Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Countrywide whistleblower gets millions

Welcome to the morning roundup. Here's a look at what's news in banking and finance this morning.

BofA whistleblower gets millions. A former Countrywide home appraiser will get $14.5 million for blowing the whistle on the company's inflating home values to support bigger loans, Bloomberg reports. His info helped the Federal Housing Administration settle with the Charlotte bank for $1 billion, part of the broader $25 billion settlement announced earlier this year.

Wells Fargo in Memphis. Wells Fargo will give Memphis/Shelby County homeowners $4.5 million and the local governments $3 million in exchange for them dropping a discriminatory lending lawsuit against the San Francisco bank, CBS News reports. The bank has also set a goal of lending $425 million in the area over the next five years, including $125 million to low- and moderate-income people.

Moynihan speaks. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan will be speaking at the Sanford C. Bernstein investor conference in New York City this morning. We'll be tweeting and will have a report afterward.

Europe. The European Union has proposed a "banking union" that would mean the 17 countries in the euro zone would share the losses in bank failures, the Wall Street Journal says. Meanwhile, business confidence in the region is dismal.

Chinese banks. Don't expect branded ATMs or branches, but the Fed's approval of three Chinese banks to expand into the U.S. could heat up dealmaking between American and Chinese firms, says.

Morgan Stanley in India. Morgan Stanley has gotten a license to begin commercial banking in India, the Wall Street Journal reports. That will allow the bank to compete with BofA and Goldman Sachs.