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Citibank fined over student loan failures; Wells Fargo sued over 401(k) plan


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Citibank fined over student loan failures; Wells Fargo sued over 401(k) plan

Federal banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the OCC, finalized the extension of certain capital rules, following an August plan to freeze the phasing in of Basel III capital rules and a September proposal regarding the treatment of mortgage servicing assets. The rule takes effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and applies to banks not subject to the "advanced approaches" capital rules.

Meanwhile, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said inflation would pick back up to the Fed's target of 2% within the next couple of years, but she is "very uncertain" about that forecast. Speaking during an appearance at New York University, Yellen added that the Fed is now "reasonably close" to meeting its dual mandate of keeping unemployment low and prices stable.

In banking news, Wells Fargo & Co. and several of its executives are being sued over the company's 401(k) plan. Plaintiff Stacey Wayman is accusing the company and its executives of failing to choose less expensive and better performing investment options for the plan. She also said Wells Fargo breached its duty to avoid conflict of interest after it picked mutual funds run by affiliates.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Citibank NA $2.8 million in civil monetary penalty for allegedly deceiving student loan borrowers into believing that they were not eligible for tax deductions on some interest payments; misrepresenting the minimum amount to be paid; and erroneously terminating borrowers' in-school deferments. The CFPB also ordered the Citigroup Inc. subsidiary to allot no less than $3.8 million to redress the impact on customers.

An Indonesian court ordered Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to return its shares in PT Hanson International to Benny Tjokrosaputro and to pay 320.88 billion rupiah, or $23.71 million, in compensation, Reuters reports. Tjokrosaputro, the president director of Hanson International, had sued Goldman Sachs for allegedly making unlawful trades and claiming ownership of 425 million shares.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is weighing whether to provide its customers access to CME Group Inc.'s Bitcoin trading options through the futures-brokerage unit, The Wall Street Journal reports. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had openly criticized bitcoin in the past, calling it a "fraud." CME Group expects to begin trading in bitcoin futures in the second week of December.

Shareholders of Zions Bancorp. are expected to benefit in the company's latest move to remove its status as a systemically important financial institution, Antony Currie said in his BreakingViews piece. However, he also noted that the move could not improve one thing — the company's loan demand. "It's hard to make money on these with interest rates so low," Currie said. "And the struggle to boost returns, especially with potentially reduced oversight, could foment dumb credit decisions."

A federal court jury acquitted Stefan Buck, a former Swiss banker, over allegations that he helped U.S. clients evade taxes by hiding them in offshore accounts, Reuters reports.

And in the fintech space, iPayment Inc. is acquiring Leaders Merchant Services, which specializes in credit and debit card processing and point-of-sale solutions.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: HSBC unit fined over Lehman-linked products; Mitsubishi UFJ to cut workforce

Europe: BPCE out of G-SIB list; HSBC unit fined in Hong Kong; Equita SIM prices IPO

Middle East & Africa: Mugabe resigns; Leumi Q3 profit drops; Nigeria rate on hold

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.62% to 30,003.49 and the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.48% to 22,523.15.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.47% to 7,446.25 and the Euronext 100 rose 0.05% to 1,039.58.

On the macro front

The EIA Petroleum Status Report, EIA Natural Gas Report and the Federal Open Market Committee minutes are due out today.

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