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The Monday Express: North American financials

* Illinois isset to suspend "billionsof dollars in investment activity" with Wells Fargo in the wake of the discoverythat the company opened millions of unauthorized accounts for customers, state TreasurerMichael Frerichs said. Frerichs plans to reveal the details of the suspension today,Reuters reports.

* Maryland StateTreasurer Nancy Kopp and Howard County are also reviewingtheir relationships with Wells, the BaltimoreBusiness Journal reports.

* In Illinois,Prospect Federal Savings Bank ($240.8 million) is merging with Hoyne Savings Bank ($269.2 million).

* And UnitedCommunity Bancorp is acquiringLiberty Bank ($328.2 million), reports.

* In Ohio, SouthernHills Community Bank ($86.3 million) and Ripley Federal Savings Bank ($67.1 million)have agreed to merge,The (Hillsboro) Times-Gazette reports.

* House FinancialServices Committee's Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprisesintends to hold a hearingbefore the end of the year to examine how federal regulation is impacting short-termfunding markets.

* Thrivent Financialfor Lutherans is the latest insurance industry participant to file a in the aftermathof the U.S. Department of Labor's April issuance of its final fiduciary rule. Itis contesting a provision of the Best Interest Contract, or BIC, exemption thatimposes limitations on arbitration.

* CNO Financialis not the only U.S. life and health insurer to allegedly encounter in recent weeks associated withthe investments backing certain agreements with offshore reinsurers.

* The FederalInsurance Office has taken note of the efforts made by state regulators to checkup on captive reinsurers, but maintains that the regime is still not stringent enough.

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