Wells Fargo launches $400M fund aimed at minority small-business owners with PPP fees

Wells Fargo said Thursday that it has launched a new $400 million fund that will be fed through the donation of its Paycheck Protection Program fees in order to help small businesses that have taken the brunt of the economic damage caused by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Credit Suisse looks to take full ownership of China joint venture

Credit Suisse said it’s eyeing full ownership of its Chinese securities joint venture just one month after claiming a majority stake in the entity, as the lender looks to expand its presence in China.

KKR to boost permanent capital with Global Atlantic purchase

Private equity firm KKR & Co. said on Wednesday that it will acquire retirement and life insurance company Global Atlantic Financial Group for around $4.4 billion, a deal that will significantly increase its permanent capital base and expand its position in the insurance industry.

PNC appoints new executive committee members, unveils chief corporate responsibility job

Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services added Carole Brown and Richard K. Bynum to its executive committee on Tuesday, bringing new leadership to its asset management unit and creating a company-wide corporate responsibility post in the process.

National Bank of Canada doubles down on fintech as banks rush to boost digital investing features

Montreal-based National Bank of Canada is expanding its collaborative position in Canadian fintech Nest Wealth with an additional strategic investment, speeding up efforts to introduce new digital features for independent brokers on its platform.

RBC commits CA$150M to minority businesses, promises greater leadership diversity

Royal Bank of Canada pledged on Monday to invest 150 million Canadian dollars ($111 million) in black- and Indigenous-owned businesses, as well as raise diversity targets, in the latest move by a global financial firm to confront growing civil unrest over racial disparities and discrimination.

PPP set for extension after House sends bill to Trump

Small businesses will have another five weeks to apply for emergency government-backed loans to help them stay afloat during a COVID-19 resurgence under a bill passed by the House of Representatives late Wednesday that will now go to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Japan’s SBI Holdings acquires minority stake in crypto firm B2C2

Tokyo-based financial services company SBI Holdings has acquired a $30 million minority stake in cryptocurrency trading firm B2C2, a move that further expands SBI Holdings’ existing digital currency focus, the companies said Wednesday.

Barclays Private Bank expands to South Africa as it parts with Absa

Global investment bank Barclays will expand its private banking services to high net worth clients in South Africa as it loses its retail and investment banking foothold in the country.

Mnuchin, Powell face questions over inequity in US COVID relief loans

U.S. lawmakers called on top economic officials Tuesday to address disparities in how banks are distributing federal COVID-19 relief funds to small businesses, communities of color and rural areas as time runs out on the Paycheck Protection Program.

China Pacific Insurance implements controversial AI ‘emotion detection’ tool

China Pacific Insurance Company is incorporating “genuine emotion detection” in order to speed up processing of claims and more effectively detect potential fraud, a type of analytical tool that has sparked controversy over its potential to result in racial and gender bias.

House votes to block OCC’s Community Reinvestment Act overhaul

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Monday to block a recently finalized rule from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that makes significant changes to the application of the Community Reinvestment Act.

Netflix to move up to $100M to Black-owned banks

In an effort to help economically bolster Black communities, Netflix has pledged to allocate up to 2% of its cash holdings, or $100 million, to Black-owned financial institutions in the U.S., the video streaming giant said Tuesday.

Trump administration sued over alleged gutting of anti-redlining laws for lenders

A housing advocacy group filed suit against the Trump administration alleging it dismantled key protections in the Community Reinvestment Act, a Civil Rights-era law designed to encourage banks to lend to borrowers in low- to middle-income neighborhoods.

BlackRock, New Jersey face racial discrimination suit from investment manager Blueprint

BlackRock and New Jersey’s Division of Investment were sued by investment manager Blueprint over claims that the smaller firm was passed over for a contract with the state because it is a black-owned business.

Big insurance brokers ban forced labor in marine-cargo policies

Two of the world’s largest insurance brokers, Marsh & McLennan and Aon, joined with Fidelis Insurance in creating a new clause for London-market marine cargo insurance policies that requires adherence to laws regarding forced labor, as companies providing financial services in Britain continue to reckon with the country’s legacy in the slave trade.

Amazon launches $2B venture fund for sustainable companies

Amazon will establish a $2 billion venture capital investment fund to support the development of sustainable technologies and services as part of a commitment last year to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, the massive Seattle-based online marketplace said Tuesday.

Economic justice group calls for NAIC to combat racial bias in insurance

An economic justice advocacy group called on U.S. insurers and their regulators to develop tools for identifying and addressing racial bias in their businesses practices, claiming that the industry has “consistently opposed” such efforts in the past.

Minority depository institution assets grew 5.3% in 2019, NCUA says

Assets in minority depository institutions, which typically operate in areas underserved by traditional banks, grew by 5.3% last year to $40.5 billion, while mergers reduced the number of locations, the National Credit Union Administration said.

BOE, Lloyd’s take steps to address slavery connections

The Bank of England will be removing all remaining portraits on display of former governors or directors who had links to the slave trade, the central bank said Friday, a day after the U.K. financial world saw insurance giant Lloyd’s of London apologize for its role in the slave trade.

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