Daily Archives: May 6, 2017

Chinese group becomes biggest shareholder of Deutsche Bank as investors revolt

Conglomerate HNA has upped its stake in the bank to 9.92 percent as a result of a voting rights announcement and share package worth £2.8billion (€3.4bn).

The Chinese have replaced the ruling family of Qatar al-Thani as the largest Deutsche Bankshareholder.

The bank’s British CEO John Cryan is attempting to rebuild Deutsche after tearing up his turnaround strategy after 17 months.

Read on.

Spain probes ex-HSBC executives over money laundering

(AFP) A Spanish court is probing seven former executives of HSBC’s private Swiss bank on suspicion of money laundering following an investigation of documents in the “Swissleaks” scandal on bank-supported tax evasion, legal sources said on Thursday.

In an order dated January but not published until now, the National High Court named seven persons under suspicion of “persistent money laundering and criminal association” who in 2006 and 2007 held senior positions at the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC.

They include former chairman of the board Peter Widmer and former CEOs Christopher Meares and Clive Bannister.

The investigation, which began in May 2016, is based on the “Falciani list”, a cache of files listing unreported accounts of customers of the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC which was stolen in 2008 by former employee Herve Falciani.

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L.A. City Attorney wants more info from Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Co. is making progress toward meeting the requirements of a settlement agreement it reached last year with the Los Angeles city attorney’s office but still has a few problems to sort out, according to a report from the bank.

“It shows movement toward making consumers whole and changing Wells Fargo’s business practices for the better — that’s a positive thing,” City Atty. Mike Feuer said Friday. “But by Wells’ own admission, there’s more to be done.”

Last year, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $185 million to Feuer’s office and federal regulators to end investigations into the bank’s creation of as many as 2.1 million unauthorized accounts. As part of its agreement with Feuer’s office, the bank agreed to take several steps to address harm done to California customers.

That included notifying customers that they should visit a branch to review their accounts, pledging to provide printed proof of account closures, refunding fees related to unauthorized accounts and offering a mediation service where customers could demand additional help or repayment.

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Gay rights group turns down Bank of America’s money over HB2 compromise

The nation’s largest gay rights group plans to reject $325,000 in Bank of America sponsorships to protest the role bank executives played in brokering a replacement for North Carolina’s House Bill 2.

The Human Rights Campaign also slashed its Corporate Equality Index scores for the bank and for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which also took part in the talks. The score measures corporate support for policies that affect LGBTQ employees.

Andrea Smith, the bank’s chief administrative officer, and Charles Bowman, the North Carolina market president, were part of a small group of business leaders who helped negotiate the bill that repealed HB2 – known as “the bathroom bill.” The new measure, HB 142, prevents local governments from enacting LGBT protections for four years.

Judge Skewers Wells Fargo at Hearing on Phony-Accounts Scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — A federal judge Thursday appeared skeptical of Wells Fargo’s claim that its board of directors was unaware of the scope of the phony accounts scandal that already has cost the bank more than $300 million in penalties for the misconduct.

During a hearing on a motion to dismiss a shareholder class action, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar appeared to reject arguments that a December 2013 article in the Los Angeles Times could not have put the board on notice about the widespread nature of the bank’s bogus accounts scandal.

“I find it very difficult to read this article and conclude the conduct was geographically limited and not about the unauthorized opening of accounts,” Tigar said.

Wells Fargo attorney Brendan Cullen said one could read the article and conclude the problem was limited to Los Angeles and Orange counties, and there was nothing inherently illegal about the company’s practice of encouraging employees to cross-sell multiple products to customers.

Cullen added that even though former CEO and Chairman of the Board John Stumpf discussed the L.A. Times article with board members at a meeting, it is not known exactly what he said there.

Tigar replied: “I’m having trouble imagining Mr. Stumpf telling the board about the L.A. Times article and saying it’s good news.”

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Meet the two GOP congressmen who didn’t read the health care bill they voted for

Remember this scene from Michael Moore’s documentary movie, Fahrenheit 9/11? Congressman John Conyers explains to Michael Moore that Congress doesn’t read bills. And guess what? They still don’t now! 

The American Health Care Act, last estimated to increase the number of uninsured in the U.S. by 24 million people, was rushed through the House of Representatives on Thursday. It passed by only four votes.

It was rushed through so quickly, in fact, that some members of Congress didn’t even read the full bill, which was amended as late as Wednesday night. Two Republican representatives who voted for the legislation without reading the whole thing were Chris Collins of New York and Thomas Garrett of Virginia.

When asked Thursday by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer whether he was aware that the bill cut a health program that served 635,000 in New York State, Collins saidthat while he had not read the bill himself, “I can also assure you my staff did. We have to rely on our staff.”

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