BofA, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Standard Chartered

The New York Post reports that insurance company Allstate Corp. is suing Bank of America's Countrywide Financial over the sale of $700m of asset-backed securities starting in 2003.

Allstate accuses Countrywide of relaxing its underwriting standards in a bid to increase its business.

In the meantime, The Financial Times reports that BlackRock is planning to launch an internal trading platform next year which will enable clients to trade with each other without going through an investment bank.

The newspaper quotes BlackRock co-founder Rob Kapito, who confirmed that the initiative is design to reduce trading costs.

And The New York Times reports that Goldman Sach's Petershill Fund has agreed to acquire a minority a take in Pennsylvania-based hedge fund Mount Lucas, which manages around $1.8bn in assets. Petershill was established specifically to invest in hedge funds.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a group of former Lehman staff have revived a lawsuit against the firm's directors, including ex-CEO Dick Fuld, which says that they shouldn't have purchased the firm's stock for the company retirement plan, given that it was allegedly using an accounting ploy to disguise the true nature of its financial position.

Finally, The Telegraph reports that Standard Chartered Bank has launched a review of its compliance with US sanctions, after revealing that 'it is in discussions with American authorities about its 'past business' with Iran'.

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