle East & Africa: Saudi lenders finalize merger deal; Sudan to set daily exchange rate

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Private equity firms backing mobile bank de novo could face ownership issue : Two private equity firms that led funding rounds for a soon-to-be bank could face a decision about their future involvement in the company: become bank holding companies or dilute their equity ownership to avoid the oversight that classification would entail.

Community banks show edge over big banks in small-business lending: One of several research papers presented at a recent banking conference showed that community institutions are more active in small-business lending and can grow those loans by picking up the slack of larger banks.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng slipped 0.19% to 26,572.57, and the Nikkei 225 declined 0.80% to 23,783.72.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.49% to 7,382.69, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.31% to 1,044.33.

On the macro front

The employment situation report, the international trade report, the consumer credit report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count 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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