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Jul 22, 2014

Banks trade barbs with U.S. Senate panel in tax avoidance probe

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank and
Barclays on Tuesday locked horns with a U.S. Senate
committee that has accused them of selling option products to
hedge funds to help them avoid taxes.

Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund, defended the
so-called basket options it used, saying at a hearing of the
Senate Permanent Subcommittee for Investigations that they
served legitimate business purposes.

Jul 21, 2014

Commissioner O’Malia to leave U.S. CFTC swaps watchdog

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) – Commissioner Scott O’Malia
said on Monday he intends to leave the U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission, creating a vacancy just a short while after
Chairman Tim Massad took over at the derivatives regulator.

O’Malia, a Republican, said he intended to resign as of Aug.
8, 2014, after roughly 4.5 years as a member of the five-strong
commission. He did not disclose his future plans.

Jul 21, 2014

U.S. panel says Barclays, Deutsche Bank helped funds avoid taxes

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) – The head of a powerful U.S.
Senate panel has accused Deutsche Bank AG and
Barclays Plc of helping hedge funds avoid taxes,
calling for tougher action from the authorities.

The banks sold complex option products to Renaissance
Technology Corp that saved it and other hedge funds
billions of dollars in taxes, Democratic Senator Carl Levin, who
heads the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations,
said on Monday.

Jul 15, 2014

U.S. Senator Levin urges SEC to tackle trading conflicts of interest

WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. stock market
regulator should eliminate two pricing models that can create
conflicts of interests for brokers, the head of a powerful
Senate panel wrote in a letter released on Tuesday.

The letter follows a hearing last month in which Senator
Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the panel,
scrutinized pricing models U.S. stock exchanges use to attract
trading, which have increasingly come under fire.

Jul 1, 2014

U.S. regulators warn banks on home equity loan defaults

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Tuesday
urged banks to work with clients to avoid defaults on hundreds
of billions of dollars of home equity lines of credit taken out
during the housing bubble that will come due in the next several
years.

The regulators also pledged to thoroughly check banks’
programs to control the risk arising from the lines of credit,
or HELOCs.

Jul 1, 2014

Wall St trading revenues drop in first quarter -U.S. regulator

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) – Trading revenues at U.S.
banks dropped by 18 percent in the first quarter from a year
earlier, weighed down by subdued markets and tougher
regulations, a regulator said on Tuesday.

Foreign exchange had the steepest drop at 31 percent, the
U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said. Equity
trading revenue was 27 percent lower, and revenue from trading
interest rate products fell by 20 percent.

Jun 27, 2014

Ramp up role in Bitcoin, U.S. consumer agency told

WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau should play a bigger role in shielding people
against risks from virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, a
government watchdog said on Friday.

Federal regulators have started working together to gauge
the risk in these virtual currencies, which are generated by
computers outside the control of governments.

Jun 25, 2014

U.S. watchdog warns banks for rising risks in lending

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. regulator warned of the dangers of banks attracting clients by easing loan standards as the economy ticks up after the financial crisis.

Loosening underwriting standards was a problem in leveraged lending – a type of loan often used for private equity firms, which use the debt to buy companies, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said.

Jun 25, 2014

U.S. Fed to add new elements to bank stress tests – Tarullo

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve
will continue to add new elements to its annual check-up of the
health of banks, Governor Daniel Tarullo said in a speech on
Wednesday, to keep up with change in the financial sector.

The Fed might for instance look closer at the risk of common
exposures among firms in the annual model run known as ‘stress
tests’, which Tarullo defended as the core element of the Fed’s
oversight of the banking sector.

Jun 24, 2014

U.S. House votes to loosen derivatives’ regulations with CFTC bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to weaken the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s power to regulate swaps overseas and take other steps likely to loosen regulation in derivatives markets, a shift critics say could weaken market stability.

The bill, which reauthorizes the agency’s mandate, would reverse the CFTC’s tough rules on U.S. businesses’ swaps with counterparties abroad, requiring it to draw up a new regime together with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    • About Douwe

      "I head up the Financial Services team in London. We're 20 journalists, covering M&A, IPOs, restructuring, banking, real estate, investment management, hedge funds and private equity. I've worked for Reuters in Zurich, Frankfurt and Amsterdam."
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