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Friday Express: Synchrony Q3 earnings up; Kansas banks in deal

* Synchrony Financial reported third-quarter EPS of $1.60, compared to 91 cents in the prior-year quarter.

* American Express is also expected to report earnings today.

* In Kansas, CCB Financial is acquiring Bank of the Prairie in a deal expected to be close in early 2020.

* In an effort to draw in younger customers, Charles Schwab will roll out fractional-share trading capabilities on its platform, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing an interview with Chairman Charles Schwab. The comments come less than two weeks after the company launched commission-free trading for online U.S. stocks, options and exchange-traded funds.

* E*TRADE Financial is willing to consider deals to grow further but joining the zero-commission fee movement has substantially improved the online broker's competitive position, CEO Michael Pizzi said on an earnings call.

* M&T Bank CFO Darren King in the company's third-quarter earnings call said that the expenses for the year have been "very atypical" due to the growth in its mortgage business and increased technology investments. However, King said that the company expects overall fourth-quarter expenses to be lower than the prior quarter.

* Umpqua Holdings executives on Oct. 17 said that in a bid to grow the bank's earnings in the declining interest rate environment, the company is looking to boost its cost-savings efforts.

* Home BancShares Chairman Johnny Allison has said that these are "really dangerous times" for banks and they should move cautiously. Allison called some of his peers "stupid" for offering certain loan terms.

* The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Contract Compliance Programs entered into a conciliation agreement with Wells Fargo to resolve allegations of gender-based discrimination in Virginia and Utah, and race discrimination in Arizona.

* Goldman Sachs has held two rounds of negotiations with the Malaysian authorities to drop criminal charges against three of its units involved in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, Nikkei Asian Review reports citing Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas. The parties are yet to settle on a compensation amount.

* Fed supervisors, in recent conversations with senior bankers, have tried to signal banks that they could use excess reserves to lend in repo markets rather than hold onto more cash, and the move may help boost liquidity in the overnight lending markets, sources for Reuters say.

* Nassau Financial Group agreed to buy Foresters Financial Holding and unit Foresters Life Insurance & Annuity in a deal expected to close by the first quarter of 2020.

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