Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Financial news roundup: Banks don’t want marijuana money, even the legal kind

It’s T-minus 1 day until bank earnings start, and the big banks are expected to grease the skids of a season that is otherwise full of profit warnings. But that’s not all that’s happening in the world of banking. Here’s more:

Just saying no: It’s a heady time for marijuana supporters, as 20 states have relaxed laws pertaining to the drug’s medical or recreational use. But as the New York Times reports, banks are wary of opening accounts for the legal dispensers. Using a credit card to buy pot, on the other hand, is not out of the question, as the Wall Street Journal previously reported.

What I did on my (kinder, gentler) summer internship: Bank of America Corp.’s BAC +2.39%  Merrill Lynch unit is recommending that junior staffers take off at least four weekend days a month, making it the latest bank to wise up to the idea that new grads would rather skip off to Silicon Valley if they’re going to have to live at the office. For Bank of America, though, it’s a delicate subject after an intern died last year from a seizure that may or may not have been brought on by his long hours at the bank.

That other rate-rigging probe: The investigation into whether banks colluded to manipulate prices in the foreign-exchange market is still simmering. Bloomberg now reports that the Federal Reserve is investigating.

–Christina Rexrode