4 Financial Stock Stories to Close Out a Busy Trading Week

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (NYSE:RBS): Current price $10.32

RBS will pay more than $150 million to resolve Securities and Exchange Commission claims that its RBS Securities misled investors in a 2007 offering of a subprime mortgage-backed security. The Commission alleges that the division which was at that time Greenwich Capital Markets, said the loans backing the offering “generally” met the bank’s underwriting guidelines, despite the fact that almost 30 percent fell so short of the guidelines that RBS should have removed them from the offering. RBS neither admitted nor denied the allegations.

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Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC): Current price $42.54

Wells Fargo’s new brokerage chief Mary Mack wants to place more retail clients into managed accounts, while the top domestic firms are trying to move advisers away from picking individual stocks. Mack observed that Wells Fargo Advisors customers now depend more on investment choices made by the bank than its brokers, and that probably will continue, predicting that, “Many clients will benefit from an advisory relationship, so we have continued to see that mix shift. The managed side has definitely grown.”

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Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB): Current price $19.87

Fifth Third Bank confirms that it has laid off employees at its corporate center in uptown Charlotte, reacting as have many other lenders to slumping demand from borrowers to refinance home loans. The bank, which is based in Cincinnati, declined to divulge the number of mortgage staff laid off. All of the terminated local employees worked in the high-rise building at 201 N. Tryon Street, which is the bank’s North Carolina headquarters. The laid-off employees were employed in mortgage processing and underwriting, said spokesman David Morton.

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The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS): Current price $162.03

The Financial Times reports that Goldman Sachs has tasked the co-chief of Goldman Sachs International, Mike Sherwood, with new responsibilities subsequent to the exit of Mike Evans. Responsibility to “drive our strategy, identify new commercial opportunities and allocate resources in countries experiencing stronger economic growth and rapid business and capital markets development” will now be Sherwood’s, said an internal memo. Insiders think that the extra responsibilities will not greatly alter the probability as to who succeeds Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein when he eventually steps down.

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