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JPMorgan agrees to close gender pay gap; Citi to refund $335M to card clients

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said he would support three or four interest rate increases from the central bank in 2018, according to Reuters. He said the first of those hikes should come in "in the near future."

In banking news, JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to close its gender pay gap, and has become the sixth U.S. financial institution to disclose efforts to address gender pay inequity. This is in response to shareholder proposals from Arjuna Capital LLC calling for detailed reports and wage data disclosure. On its website, JPMorgan notes that based on its most recent pay equity review, women in its global workforce are paid 99% of what men are paid. The company also disclosed that minority employees in the U.S. are paid more than 99% of what non-minority employees are paid. Arjuna Capital promptly withdrew its proposal following the disclosure.

Bank of America Corp. is the latest financial institution to address clients who are gunmakers following a school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead. BofA plans to ask clients that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use what the bank can do to help end gun violence, Reuters reports. BlackRock Inc. had also disclosed a similar plan last week, while First National Bank of Omaha said it will drop its Visa credit card co-branded with the National Rifle Association.

Citigroup Inc. will refund approximately $335 million to certain credit card customers, after it identified "methodological issues" with how it determined annual percentage rates for certain credit card accounts. The issues were tied to provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act and Regulation Z.

New York-based Carver Federal Savings Bank sold its branch at 75 W. 125th Street to a real estate firm for about $19.5 million.

Following an internal probe into the Stilwell group's allegations against HopFed Bancorp Inc. CEO John Peck over his real estate ownership, a special litigation committee at the Hopkinsville, Ky.-based company found no basis for the company to sue Peck for breaches of fiduciary duty.

BB&T Corp. experienced an outage late afternoon on Feb. 22 that affected its systems, including online and mobile banking platforms, and its automated teller machines. In a statement posted on the bank's website, Chairman and CEO Kelly King apologized to customers for the "major inconvenience" and explained that the outage was caused by an equipment malfunction in one of the company's data centers. "At this time, we have no reason to believe this issue is related to cybersecurity," he noted. King also said that the company's systems have substantially recovered.

And brokerage firm Charles Schwab Corp. named Joseph Martinetto COO.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: QBE to divest LatAm ops; Indonesian president nominates new central bank chief

Europe: Deutsche Bank to float DWS unit; NIBC confirms IPO plans; SEB CFO to leave

Middle East & Africa: First Abu Dhabi Bank eyes Saudi branch; Kenyan rate-cap law set for reform

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.74% to 31498.6. The Nikkei 225 climbed 1.19% to 22,153.63.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.51% to 7,281.51, and the Euronext 100 added 0.67% to 1,033.57.

On the macro front

The Chicago Fed national activity index, the Dallas Fed manufacturing survey and the new home sales report are due out today.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.