NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here's the news and headlines that could move financial stocks today.
Bank regulatory heavyweights - including U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke -- will meet in Washington D.C. Tuesday as part of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC).
The most pressing matter for the FSOC is a final rule allowing for the regulation of "nonbank financial companies" that fall between the cracks of banking watchdogs.
The proposal being considered would allow non-bank financial companies with more than $50 billion in assets (and have a high mix of leverage and loan ratios) to fall under regulator's definition of a "systemically important" financial institution. Once that designation is reached, those companies would face a slew of oversight from regulators.Regulating nonbank financial institutions took on greater importance late last year when MF Global failed and threatened larger trading partners like JPMorgan Chase (JPM).
Royal Bank of Canada (RY)was accused by the U.S. Commodities and Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) with conducting so-called "wash trades" that allowed the bank to reap millions in underserved tax benefits. The lawsuit filed by the CFTC on Monday alleges that RBC made "riskless" trades where the profits and losses "washed to zero" but allowed the bank "to reap the tax benefits." "As we allege, RBC not only designed and executed a wash sale scheme that undermined that purpose, it went a step further and misled the exchange into believing that its conduct was lawful," said David Meister, the director of the CFTC's Division of Enforcement said in the statement. "Today's action should make clear that the CFTC will not hesitate to bring charges against even the most sophisticated market participants who unlawfully exploit the futures markets for their own gain."
Bank of America (BAC)was sued Monday by Principal Life Insurance for fraud that revolved around the sale of $239 million worth of mortgage-backed securities, according to Bloomberg. According to Bloomberg, Principal was joined in its Bank of America lawsuit by bank Hapoalim, Israel's second-biggest bank by assets, which claimed over $721 million in MBS investments were fraudulent. Principal sued JPMorgan in the same court earlier in the month over MBS sales, according to the report. Written by Christopher Westfall in New York.
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