Business news

Queensborough signs new brokerage deal


INVEST Financial Corp. has signed an agreement with Queensborough National Bank & Trust to become its brokerage and investment services provider.

Queensborough Executive Vice President Bill Thompson said customers should notice no major difference in the services provided, and the bank retained its two local investment consultants to meet with customers.

Thompson said Queensborough, like many other community banks, use companies such as Tampa, Fla.-based INVEST to cut down on costs associated with investments. Queensborough is able to cut infrastructure costs and use INVEST's experience in dealing with regulations that come with securities trades, he explained.

Queensborough previously used Investment Professionals Inc. of San Antonio.

Disney shareholders re-elect Jobs to board

BURBANK, CALIF. --- Shareholders of The Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday re-elected its entire board including Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, despite concerns over his health and his poor attendance at board meetings.

Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co. had recommended voting against Jobs' re-election because he didn't attend 75 percent of the board meetings in fiscal 2010.

Jobs became Disney's largest shareholder after the company purchased Pixar Animation Studios in 2006 for $7.4 billion in stock. Jobs, who bankrolled Pixar when it was a fledgling movie house, now holds a 7.3 percent stake in Disney.

After the vote, Disney said that it "considers itself fortunate to have Steve Jobs as a member of its board of directors."

Jobs has had a significant influence on Disney's digital strategy -- as evidenced by its many iPad applications.

Overhaul to help small banks, Bernanke says

WASHINGTON --- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a group of executives from smaller banks Wednesday that the financial overhaul will level the playing field for them with the industry's giants.

Bernanke said it would be important for the banks to adapt to the changing regulatory environment.

In remarks to the annual convention in San Diego of small- and medium-size banks, Bernanke acknowledged their concerns about the new law but said most of the requirements are aimed the country's biggest banks, not them.

Congress passed the regulatory law last year in an effort to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. Small-bank executives have complained that it will cost them a lot of money to meet the new rules, even though they were not responsible for the financial crisis.

Bernanke said the hundreds of community banks, those with assets below $10 billion, will play a vital role in the recovery because they are an important source of small business loans.

"Although we are not yet where we would like to be, the good news is that many community banks have already been doing their part to meet the credit needs of their customers, notably including small business customers," Bernanke told the Independent Community Bankers of America.