Because it was not represented by a lawyer, Judge Gregory Woods of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has dismissed a lawsuit filed by asset management firm BlackCrown Inc. that sought to stop Charles Schwab Corp. from merging with TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. In a Jan. 2 decision, the judge said BlackCrown, as any other corporation under the law, can still refile the case if it wishes to, but has to retain a licensed lawyer. BlackCrown CEO Franklin Tsung signed and filed the lawsuit Dec. 18, 2019, on his own behalf.
The Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority has commissioned so-called skilled person reports on the quality of financial reporting it receives from some of the biggest U.S. banks, Sky News reports, citing unnamed city sources. The move comes after the PRA fined Citigroup Inc.'s U.K. operations £44 million in November 2019 over poor internal controls and governance arrangements that resulted in the group's units submitting incomplete and inaccurate regulatory returns. Reportedly to be included in the accounting reviews are Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, the U.K. operations of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Canadian lender Bank of Nova Scotia.
A group of organizers, several of whom are affiliated with Valkyrie Equities Corp., applied Dec. 26, 2019, for deposit insurance with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for de novo TYME Bank, American Banker reports. The organizers intend to raise $32 million to $36 million in initial capital for the Dallas-based entity, which is expected to open in the third quarter, with Valkyrie Equities Chairman and CFO Joseph Hansen as the proposed CEO and vice chairman.
A Bank of America Corp. client, Du'Bois Crockrom, filed a proposed class-action lawsuit Jan. 2 against the bank for allegedly charging him and millions of other customers nationwide overdraft fees for non-recurring debit card purchases despite the bank's announcement that it would not do so. Crockrom claimed Bank of America breached its contractual obligations to its customers, damaging them monetarily.
The Federal Reserve's apparent lack of support to the proposed Community Reinvestment Act reforms being pushed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. leaves the central bank three options to make, American Banker reports, citing analysts. The central bank could issue its own CRA reform proposal, join the OCC and the FDIC in their proposal, or just leave things as they are now. Fed board Gov. Lael Brainard, who coordinates the central bank's approach to the CRA, is set to talk on CRA modernization at the Urban Institute Jan. 8, possibly clarifying the Fed's views on the matter, the news outlet notes.
Several former Wells Fargo & Co. executives are being probed over a 2016 fake-account scandal and may face criminal charges shortly, American Banker reports, citing sources familiar with the situation. In September 2016, Wells Fargo unit Wells Fargo Bank NA was fined $185 million by regulators for secretly opening more than 2 million unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts. Citing one source, the report said prosecutors from the Department of Justice in California and North Carolina are conducting the federal criminal investigation, with the help of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Longfin Corp. CEO Venkata Meenavalli agreed to pay $400,000 in disgorgement and penalties to settle fraud charges brought by the SEC, according to a news release from the regulator. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, concludes the SEC's actions against the company, Meenavalli and three other individuals. The regulator alleged that Longfin and Meenavalli obtained qualification for a Regulation A+ offering by falsely representing in public filings that the company was managed and operated in the U.S.
In other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: China updates lending rules; Indian bourse seeks approval for IPO
Europe: Commerzbank to raise Comdirect stake; Gibraltar bank levy; Danske fine estimate
Middle East & Africa: Burgan Bank to sell stake in Iraqi bank; 2 Angolan lenders set to recapitalize
Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence
Valuation trends set to encourage FIG IPOs in 2020: The IPO class of 2019 in the financial institutions space was not the biggest of all time, but the stock performance of those newly public companies and of the sector should entice others to consider going public.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng lost 0.95% to 28,180.28, while the Nikkei 225 was down 1.91% to 23,204.86.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 slid 0.94% to 7,550.50, and the Euronext 100 fell 1.13% to 1,144.27.
On the macro front
The PMI Services Index and TD Ameritrade IMX 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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