SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce — who dissented from the regulator's majority opinion to again decline a proposal in July to list a bitcoin exchange-traded fund — said she believes that ETFs would help stabilize underlying concerns in the bitcoin market. Peirce believes U.S. regulatory bodies need to provide guidance on cryptocurrency or risk losing the innovation race to other countries.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Robert Jackson Jr. said that the cryptocurrency markets are "far too young" for products such as ETFs. He also said he is not worried that the slow pace of regulation could put the country behind other countries' innovation efforts. "The idea that we might somehow fall behind by protecting the American people from dangerous investments is contrary to that entire history."
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, wrote to Wells Fargo & Co. demanding more details about its loan modification error that caused about 400 customers to lose their homes to foreclosure. Schatz, among other things, wants to know what methodology did the bank use to determine that $8 million should be accrued for remedying affected customers.
Piper Jaffray analysts, in an industry note, wrote that Wells Fargo's branch reduction plans in the Pacific Northwest and broader Western region could off-load between $1.0 billion and $2.5 billion in deposits. Banner Corp. and First Interstate BancSystem Inc., according to the analysts, are the banks likely to assume $1 billion in deposits from Wells Fargo in the region.
Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bancshares Inc. is buying Hutchinson Shockey Erley & Co., a public finance investment bank and broker/dealer based in Chicago.
Christopher Rollins, CEO of London-based BTIG Ltd., is suing his former employer, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., who dismissed him for allowing unauthorized trades, Reuters reports. Rollins — who was Goldman's co-head of trading execution for Europe, the Middle East and Africa — claims that the company fired him because he reported questionable activity about the company's dealings with an unidentified "notorious European businessman." His lawsuit, which seeks at least $50 million plus punitive damages, also accuses Goldman of defamation.
A group of organizers filed an application with the FDIC to open a de novo bank in New York, to be called Piermont Bank, American Banker reports. Citing a Form D filed by Ivy Financial Development LLC, the publication wrote that the group is comprised of Wendy Cai-Lee, Johan Seo and Steve LaFredo — all of whom previously worked at Pasadena, Calif.-based East West Bank — as well as Frank Fusco.
Bank of Nova Scotia is looking to expand the product offerings for Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., the asset management firm it acquired in May, Bloomberg News reports. Glen Gowland, the bank's executive vice president of global wealth management, said that he sees the potential for more global investing.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. is working with advisers about the possibility of selling its asset manager, OppenheimerFunds Inc., sources for Bloomberg say.
Fintech firm Performant Financial Corp. is acquiring Premiere Credit of North America, LLC, an ECMC Group Inc. affiliate that provides recovery services to government, student loan and commercial clients.
In other parts of the world
Asia Pacific: Aussie banks to fix anti-fraud controls; Vietnam to limit foreign bank licenses
Europe: Deutsche Bank in spotlight over FBME transfers; UK faces '20 years of low rates'
Middle East & Africa: Gulf states making progress in Bahrain aid talks; United Arab Bank downgraded
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.84% to 28,366.62, and the Nikkei 225 declined 1.33% to 22,298.08.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.76% to 7,682.32, and the Euronext 100 was down 1.10% to 1,066.65.
On the macro front
The Treasury Budget report, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report and the consumer price index are due out today.
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Connecticut-based CEO says new rule could put a damper on CU mergers: The president and CEO of Nutmeg State Financial CU said the National Credit Union Administration's new rule that aims to provide credit union members with more transparency when institutions look to merge is simply too intrusive in the merger process.
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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