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Deutsche Bank Probes Misselling of Investment Bank Products: FT – Yahoo Canada Finance

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The Canadian Press

White House begins talks with lawmakers on COVID-19 relief

WASHINGTON — Top aides to President Joe Biden on Sunday began talks with a group of moderate Senate Republicans and Democrats on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package as Biden faces increasing headwinds in his effort to win bipartisan backing for the initial legislative effort of his presidency. Lawmakers on the right question the wisdom of racking up bigger deficits while those on the left are urging Biden not to spend too much time on bipartisanship when the pandemic is killing thousands of Americans each day and costing more jobs amid tightening restrictions in many communities. At least a dozen senators met for an hour and 15 minutes in a virtual call with White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese and other senior White House officials. Many hope to approve a relief package before former President Donald Trump’s trial, which is set to begin in two weeks, overtakes Washington’s attention. Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, called the opening talks a “serious effort.” “There was not a hint of cynicism or lack of commitment to at least trying to work something out,” King said. “If they were just trying to jam this through, I don’t think it would have interrupted the Packers game.” King told reporters that there was “absolute consensus” among the group that the No. 1 priority was to speed up the distribution of vaccinations and expanding COVID-19 testing and tracing. The White House did not seem to budge on breaking up the package or reducing the overall price tag, even as it pushes for bipartisan support. There was also no discussion of pushing it through on a procedural move that could be done without Republicans, King said. One key Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, said afterward, “It seems premature to be considering a package of this size and scope.” Collins said instead she would pull the bipartisan group together “and see if we could come up with a more targeted package.” She said in a statement that a bill with additional funding for vaccine distribution “would be useful.” Senators from both parties raised questions about the economic aid provisions, particularly making direct $1,400 payments to Americans more tailored to recipients based on need. Senators also wanted more data on how the White House reached the $1.9 trillion figure. Many of the senators are from a bipartisan group that struck the contours of the last COVID-19 deal approved late last year. They were joined on the call by the two leaders of the House’s Problem Solvers Caucus, Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Tom Reed, R-N.Y., who were also part of earlier discussions. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., told The Associated Press that no red lines were drawn. But she added there was consensus among the call’s participants “that the more targeted the aid is the more effective it can be.” Overall, “it was a conversation and it was not about drawing lines in the sand,” Shaheen said. “It was about how can we work together to help the people of this country.” White House coronavirus response co-ordinator Jeff Zients and White House legislative affairs director Louisa Terrell also joined the call. Out of the gate, Biden has made clear that quickly passing another round of coronavirus relief is a top priority as he seeks to get the surging pandemic and the related economic crisis under control, while demonstrating he can break the gridlock that has ailed Congress for much of the last two presidencies. Biden and his aides in their public comments have stressed that his plan is a starting point and that finding common ground on relief should be attainable considering the devastating impact the pandemic is exacting on Democratic and Republican states alike. With more than 412,000 dead and the economy again losing jobs, Biden has argued there is no time to lose. “We’re going to continue to push because we can’t wait,” said White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Just because Washington has been gridlocked before doesn’t mean it needs to continue to be gridlocked Central to Biden’s campaign pitch, beyond healing the wounds created by Trump’s presidency, was that he was a proven bipartisan dealmaker, one who would draw upon his decades in the Senate and deep relationships with Republicans to bridge partisan divides. Some Biden advisers watched with worry as the Senate, just days into the president’s term, was already in gridlock as to a power-sharing agreement, with Republican leader Mitch McConnell refusing to budge on a demand to keep the filibuster intact. If the Senate twists itself in knots over its very basics, some Democrats wondered, how could it reach a big deal? Additionally, some of Biden’s preferred methods to lobby and schmooze have been curtailed by the pandemic. Though his address book remains one of the best in Washington, it stands to be far more difficult for Biden — at least for the foreseeable future — to engage in the face-to-face politicking that he prefers. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, ahead of the meeting, raised concerns again about the wisdom of the government engaging in massive deficit spending. “If we get beyond COVID, I believe that the economy is going to come roaring back,” Romney told “Fox News Sunday.” “And spending and borrowing trillions of dollars from the Chinese, among others, is not necessarily the best thing we can do to get our economy to be strong long-term. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats, said he didn’t have high hopes for negotiations leading to Republican support and suggested Democrats may need to use budget reconciliation to pass it with a simple majority. The procedural tool would allow Democrats to push the package to approval without the 60-vote threshold typically needed to advance legislation past a filibuster. Republicans used the same tool to pass tax cuts during the Trump administration. “What we cannot do is wait weeks and weeks and months and months to go forward,” Sanders said. “We have got to act now. That is what the American people want. “ ___ Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report. Aamer Madhani And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press

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EQB sees mortgage growth moderating following 'tough' quarterly report – Financial Post

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‘Clearly, homebuyers are sitting on the sidelines a little bit more’

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Challenger bank EQB Inc. is expecting growth in conventional loan originations to moderate over the rest of the year as a real estate slowdown weighs on demand.

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In an interview on Wednesday, chief executive Andrew Moor said Equitable Bank — the company’s schedule I bank — has seen some slowing in activity in terms of new mortgage applications, but that that was to be expected with rapidly rising interest rates.

“Clearly, homebuyers are sitting on the sidelines a little bit more,” Moor said, adding that the bank saw weaker results in Ontario, which makes up more than half of its business, while provinces in the west were stronger.

EQB, formerly Equitable Group Inc., nevertheless maintained its full-year guidance for 2022, expressing confidence in meeting its objectives despite sector volatility.

The bank added that it has taken “risk-managed actions” over the first two quarters, which Moor said include being more cautious in areas further from city centres.

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“We’ve been just trimming back a little bit in our risk appetite in some of those areas,” he said.

EQB said it also continued to proactively adjust its underwriting approach to respond to elevated risks from inflation, the Bank of Canada’s response to inflation and its expectations of changing collateral values.

This is a tough quarter report

Andrew Moor

Although still expecting EQB to deliver on its growth targets, some analysts are taking a cautious stance on the mortgage finance sector as risk remains elevated.

“Several factors represent downside risks that will continue to constrain sector valuations and share price performance near term, such as rising regulatory and policy uncertainty, rapid rise in interest rates, and housing market risk,” said Jaeme Gloyn, an analyst at National Bank of Canada Financial Inc., in a note to clients.

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Gloyn cut his estimated target price to $73 per share from $75, while maintaining an “outperform” rating on the stock.

EQB reported strong performance on quarterly net interest income on Tuesday with an all-time record of 15.6 per cent return on equity for the year-to-date period. Conventional lending growth in its core operations grew 36 per cent, year over year.

However, Equitable said severe capital market volatility led to mark-to-market losses of $8.7 million on its non-interest income investment portfolio, which it said was conceived so Equitable Bank can gain access to early-stage technologies.

  1. The penetration of the Canadian reverse mortgage market is lagging behind other developed economies, a DBRS Morningstar report says.

    Reverse mortgage market has plenty of room to grow, but risks abound

  2. Equitable Group Inc. will hike its quarterly dividend after recording its best-ever quarter on the back of strong loan-origination growth.

    Equitable posts best earnings ever as mortgage business stays strong

  3. EQ Bank, a subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc., in Toronto.

    The ‘stealthy enablers’: Canada’s smaller banks court fintechs as industry dynamics shift

  4. EQ Bank, a subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc, in Toronto.

    Takeover of Concentra furthers Equitable’s ‘challenger bank’ ambitions, CEO says

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Moor said the bank is “very much fintech-enabled” and they’ve invested in some of the leading fintechs in Canada, including Borrowell and Wealthsimple.

“This is a tough quarter report. Despite taking a by-the-book approach to achieve and ultimately deliver strong core earnings growth, our efforts put in Q2 are offset by mark-to-market declines primarily in our strategic investment portfolios due to a downdraft in North American equity markets,” Moor said during Wednesday’s earnings call.

EQB said it expects volatility to continue in the second half of 2022, but this does not reflect the underlying strategic value of these investments.

The bank’s adjusted diluted earnings per share for the three months ended June 30 were $1.75, down from $2.64 a year ago.

For the current quarter, Moor said EQB is prioritizing its introduction of EQ Bank’s payment card, the launch of EQ Bank in Québec and its acquisition of Concentra Bank, which is expected to close later in the year.

• Email: dpaglinawan@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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1 Investment You Should Have at Every Age – GOBankingRates

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For a number of reasons, your 50s is the time to start really amping up your retirement savings accounts. Although you hopefully opened a 401(k) or IRA in your 20s or 30s, this is the time to maximize your contributions. For starters, you’re likely at your peak earnings level, so you’ll be able to sock more away without it affecting your lifestyle. Second, once you reach age 50, you’re allowed to make “catch-up” contributions to your retirement plans. For 2022, you can contribute an extra $1,000 to your IRAs, for a total of $7,000 in any given year. But if you have a 401(k) plan, you can kick in an extra $6,500, for a total of $27,000 per year. If you earn enough money to be able to do it, this means you can put $270,000 in your 401(k) plan from age 50 to 60, which can provide a huge boost to your retirement nest egg.

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Investment manager convicted over $121 Cayman fund – Reuters

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REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won (SOUTH KOREA – Tags: BUSINESS)

LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) – An investment manager of a collapsed 100-million-pound ($121 million) Cayman Islands-based legal financing fund was on Wednesday convicted by a London jury of fraudulent trading, fraud by abuse of position and money laundering.

Timothy Schools, a 61-year-old former lawyer who founded Axiom Legal Financing Fund in 2009 to provide loans to law firms pursuing no-win-no fee lawsuits, siphoned off nearly 20 million pounds of investor money to buy luxury properties and cars, the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said in a statement.

His lawyer, David Hanman of Cobleys Solicitors, said he would not be commenting ahead of his sentencing on Thursday.

The jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court failed to reach a verdict for a second defendant, former independent financial adviser David Kennedy. The SFO has 21 days to decide whether to call a retrial. His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

A third co-defendant, former lawyer Richard Emmett, was acquitted.

“It’s unbelievably horrible to have your reputation called into question,” Emmett said in a statement. “I now wish to get on with my life and career, which this unfounded prosecution by the SFO has placed on pause.”

The Axiom fund was an unregulated collective investment scheme that secured more than 100 million pounds from around 500 investors, who were told a panel of quality law firms would use their funds to back legal cases with a high chance of success.

But tens of millions of pounds were paid to three law firms that Schools either owned or held an interest in, the SFO said.

He diverted more than 19.6 million pounds ($23.76 million) into offshore bank accounts, buying shares in a ski hotel in France and a 5-million-pound fishing and shooting estate in Britain, it said in the statement.

The lawsuits funded by Axiom, meanwhile, were often lost at court and insurance policies failed to cover losses.

Schools covered up the failures by arranging for the repayments of old loans with new Axiom loans, the SFO said.

($1 = 0.8249 pounds)

Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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