Financial Services and Banking

Reuters | |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday asked for public comment on broker-dealer custody of digital assets and how the broker-dealers should be regulated when holding these products and recommending them to investors, the agency said in a statement.

The move, which the agency says will help inform future regulatory action in this market, comes after a July 2019 notice of guidance the SEC issued mandating firms comply with the customer protection rule, which requires broker-dealers to safeguard both the cash and securities of their customers. It does not currently address digital assets.

Reuters | |

JPMorgan Chase & Co’s expenses in 2021 will likely top $67 billion, slightly more than analysts’ estimates, because of company investments CEO Jamie Dimon said on Tuesday at an investor conference.

Dimon, speaking in a webcast video interview by Goldman Sachs banking analyst Richard Ramsden, also said he would like to buy asset management businesses and financial technology companies.

Addressing the camera, Dimon said, “Asset management: My line is open.”

Reuters | |

Videogame retailer GameStop Corp missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue on Tuesday as pandemic-led store closures and intense competition from digital-game sellers hit sales.

The company’s shares were down 4.2% at $16.13 in extended trading, as it said comparable store sales fell 24.6% during the quarter.

A rise in the popularity of videogame streaming and surging digital downloads of console games have hit GameStop’s sales growth, with coronavirus-driven curbs heaping more pressure on the videogame retailer.

Reuters | |

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a law to kick Chinese companies off U.S. stock exchanges if they do not fully comply with the country’s auditing rules, giving President Donald Trump one more tool to threaten Beijing with before leaving office.

The measure passed the House by unanimous voice vote, after passing the Senate unanimously in May, sending it to Trump, who the White House said is expected to sign it into law.

“The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act” bars securities of foreign companies from being listed on any U.S. exchange if they have failed to comply with the U.S. Public Accounting Oversight Board’s audits for three years in a row.

Reuters | |

Nasdaq Inc on Tuesday filed a proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that, if approved, will require all Nasdaq-listed companies to adopt new rules related to board diversity and disclosure or potentially face delisting.

The new rules will require most Nasdaq-listed companies to have, or publicly explain why they do not have, at least two diverse directors, including one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+.

All companies will be expected to have one diverse director within two years of the SEC’s approval of the new rule.

Reuters | |

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has upgraded U.S. equities to “overweight”, turning bullish on quality large cap technology companies as well as small cap firms that tend to perform well during a cyclical upswing.

The asset manager said it prefers the United States as it “boasts” a higher share of “quality” companies with strong balance sheets and free cash flow generation in the high-flying tech and healthcare sectors.

The resurgence in virus cases in Europe and the United States could lead to further outperformance of large cap tech and healthcare companies, it added.

Reuters | |

Exchange operator Nasdaq Inc said on Thursday it would buy anti-financial crime software firm Verafin for $2.75 billion in cash, significantly expanding its reach in the regulatory technology market.

Verafin, founded in 2003, provides more than 2,000 financial institutions in North America a cloud-based platform to help detect, investigate, and report money laundering and financial fraud.

Nasdaq will aim to provide Verafin’s technology to the 250 banks, exchanges, broker-dealers and buy-side organizations, and regulatory authorities, that use its trade surveillance systems, the company said.

Reuters | |

SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said on Tuesday he is sitting on about $80 billion in cash for investment opportunities and share buybacks, and vowed to stick with his famously big bets on technology companies.

The move into cash by selling some SoftBank investments is in part due to concern over the continued spread of the coronavirus globally, Son told the DealBook Online Summit hosted by the New York Times.

“It’s the first time in our history to liquidate any of the assets as quickly as possible,” Son, speaking from Tokyo, said of SoftBank’s recent sales.

Reuters | |

PNC Financial Services Group Inc is in advanced talks to buy the U.S. arm of Spanish bank BBVA for more than $10 billion in an all-cash deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A deal between PNC, which is one of the largest local U.S. lenders by assets, and BBVA’s U.S. arm could be announced as early as this week, the source said on Sunday.

Reuters | |

JPMorgan is no longer the world’s most systemically-important bank, according to rankings for additional capital requirements published by the Financial Stability Board on Wednesday.

After banks had to be rescued by taxpayers in the financial crisis over a decade ago, regulators have ranked the world’s most important banks in a series of capital “buckets” according to their size, international reach and complexity.

JPMorgan had been alone in having to hold extra capital equivalent to 2.5% of its assets on a risk-weighted basis out of the 30 top banks listed by the FSB, which coordinates financial rules for the Group of 20 Economies (G20).