News

Buy side turns to compression and compaction

With the move of swaps trading to central clearing, buy-side firms have begun adopting new methods for optimizing their balance sheets. Using compression, compaction and termination services, buy side firms are using highly automated processes for consolidating the open line items on their balance sheets.

JPMorgan and other banks hit by cyberattack

The FBI and the Secret Service are investigating cyberattacks against several American financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. Reports vary on many of the details, but the attacks were first discovered earlier this month and may have resulted in the theft of gigabytes of sensitive data.

European Central Bank hires BlackRock for advice

The European Central Bank has hired BlackRock Solutions to help it design and implement a potential asset-backed securities purchasing program. The final decisions on the design of an ABS purchasing plan will be made by the ECB's governing council and the ECB will be responsible for carrying the plan out.

SEC votes for more checks on rating agencies

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved new checks and safeguards for rating agencies aimed at preventing conflicts of interest and ensuring the integrity of credit ratings.

Wells Fargo warns of fewer mortgages to underserved if 'putback' risks remain

Wells Fargo & Co. CEO John Stumpf expressed frustration over what the mortgage industry refers to as its high "putback" risk, and vowed to write fewer mortgages to borrowers with...

Battle of financial chat services continues to heat up

The battle to develop a competitor to Bloomberg's instant messaging service continues to gain steam with progress moving forward from two competing systems.

International banks in London prepare for the possible "Brexit"

Growing reports out of London suggest that British Prime Minister David Cameron is increasingly frustrated with European Union policies, and he could soon warn Europe that he might support calls for a British exit from the European Union if no compromises are reached. The increasingly contentious tone reportedly has prompted foreign banks based in London to already begin exploring their options.

With rise of wealth management, a call for more RIA audits

The year 2014 has so far shaped up to be a banner one for wealth management. Charles Schwab's 2014 Benchmarking Study reported that registered investment advisors (RIAs) in this year's study had the highest profitability since the inception of the study in 2006.

Demands on financial firms' infrastructure challenge the practice of server overprovisioning

Historically, firms who wanted to guarantee 100 percent uptime for their applications have grossly overprovisioned the amount of infrastructure devoted to mission critical applications, often resulting in servers that operated at less than 50 percent capacity, sometimes at as little as 15 percent capacity.

Four-hour CME disruption was caused by software reconfigurations

CME Group said it halted trading on its Globex electronic platform for four hours early Monday because software reconfigurations implemented over the weekend did not go as planned. The outage occurred during Asian trading hours, and caused minimal disruption because it was a low volume period.

SEC widens investigation into alternative mutual funds

The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly widening its investigation into alternative mutual funds, which are similar to hedge funds but geared toward retail investors. The investigation...

36 companies weigh in on how to fix the FX benchmark

Thirty-six companies, ranging from Deutsche Bank to Vanguard to CME Group and many more, submitted comments on proposed changes to the calculation of the daily FX benchmark. The Financial Stability Board, which is coordinating efforts to rework the currency benchmark in the wake of the price fixing-scandal, had given the industry until Aug. 12 to comment on proposals such as widening the amount of time it takes to calculate the benchmark and adopting alternative forms of benchmark calculation.

Confusion about data formats and models clouds European trade reporting

Phase two of European Market Infrastructure Regulation trade reporting went into effect last week but several European firms and market players expressed confusion around the specifics of how the data should be reported. The second phase of EMIR requires all over-the-counter asset classes and exchange-traded derivatives to report their daily market position and collateral values to the appropriate trade repositories.

StockSolid debuts sentiment-based algorithmic strategies

A new social media-based trading company that plans to launch later this month uses a proprietary scoring system to trade based on Tweets, news feeds and search activity on popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Bank-backed fintech accelerators swell in number

Wells Fargo began accepting applications for the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator this week from young companies with technology ideas related to payments, deposits, fraud and other issues that could shape financial services. Earlier this month, Fidelity Investments hosted four teams of Harvard students who demonstrated financial technology products that Fidelity could bring to market.

SEC chief information officer departs

Securities and Exchange Commission chief information officer Thomas Bayer, who has led the agency's IT efforts during a period when technology issues have been at the forefront of trading...

Taking another look at treasury technology

Treasury technology might not have the allure of Google Glass. It might seem to outsiders like the quiet corner of the firm removed from flashy technology advances. But in an article that ran in bobsguide, Bank of America Merrill Lynch senior vice president and EMEA treasury specialist Des Twort argues that treasury technology is making great strides--if not right in front of our eyes, then under our noses.

PwC fined for helping bank partially cover up improper dealings

PricewaterhouseCoopers was fined $25 million by New York State's financial regulator for "improperly altering" a report on a banking client's dealings in a way that softened or obscured the client's illicit transactions. The fine is important because PwC was hired to produce an impartial review, and the incident highlights the conflict of interest issues that arise when a company pays for its own impartial assessment.

Deutsche Bank adds two top IT execs to better coordinate IT compliance

Deutsche Bank has added two new high-level executives to oversee information technology, as the bank moves to strengthen IT compliance and regulatory reporting in the wake of regulatory scrutiny.

 

Hedge funds look to codify cybersecurity preparedness as regulators step up scrutiny

The Securities and Exchange Commission held a round table March 26 to examine cyber security threats to the industry. The following month, the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a risk alert, essentially warning the finance community about the importance of cybersecurity preparedness and outlining the agency's plans to assess the industry's preparedness.