4 Financial Stock Stories to Finish Out a Busy Trading Week

Barclays Plc. (NYSE:BCS): Current price $16.34

This might not be a very good time to be a foreign exchange trader. On Friday, Barclays followed a marked trend as it suspended six traders in connection with an inquiry into alleged misconduct in its forex trading procedures, said knowledgeable sources to CNBC. Barclays would not comment on the report, which follows the Financial Times reporting that RBS had suspended two traders in its foreign exchange division during an ongoing investigation. Barclays, along with UBS and Deutsche Bank, has already reported that it is in the early stages of examining its trading practices after being advised by regulators regarding the fixing of foreign exchange.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): Current price $52.33

More headaches for JPMorgan became evident Friday as the Big Bank disclosed a widening investigation into its hiring procedures in China. In July, the company indicated in a quarterly filing that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s division of enforcement was requesting information and documents in regards to its hiring practices in Hong Kong. Now, it disclosed in a filing that the Justice Department and other authorities are also probing the matter. According to the present filing, the inquiry into “hiring practices relating to candidates referred by clients, potential clients and government officials.” Beyond that, the authorities are also investigating consultants hired by the bank.

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Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): Current price $29.27

On Friday, Morgan Stanley said that it will invest $1 billion to help improve affordable housing, forming part of a broader effort to encourage investment in efforts that aid economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Besides that, the bank seeking to attract $10 billion of client assets to fund investments created to provide social benefits in addition to financial returns, according to a Morgan Stanley e-mailed statement. Audrey Choi, chief of the bank’s sustainable finance group, will serve as chief executive of the newly-established Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing.

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ING Groep NV (NYSE:ING): Current price $12.86

ING announced Friday that it will unwind a portfolio of securities linked with mortgages in the United States that was transitioned off its books by the government of the Netherlands during the financial crisis. In January 2009, the government assumed the majority of the risk tied to a portfolio of so-called Alt-A mortgage securities to lower the uncertainty on ING’s balance sheet. Alt-A mortgages are thought to be riskier than prime mortgages, but not as much as subprime mortgages. The portfolio of mortgage securities, originally valued around 24.5 billion euros, or $33 billion, will be divested at an expected 400 million euros profit for the Dutch government, according to ING.

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