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In This List

FDIC OKs CRA changes; PayPal sues CFPB; muni-bond bankers see rosy 2020

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FDIC OKs CRA changes; PayPal sues CFPB; muni-bond bankers see rosy 2020

A proposal to redesign the Community Reinvestment Act passed a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board vote 3-1, though tempers flared during the meeting. The proposed rule would create an entirely new framework for banks to provide banking services to low-income neighborhoods and distressed communities.

To settle a long-standing litigation, NCR Corp. has agreed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Justice Department; the Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Trustee Council; and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy that the company would spend a total of $245.2 million to clean up and fund future response actions at a significant portion of the Allied Paper Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund site. NCR said the cleanup work is expected to be done over the next 20 years, and it will seek significant contributions from its indemnitors.

PayPal Inc. is suing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over a rule on prepaid accounts that became effective earlier this year, arguing in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the rule is against the law and would force the company to make disclosures that confuse consumers as to its products' actual costs. Paypal said the rule overlooks the differences between physical prepaid cards and digital wallets.

The Federal Reserve Board on Dec. 5 lifted enforcement actions against JPMorgan Chase & Co., Spirit BankCorp Inc. and U.S. Bancorp. JPMorgan was ordered in January 2013 to enhance Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering program compliance at its subsidiaries. Spirit BankCorp was required in August 2012 to submit an acceptable written plan to keep sufficient consolidated capital. In February 2018, U.S. Bancorp got a cease and desist order over its alleged lack of risk management and compliance policies and procedures to ensure that its unit, US Bank NA, is aligned with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering requirements.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released the schedule of repurchase agreement operations for the monthly period from Dec. 13 through Jan. 14, 2020. The overnight repo offering will increase to at least $150 billion on Dec. 31 and Jan. 2, 2020. The New York Fed will also offer a $75 billion repo on Dec. 30 that settles Dec. 31 and matures Jan. 2, 2020.

With lower interest rates reducing borrowing costs to nearly the lowest level in over 50 years, banks dealing in municipal bonds anticipate their business to surge further in 2020 even after a 24% jump in 2019, Bloomberg News reports, citing analysts. Underwriters Loop Capital and Hilltop Securities expect sales to reach $450 billion, while Bank of America Corp. envisions debt issuance of about $430 billion, beating the record $425 billion sales in 2016, the news outlet reports.

A three-person arbitration panel at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has ordered UBS Financial Services Inc. to pay over $11 million to a fired supervisor for putting defamatory statements in his departure paper, preventing him from getting a new job in the industry, InvestmentNews reports. The panel ordered UBS Financial Services to instead put "terminated without cause" as the reason for his departure on his Form U5.

A note that says "out of market today" is being used by Australian prosecutors to pin down Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG in a criminal cartel case against the banks, Reuters reports. The note was taken by JPMorgan compliance chief Oliver Bainbridge during a conference call with the other two banks in 2015, which prosecutors say shows the three agreed to not sell stock for Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. to boost its price, according to the news outlet.

Wells Fargo & Co.'s brokerage unit, Wells Fargo Advisors, was able to entice more than 1,000 advisers to sign up for the firm's new succession plan, which gives them bonuses for staying with the company until retirement and helps younger advisers who are taking on the business of those who are retiring, InvestmentNews reports. The new succession plan, called the Summit Program, also offers an additional bonus of 25% of the advisers' "trailing 12," according to the news outlet.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon told the bank's 38,000 employees in a memo Dec. 12 that he is moving the bank's senior leadership team's offices from the 41st floor down to the 12th, where they can be closer to the staff and bring transparency to how they run the company, Business Insider reports.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Bank of Baroda sells Caribbean unit; Bangkok Bank to buy Bank Permata

Europe: Johnson wins UK poll; ING capital requirement up; Moneta signs €180M deal

Middle East & Africa: Fitch downgrades Lebanon; Mozambique's central bank holds key rate

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Failures bring undercapitalized US bank count down to 8: The undercapitalized bank trend for U.S. banks and thrifts has plateaued during the last eight quarters, ranging from 10 to 14. In the previous eight quarters, the range was 17 to 36. Twelve banks were undercapitalized as of Sept. 30. Since then, four of them have become historical.

2 banks set to cross $10B asset mark: Olney, Md.-based Sandy Spring Bancorp and Toms River, N.J.-based OceanFirst Financial are set to cross the $10 billion threshold as a result of pending acquisitions.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng inched up 2.57% to 27,687.76, and the Nikkei 225 rose 2.55% to 24,023.10.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1.84% to 7,406.99, and the Euronext 100 increased 1.11% to 1,138.63.

On the macro front

The retail sales report, the import and export prices, the business inventories report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count 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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