Friday, September 16, 2016

This Week in Bank Failures

Deutsche Bank worried publicly about how much it might have to pay to settle deceptive U.S. marketing of mortgage-backed securities. The bank’s worried tone cast a shadow over global stock markets.

A fire suppression system caused extensive damage in ING Bulgaria’s main data center last Saturday, effectively shutting the bank down for most of the day. It was supposed to be a routine test and the bank was caught off guard by the damage, but engineers say the inert gases released by the system can create sounds loud enough to destroy hard disk drives if they are set up in metal racks.

After Wells Fargo got caught padding its numbers with ghost accounts created behind customers’ backs, it will have to explain itself to its customers, the SEC, the Senate and House, and possibly in federal court. The bank has suspended its cross-selling scripts at call centers in order to avoid adding further upset to customers calling to close accounts they never knew existed. However, underlining the bank’s difficulties in coming to grips with the situation, nothing has changed at branches, where insane cross-selling quotas remain in place and staff members who fall short are still being fired. More details of the bank’s actions might come out in a class-action suit filed by account holders seeking compensation under identity theft laws.

UniCredit, the largest bank in Italy, is negotiating with buyers over the sale of operating units and other assets. The bank made a poor impression in recent stress tests and now hopes to raise enough capital to avoid intervention by regulators.

Fifth Third is closing 44 branches in addition to 130 branch and facility closings previously announced.