Five major banks are committed to diversity; SBA strives to solve PPP obstacles
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Flag on the game
The Small Business Administration said it was working to make fixes to its paycheck protection program after “lenders said many small businesses requesting additional help under the government relief program. fight against coronaviruses find that anti-fraud efforts are lifting barriers to getting the money they need to help stay afloat, ”the Wall Street Journal reported.
“The problem is with the flags the SBA has placed on approximately 240,000 initial PPP recipients for everything from clerical errors to indications of possible wrongdoing. These flags block the ability of lenders to advance second loans for borrowers, after the program reopened this month. The SBA says it is working to remove roadblocks. The agency also plans to issue additional guidance to lenders, and it tells field offices how to help borrowers and lenders who are experiencing the deadlock with second-time applications. Once the flags are resolved, those requests will be given priority in the approval process, a new SBA official said. “
The third round of the PPP “has grown steadily to reach 400,000 loans worth about $ 35 billion in its first two weeks,” the Washington Post reported. “The government’s new phased approach to distributing the recently allocated $ 284 billion in PPP funds means that it is unlikely that the money will run out, like last April.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon suffered a salary cut of $ 10 million, or 36%, for 2020 because “punishment for the bank’s admission last year that it broke US laws”In the 1MDB scandal, the Journal reported. “Mr. Solomon received compensation of $ 17.5 million for 2020, down from the $ 27.5 million he received for 2019.”
“Mr. Solomon’s reduced salary places him far behind his peers in the salary rankings,” the Financial Times noted. “James Gorman, managing director of Morgan Stanley, and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, earned $ 33 million and $ 31.5 million for 2020, respectively. “
Although Solomon was not “involved or aware of the company’s involvement in any illegal activity at the time.” “. . table considers the 1MDB affair as an institutional failure, inconsistent with the high expectations it has for the company, ”Goldman said.
Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC “defended the actions of the British bank in Hong Kong, including backing a controversial national security law and freezing activists’ accounts, during questioning by British politicians who accused him of “endorsing” China’s erosion of democracy in the city . “
Quinn told MPs that he was “not in a position, as a banker, to judge the motives or the validity of [a] legal instruction from a law enforcement authority ”nor was he“ in his position to make a moral or political judgment on these matters ”. As CEO, I can’t choose which law to follow or not. “
“I also care deeply about Hong Kong,” Quinn told lawmakers, who accused him “of appeasing China and ignoring the erosion of democracy and the rule of law in Hong Kong. , where the bank was founded almost 156 years ago “. says the Journal. “I can only do what I do as a bank, and as the CEO of a bank, to continue to support our clients,” he said.
Meanwhile, “fund managers and bankers leaving Hong Kong for alternative financial centers were asked to explain their decision to a range of [Chinese] government agencies, fearing that Beijing’s National Security Law could multiply departures from the Asian financial hub. “
Meet the new boss
Andrea Orcel, “one of the most famous bankers in Europe, was chosen to lead Italian UniCredit, marking a surprise return amid his continuing legal battle with Spanish lender Banco Santander, ”the Journal reported. “The choice, which has yet to be approved by the board of directors, puts an end to a search lasting several months during which the bank tried to find a replacement for Frenchman Jean Pierre Mustier, who announced in November that ‘He would step down after a break with the board. Future strategy Mr Orcel had been keen to secure the UniCredit job, traveling frequently to Italy from London in recent weeks to lobby for the post.
“For Mr. Orcel, the appointment represents a comeback after a very public clash with Santander and its powerful Executive Chairman, Ana Botin, who in 2018 offered Mr. Orcel the position of CEO only to cancel it months later. Mr. Orcel is suing the bank for 100 million euros, the equivalent of 121 million dollars.
“Mr. Orcel has been involved in some of the continent’s biggest M&A deals over the past two decades,” said the FT. “International shareholders of the Italian bank preferred Mr. Orcel for his global banking experience. It was also the preferred choice of some Italian lenders, including billionaire businessman Leonardo Del Vecchio, one of UniCredit’s top 10 shareholders and an influential voice among its other investors.
the Wall Street newspaper
“Five of the biggest American banks publicly committed to mandate a diverse roster of candidates when hiring employees, part of a push to diversify an industry whose top ranks remain largely white and male. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and US Bancorp have all said they will either adjust candidate review policies or disclose the ones they already have in place.
“Their policies reflect the so-called Rooney Rule, which started in the National Football League as a way to ensure people of color are considered for coaching positions. Banks say they already had maintenance policies to diversify their ranks, but public agreements are supposed to add an element of accountability for their progress. The commitments came after the AFL-CIO sent proposals to the banks in its capacity as a shareholder.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “the watchdog created after the 2008 financial crisis and largely muzzled in the Trump era, is about to start barking again. The agency will focus first on applying legal protections to distressed tenants, student borrowers and others facing growing debt as its previous executives were lax about taxation during the period. pandemic. But the CFPB is also likely to take an unprecedentedly tough stance against industry giants it finds engaging in abusive practices. “
Yellen: The musical?
In case you missed it, here’s what a musical about first female secretary of the treasury might sound like.
“There has been diversity at the lower levels of the financial services industry, but you have a kind of glass ceiling when it comes to top management. ” – Brandon Rees, deputy director of business and capital markets at AFL-CIO, who wants banks to increase diversity by hiring at the top.