BofA, Goldman, ICAP, JPMorgan, Lehman, LSE, Macquarie

Bloomberg reports that Bank of America is to buy Charles Schwab's private banking business in a $3.3bn cash deal. The new combined private bank will have $261bn of assets under management.

The Financial Times reports that Goldman Sachs is beefing up its executive office in London, which is to have 'scheduling and other administrative support functions.....identical to those' the firm has back at base in New York. The move is designed to make it easier for top executives in the region to have better lines of communications with clients, staff and other parties, and is seen as yet further evidence of the growing importance of the EMEA region in the financial markets.

Wall Street Journal reports that inter-dealer broker ICAP has reported a 23% rise in first-half profits, which came in at $229m before tax, amortization and exceptional items.

Reuters reports that, according to research firm Dealogic, JPMorgan has risen to second position in both the US and global M&A league tables - just behind Goldman Sachs.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Lehman Brothers is returning to Moscow. The firm plans to open a new office in the City next year, some 9 years after leaving in the wake of Russia's financial crisis of 1998.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has rejected NASDAQ's surprise $5.1bn offer to acquire it. The US exchange remains confident, however, that the LSE will hold talks, especially as NASDAQ now owns a 28.75% stake in the London exchange.

Finally, Financial News reports that Macquarie 'has continued its ambitious European expansion by hiring 240 staff in the past 12 months'. Total staff numbers outside Australia have now risen to 3,006.

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