Here's a look at what's news in banking and finance after the weekend:
- Some small banks are now charging merchants three times as much on debit card swipes than their big-bank brethren, the Wall Street Journal reports. The discrepancy is a result of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law's Durbin amendment, and big banks aren't happy.
- A former Boston Red Sox catcher has won a case against his Merrill Lynch adviser, The New York Times reports. The ballplayer claimed the adviser put his money into unsuitable investments.
- The surge in bank stocks (Bank of America, for example, is up nearly 30 percent year-to-date) might not last, a Reuters columnist says. Many banks core earnings were down in their fourth-quarter financial reports.
- The IMF is urging European countries to increase the bailout funds that could be used to bolster the continent's ailing financial sector, The New York Times says.
- A number of California-based start-ups are developing programs that would help banks better evaluate borrower candidates, Bloomberg reports, using more relevant data than FICO scores.