Bank Watch roundup: Merrill wants brokers to find ‘noble purpose’

MERRILL ASKS BROKERS TO FIND THEIR 'NOBLE PURPOSE': This year's meeting of regional and branch managers wasn't to talk about sales goals, but to discuss something more philosophical, the Wall Street Journal reports. "I think we overanalyze the process and the techniques and skills, and forget we're all human beings and that 'successful' doesn't necessarily mean 'money,'" John Thiel tells the Journal.

BANK OF THE CAROLINAS REPAYING TARP AT DEEP DISCOUNT: The Mocksville bank issued $13 million in preferred stock to the Treasury in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis. In recent years, the bank has struggled to pay the dividend. Bank of the Carolinas announced Thursday that it's agreed to pay the government $3.3 million to call it even.

WILL GOOGLE ONE DAY OVERSHADOW BANK OF AMERICA?: Today, Bank of America has the nation's largest retail banking consumer base at 49 million. In 25 years, companies like Google and Facebook, with hundreds of millions of users could upend the financial world, CNBC says in a piece looking at the future of banking. By 2039, "Wall Street will be more of an idea than a place."

BARCLAYS INCREASES BONUSES DESPITE FALLING PROFIT: Shareholders aren't too happy about it, but bank chairman David Walker said at the annual meeting that the bonuses were needed to be able to recruit "high quality people" and "protect the franchise," Quartz says.

ELIZABETH WARREN FOR PRESIDENT?: Even with the senator's new book as an indication she's considering it, the Wall Street Journal says she might be too "progressive" for her party to get her elected.

JOE PRICE SETTLES MERRILL SUIT: Bank of America will pick up the $7.5 million cost and Price will sit out 18 months.

WELLS FARGO GEARS UP FOR TOURNAMENT: The bank will again host about 3,000 clients at the tournament, and Charlotte region president Kendall Alley says new sightlines on the back nine will make it a better experience.

PARK STERLING EARNINGS INCREASE DESPITE HIRING SPREE: The Charlotte bank made $3.6 million for shareholders, 11 percent more than the same period last year, even as it spent close to a million on hiring new bankers and business line heads in Richmond, Charlotte and elsewhere.

YADKIN FINANCIAL PROFIT NARROWS ON MERGER EXPENSES: The bank spent $1.4 million on its impending merger with VantageSouth Bancshares, sending net income down 21 percent.