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What’s New on Banking: Bank of America Corp (BAC)’s Drive-Thru Tellers, JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) New Agreement, Wells Fargo & Co (WFC)’s Layoff

Editor’s Note: Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO)

Bank Of America To Close Some Drive-Up Tellers (NPR)
Some Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) branches with drive-through tellers from Georgia to Texas have already closed the lanes, according to spokeswoman Tara Burke. She wouldn’t divulge exactly how many are closing. She did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking. About 13 million customers bank by mobile phone and 29 million participate in online services. Among them is 19-year-old Brittney Sprague who says, “Not too many folks will really miss the drive-through teller because everybody uses apps. It’s all about the new technology.”

Jamie Dimon

Assured, JPMorgan Agree to End Mortgage Suits (Bernews)
Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) agreed to settle lawsuits filed by the bond insurer accusing the bank’s EMC Mortgage and Bear Stearns units of making misrepresentations about mortgage-backed securities, Bloomberg reports. Assured Guaranty Corp., a New York-based unit of the Bermuda-based bond insurer, sued EMC, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, alleging violations of representations and warranties in connection with three residential mortgage-backed securities transactions.

There’s no business like small business (CNBC)

Bank of America intern’s death puts banks’ working culture in spotlight (The Guardian)
Calls have been made for an overhaul of the long-hours culture among young staff working for banks in the City of London after the death of a “dedicated” German student who had won a sought-after placement at Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch. Moritz Erhardt, 21, had won a place as a summer intern at the London city offices of the US bank and was nearing the end of his placement when he was found dead in the shower at his temporary accommodation in east London by ambulance services on 15 August. Merrill Lynch did not comment on the length of Erhardt’s working hours, and also declined to comment on whether interns – who are understood to be paid £45,000 pro rata – are routinely made to work longer than 12-hour days.

Wells Fargo to lay off 2,300 mortgage workers (Westport-News)
Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) is laying off workers from its mortgage unit, the latest sign that the mortgage refinancing boom has cooled. The San Francisco-based bank said it sent 60-day notices to about 2,300 mortgage employees on Wednesday. The layoffs will be at “locations across the country,” the bank said in a statement, and a spokesman declined to give details. The bank said it had to lay off workers because mortgage refinancing demand had dropped compared to 2012 and early 2013. Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) is the biggest mortgage lender in the U.S., and its results have been greased in recent quarters by waves of homeowners refinancing their loans to take advantage of low interest rates.

JPMorgan faces FBI criminal probe in California energy market case (Los Angeles Times)
JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) may have settled with federal energy regulators, but the FBI has opened its own investigation into the bank’s role in California’s electricity market. The FBI has launched a criminal probe into allegations at the heart of a case settled between JPMorgan and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month, according to a person briefed on the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly. It was not clear when the criminal probe began and how, or if, it may have progressed.

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