Bank Watch roundup: Tim Geithner ‘refused’ to fire Ken Lewis

GEITHNER 'REFUSED' TO FIRE KEN LEWIS: Former Treasury Secretary and bank bailout architect Tim Geithner is about to come out with his new book, an account that sheds some light on his financial crisis decisions. Among them: that Geithner refused to force out former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis since he was close to retirement anyway, The New York Times reports. A counselor had told Geithner he didn't owe Lewis any favors and should push him out the door. The whole piece is worth a read. Another part says that Geithner shot down a Larry Summers suggestion that the administration "pre-emptively nationalize" banks like Bank of America during the crisis.

BARCLAYS SLASHING JOBS: The British bank is cutting its investment bank nearly in half and getting out of retail banking in Western Europe, the Wall Street Journal reports. All told, 19,000 jobs will be gone, about 7,000 in the investment bank. "It's just no longer doable for us to be a global, universal bank," the Barclays deputy chairman told the Journal.

RBC MIGHT RETURN TO THE U.S.: A few years after selling its North Carolina-based U.S. retail banking presence to PNC Financial Services, RBC says it might make another run at the States, Bloomberg reports. They'd want to do it more like a tech company, though.

MILLENIALS DOING BETTER FINANCIALLY THAN PREVIOUS GENERATIONS: Everyone likes to hate on 19- to 35-year-olds, but a new report from the Federal Reserve shows that they're more likely to have bought a house and saved for retirement than previous generations at the same stage in life, Bloomberg reports.

TREE.COM TO BUY BACK MORE STOCK: The LendingTree parent got approval to purchase $10 million more of its common shares.

UWHARRIE CAPITAL PROFIT NARROWS: The bank didn't have the strong tide of mortgage refinances to help it this time.