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##Equity Bank takes challenge to M-PESA

Safaricom's M-PESA faces a challenge after Kenya's Equity Bank officially launched Equitel, its mobile money service, which offers customers mobile financial services irrespective of which carrier the customer is with. The bank says it already signed up one million customers for Equitel during a pilot phase. Through the system, it plans to boost the percentage of Kenyans with banking services from around 53 percent to 90 percent.

US brings charges in cases with connection to JPMorgan hack

Authorities in the US charged five people of crimes ranging from securities fraud to money laundering in cases which the Wall Street Journal says bear some link to the 2014 cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase. The charges are not directly linked to the cyberattack on the bank but two of the men arrested were previously described as persons of interest in that investigation.

Citigroup to pay $770 million over credit card products

Citigroup is to pay about $770 million to settle allegations that it misled customers about its credit cards, causing them to buy additional products that they didn't require or fully understand. Citi settled with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Tuesday. The additional products promised to protect customers from identity theft or in the event that they were unable to pay their bills. About 8.8 million customer accounts were affected. The bank no longer offers the products.

Fed faults China Construction Bank on anti-money laundering efforts

US regulators released an enforcement action against China Construction Bank Corp, one of China's largest banks for deficiencies in its programme to spot money laundering. The issue relates to the bank's New York branch.

Navient figures confirm fears on US student debt

Also in the US, Navient Corp, the country's largest student loan servicing company, reported a 40 per cent drop in profits as a result of a significant rise in provisions and a squeeze on interest margins. Total outstandings on student loans have more than doubled since 2008 but there are serious concerns about the likelihood of default.

Barclays considering agreement to end 2008 fraud probe

The Telegraph reports that Barclays is understood to be considering whether or not to accept a deferred prosecution agreement with the Serious Fraud Office relating to the lengthy investigation into the bank's £2 billion Qatari fundraising in 2008.

Osborne not for turning on ring-fence

UK Chancellor George Osborne has said he will see through plans to ring-fence banks' retail divisions from their riskier investment operations despite a general sense that the resolve to regulate banks in the UK is on the wane. "Broadly speaking we should now let a lot of banking regulation settle down — I would include the ring-fencing legislation in that," he informed the Treasury Select Committee on Tuesday. "The ring-fencing of the banks is an important step that parliament has taken and it's being implemented now to make sure that the person doing my job has a better set of options than Alistair Darling had when he was told that the Royal Bank of Scotland was collapsing."

Sharp fall in Citizens Bank profits

Citizens Bank has reported a sharp fall in profits for the second quarter, resulting in its shares dropping by 2.1 percent. The US bank, which part-owned by RBS made a profit of $190m for the period, down 38 percent on its second quarter 2014 figures. The decline can mainly be attributed to the sale of a Chicago unit last year that gave the 2014 figures a $313m boost.


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