China’s central bank pledges to continue opening finance sector despite political tensions

August 10, 2020.
Despite escalating tensions between China and the U.S., China’s central bank head pledged Sunday to “resolutely deepen” integration between the world’s two largest economies by continuing to eliminate ownership restrictions for foreign financial firms.

Federal Reserve issues capital requirements tied to stress tests for large banks

August 10, 2020.
The U.S. Federal Reserve rolled out new capital requirements for 34 of the country’s largest banks on Monday, imposing the highest requirements on Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley based on stress tests conducted earlier this year.

Bank of Japan releases roadmap to transition bonds, loans away from LIBOR benchmark

August 7, 2020.
A Bank of Japan committee released a six-quarter timeline on Friday depicting how it will move Japanese financial contracts off a widely used interest rate benchmark before its discontinuation at the end of 2021.

Nuveen eyes expansion of municipal funds as market rebounds from COVID exodus

August 7, 2020.
Nuveen is lifting geographic restrictions on some of its municipal funds to boost trading volumes in a sign that the municipal bond market is rebounding from COVID-19 shocks which triggered widespread fund outflows.

Fed defends Main Street loan program’s sluggish start

August 7, 2020.
A U.S. Federal Reserve official defended the central bank’s loan program meant to help midsize businesses on Friday as U.S. congressional oversight committee members scrutinized how long it took for the program to become operational, how effective the program has been and whether changes to the program are warranted.

Singapore’s central bank extends dividend cap to finance companies

August 7, 2020.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore on Friday urged finance companies to cap their dividends for 2020 as the country continues to navigate the fallout from COVID-19, after making the same request of banks last week.

U.S. household debt falls as credit card balances drop $76B in Q2: NY Fed

August 7, 2020.
U.S. household debt fell for the first time in six years during the second quarter, driven largely by an “unprecedented” $76 billion quarterly decline in credit card balances, according to statistics released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Fed board advances plans for 24/7 US interbank payment settlement service

August 6, 2020.
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board on Thursday approved core features for FedNow, a new real-time interbank system that aims to settle payments instantly nationwide, in a bid to modernize the country’s payment infrastructure.

Mortgage rates continue plunge with 8th record low this year

August 6, 2020.
Mortgage rates hit a new record low for the eighth time this year, Freddie Mac said on Thursday, continuing a trend that has played out as the housing market has recovered amid the COVID-19 economic downturn.

European, Australian economies rebounding faster than US, Bain Capital says

August 6, 2020.
A Bain Capital executive told analysts that the European and Australian economies appear to be recovering more quickly than the U.S. economy, as the country grapples with a resurgence of coronavirus cases and states roll back reopenings.

Bill would mandate Federal Reserve use economic levers to promote racial equity

August 5, 2020.
Democrats in the House and Senate banking committees unveiled legislation on Wednesday that would make unprecedented changes to the mission of the U.S. Federal Reserve, creating a mandate to reduce racial disparity across the economy.

Berkshire Hathaway hikes its Bank of America stake to nearly 12%

August 5, 2020.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway continued its Bank of America share-buying spree, upping its stake in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank to nearly 12% by spending around $337 million, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

Financial agencies prepare guidelines for extending COVID-19 relief loans

August 4, 2020.
A U.S. financial standards body is considering whether to extend loan accommodations across the country in response to the continued coronavirus pandemic, according to a set of new principles released Monday.

NAFCU calls for level playing field between fintechs, traditional lenders

August 4, 2020.
The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions sent a letter to the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Monday asking the regulator to rethink a new plan to offer specialized charters to fintechs.

U.S. Fed official accused of ‘irresponsible’ lobbying for looser bank standards

August 3, 2020.
U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown called out a senior Federal Reserve official for working alongside banking lobbyists for a reduction in capital requirements at financial institutions, calling his actions “outrageous and irresponsible.”

Varo becomes first US fintech allowed to operate as a national bank

Last modified July 31, 2020. Published July 31, 2020.
Mobile banking platform Varo Money received approval from U.S. regulators for a national bank charter, becoming the first fintech to receive that designation as the sector fights for greater legitimacy.

Berkshire Hathaway continues to up stake in Bank of America with $552 million investment

July 31, 2020.
Warren Buffett continued to bet big on Bank of America stock this week, with new regulatory filings showing that Berkshire Hathaway invested another $522 million into the bank’s stock, upping its stake in the bank to nearly 12%.

Fed extends dollar swap lines with nine central banks

July 30, 2020.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has extended its dollar swap lines with nine central banks through March 2021 in order to ease international demand for the currency and facilitate lending to businesses and households domestically and abroad.

Trade groups ask for moratorium on industrial loan companies

July 30, 2020.
A trio of banking trade groups sent a letter to U.S. congressional leaders Wednesday asking them to place a three-year moratorium on industrial loan company applications to close a loophole that the groups say poses a risk to the banking system and consumers.

US Postal Service banking pilot proposal slammed by financial industry trade groups

Last modified July 30, 2020. Published July 30, 2020.
Major trade organizations representing financial institutions came out in opposition to a proposal to allow the U.S. Postal Service to provide banking services, arguing that the move could pose regulatory and consumer protection issues.