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Thursday Express: BNY Mellon Q4'19 EPS up YOY; Florida banks merging

* Bank of New York Mellon reported fourth-quarter 2019 net income applicable to common shareholders of $1.39 billion, or $1.52 per share, compared to $832 million, or 84 cents per share, in the same quarter in 2018.

* Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, Home BancShares, People's United Financial and Bank OZK are also expected to release their earnings reports today.

* In Florida, in-state peers Beach Community Bank and First City Bank of Florida have agreed to merge in a deal expected to close in the second quarter.

* Taunton, Mass.-based Bristol County Savings Bank has agreed to acquire Greenville, R.I.-based Freedom National Bank in a deal expected to close in the second quarter.

* Contrary to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's plan to allow debt collectors to have unlimited contact with debtors through email and text through revisions to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the states of New York and California are set to get tough on debt collectors, even contemplating licensing them, American Banker reports.

* Citigroup's pay equity review shows that the median pay for its women employees globally is better than 73% of the median for men, up from 71% last year, while the median pay for U.S. minorities working for Citigroup is 94% of the median for non-minorities, up from 93% last year, according to a blog post on the company's website.

* The U.S. economy continued to grow at a modest pace in the final six weeks of 2019, and the expectations for the near-term outlook remained modestly favorable across the nation, the Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book found.

* Moody's said the current expected credit loss standard, or CECL, is unlikely to change its assessment of a bank's credit strength and will have a "limited impact" on the loan loss reserves of most listed large U.S. banks.

* In a letter to the House Financial Services subcommittee on investor protection, entrepreneurship and capital markets, the Credit Union National Association urged the lawmakers to at least gather more significant information about the impact of the current expected loss standard, or CECL, to improve the new accounting standard.

* Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan said Jan. 15 he would like the Federal Reserve to find a way to temper balance sheet growth while still adequately managing repo operations.

* On the insurance front, Arch Capital Group has promoted Chris Hovey to COO, Reinsurance News reports.

* Talbot Underwriting's chief underwriting officer since 2017, James Skinner, will retire in summer, Insurance Insider reports.

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