Daily Archives: April 26, 2015

Alert Sounded About Cheating on Mortgage-Licensing Exams

Test files are for frat houses, not your mortgage business.

That is the clear takeaway from a recent $5.3 million fine and consentorder slapped on New Day Financial in Fulton, Md., which had saved questions and answers from past licensing exams for new test-takers. A joint settlement was reached with regulators from 43 states, who deemed the practice a violation of the rules of conduct for mortgage-license testing and continuing education.

It is unclear how widespread the problem is, but the incident raises doubts at an important time, given the recent rise in licensing-renewal rates among individual loan officers and financial institutions.

When asked whether there have been other instances of licensing-test fraud or cheating, a Conference of State Bank Supervisors official said it was the first one made public.

Read on.

HSBC Launches Immediate Review Of UK Base

And don’t move to the U.S!

HSBC has launched a review of the location of its headquarters that could see it leave the UK, Europe’s biggest bank‎ confirmed.

In a statement issued after Sky News exclusively revealed details of its plans, Douglas Flint, HSBC’s chairman, said executives had been asked by the lender’s board to undertake a review of its UK base.

“As I said at our informal meeting in Hong Kong on Monday, we are beginning to see the final shape of regulation and of structural reform, including the requirement to ring fence in the UK,” Mr Flint is expected to say at HSBC’s annual general meeting in London later.

“As part of the broader strategic review taking place, the board has therefore now asked management to commence work to look at where the best place is for HSBC to be headquartered in this new environment.

“The question is a complex one and it is too soon to say how long this will take or what the conclusion will be; but the work is under way.”

Read on.


A Florida appeals court judge invoked the classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life in a foreclosure ruling this week that sent the bank packing.

In the two-page judgment issued Wednesday, 4th District Court of Appeal Judge Robert Gross says in It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey makes loans to his neighbors in Bedford Falls.

“No doubt, he took the notes and mortgages and put them in the safe in the back room, where the only risk was Uncle Billy and his failing memory. When George faces a monetary crisis, his neighbors step up with Christmas Eve donations to save George and his building and loan.

“Those days are long gone,” the judge writes.

More here…

JP Morgan closes accounts of pot entrepreneur Martin Tobias

After more than 20 years of banking with JPMorgan Chase, formerMicrosoft executive and marijuana entrepreneur Martin Tobias saw his business and personal accounts terminated this week.

Chase spokeswoman Patricia Wexler confirmed that both of Tobias’s accounts have been shut down, but as policy she would not give more details about his case.

“We are closely following federal guidance on this matter,” she said, explaining that the bank doesn’t work with marijuana businesses. “If we find out that someone is in the business after they have already been banking with us, then we take steps to close that account.”

The “War On Cash” Migrates To Switzerland

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum via Acting-Man blog,

Banks Increasingly Refuse Cash Withdrawals – Switzerland Joins the Fun

The war on cash is proliferating globally. It appears that the private members of the world’s banking cartels are increasingly joining the fun, even if it means trampling on the rights of their customers.

Yesterday we came across an article at Zerohedge, in which Dr. Salerno of the Mises Institute notes that JP Morgan Chase has apparently joined the “war on cash”, by “restricting the use of cash in selected markets, restricting borrowers from making cash payments on credit cards, mortgages, equity lines and auto loans, as well as prohibiting storage of cash in safe deposit boxes”.

This reminded us immediately that we have just come across another small article in the local European press (courtesy of Dan Popescu), in which a Swiss pension fund manager discusses his plight with the SNB’s bizarre negative interest rate policy. In Switzerland this policy has long ago led to negative deposit rates at the commercial banks as well. The difference to other jurisdictions is however that negative interest rates have become so pronounced, that it is by now worth it to simply withdraw one’s cash and put it into an insured vault.

Having realized this, said pension fund manager, after calculating that he would save at least 25,000 CHF per year on every CHF 10 m. deposit by putting the cash into a vault, told his bank that he was about to make a rather big withdrawal very soon. After all, as a pension fund manager he has a fiduciary duty to his clients, and if he can save money based on a technicality, he has to do it.