Monday, August 6, 2012

Banks in Libor probes pointing fingers at each other

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

Banks point fingers. As regulators' probes into Libor-rigging allegations continues, banks are pointing fingers at each other, trying to impress upon examiners that their actions weren't as bad as others, The New York Times says. "We’re not as bad as the next guy," the attitude is, as one source explained it to the Times.

Small banks angry. Community bankers are becoming more vocal about their anger over new federal regulations they say will force them to cut back on lending, the Wall Street Journal reports. New capital rules intended to reign in the largest international banks could end up with a more disparate impact on smaller lenders.

Swiss banks threatened. Swiss banks are hemorrhaging high-income clients as U.S. and European governments more aggressively seek out tax dodgers, Bloomberg reports. More than 100 banks in Switzerland, known for its secrecy in the banking system, could vanish, a report says.

Check cashers criticized. As they become more sophisticated, check cashing stores and other financial services for the so-called "underbanked" are drawing increasing criticism from advocates for the poor, who say these stores take advantage of people with few other options, The New York Times says. These services often come with higher fees than with many checking accounts, but without many of the requirements.

Housing settlement confusion. As federal and state officials roll out television ads and online tools to help people try to figure out if they qualify for assistance after the blockbuster $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and others, one thing isn't clear -- who is going to get help, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says. Since the banks who settled are running their own program, there are no clear-cut guidelines to help people know if they qualify.