Meanwhile, In Sweden, Banks Are Refusing To Open Savings Accounts

Here’s more from Radio Sweeden:

Richard Landén from Helsingborg, southwest Sweden, tried to open a simple savings account at Swedbank. But the bank wanted him to move over his entire account, including his monthly salary deposits and any savings he had.

“You have to be an complete customer, they said. It’s either that or nothing at all, apparently,” Landén told Swedish Radio News.

Swedbank declined to comment on the case.

Sweden’s central bank has cut its key interest rate, the repo rate, to -0.35 percent, meaning making a profit on savings alone has become nearly impossible. The central bank will announce its next interest rate decision on Thursday.

Exactly how many people have been denied opening a savings account is hard to say. But savings advisor Claes Hemberg at Avanza Bank thinks it’s a new trend. Several customers have been in touch with him about it

“Yes, savers get in touch and ask: ‘Can the bank refuse me?'” he said.


“I think it’s pretty bad style. At the same time, I have been a customer there before five years ago and has been very well treated. In this case, it was quite the contrary. It was a strange attitude from the beginning, I think,” says Landen.

According to Swedish law, barring any extenuating circumstances like suspected money laundering or large debts, banks are not allowed to deny anyone from opening an account.

Asian shares fall for third day on global growth concerns

Asian shares fell for a third straight day on Wednesday as weak manufacturing reports from China, the United States and Europe fueled worries about slowing global growth, while the dollar took back some ground lost in the previous session to the safe-haven Japanese yen.

But European markets were seen opening higher and U.S. stock futures rose, suggesting some respite for jittery markets later in the global day after Wall Street shares fell close to 3 percent overnight.

Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 to open up by around 0.5 percent, Germany’s DAX to open around 0.5 percent higher and France’s CAC 40 to open up 0.7 percent.

Read on.

Bank of England chief ‘was told about Libor scandal’

The Times UK website (sub. req.):

New questions have been raised over how much the Bank of England knew about the “low-balling” of Libor by lenders during the financial crisis after the emergence of an email from a top financier warning officials that rates were susceptible to rigging.

Obama Administration Helps Wall Street Criminals Dodge Accountability

Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase appeared to score a significant victory Tuesday after the Department of Housing and Urban Development suggested it won’t punish lenders for major crimes committed by their corporate parents.

The announcement concerns a requirement that lenders in HUD’s mortgage insurance program certify they haven’t been convicted of violating federal antitrust laws or other serious crimes. Citi and JPMorgan in May pleaded guilty to felony charges that they broke federal antitrust laws for their traders’ participation in a yearslong scheme to manipulate currency markets for profit. Both companies own banks that make mortgages that are later insured by the HUD-overseen Federal Housing Administration.

But on Tuesday, Secretary Julián Castro’s housing agency proposed modifying the required certification in a way that would apply only to HUD-registered lenders. The lenders’ parent companies wouldn’t be on the hook, thus seemingly enabling Citi and JPMorgan’s HUD-registered units to continue certifying that they haven’t pleaded guilty to federal antitrust charges.

Read on.

U.S. stocks plummet on China fears; Dow down 12.5% from peak

Interesting in Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad’s Prophecy, he predicted  in 2002 that the biggest stock market crash in U.S. history would happen sometime around 2016.

A small bit of bad economic news from China sparked a big global reaction as U.S. stocks followed the rest of the world’s markets down sharply Tuesday, a sign of investors’ deepening concerns about the strength of the Chinese economy.

The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 3%, falling 469.68 points, to 16,058.35, while the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 58.33, also about 3%, to 1,913.85.

The latest sell-off comes after stocks rebounded last week with the biggest two-day rally in seven years and continues the wild volatility that has marked trading sessions for more than two weeks. Despite the two-day gain, Dow has lost nearly 2,500 points over nine other days.

Read on.

Miami mortgage lawsuits vs BofA, Citigroup, Wells Fargo are revived

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived three lawsuits in which the City of Miami accused Wells Fargo & Co, Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc of predatory mortgage lending to black and Hispanic borrowers.

By a 3-0 vote, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a lower court erred in dismissing the city’s claims under the federal Fair Housing Act, over what Miami called a decade of lending discrimination in its residential housing market.

“It is clear that the harm the city claims to have suffered has a sufficiently close connection to the conduct the statute prohibits,” Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus wrote.

U.S. cities including Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and Memphis have with mixed success accused banks of biased mortgage lending that prolonged the nation’s housing crisis.

Miami alleged that Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citigroup steered non-white borrowers into higher-cost loans they often could not afford, even if they had good credit.

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HUD proposes new rules for FHA loans

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday a series of proposed changes to the rules for lenders that remit loans to theFederal Housing Administration.

Answering questions raised by, amongst others, leading Democrats on the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees, HUD released a revision to its previously announced proposal to change the FHA loan level and lender certifications that each lender must adhere to.

The previous proposal eliminated the requirement that lenders approved by the FHA certify on each loan application that they are not, or have not recently been, subject to certain charges or penalties.

Read on.