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Streetwise newsletter: Scotiabank drops OBSI, Iron Bridge takeover, bitcoin for RRSPs

Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours

Scotiabank has dropped OBSI: As of Nov. 1, Bank of Nova Scotia will no longer resolve banking disputes with customers through the country’s non-profit banking ombudsman, making it the third major financial institution to choose a for-profit alternative. Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank opted out of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments in the past decade, turning to the private, for-profit ADR Chambers Banking Ombuds Office (ADRBO) to mediate customer complaints. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

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Sweetened bid: Iron Bridge Resources Inc. has agreed to a sweetened takeover bid from Velvet Energy Ltd. after more than three months of seeking a white knight in an unwelcoming energy market. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Canada’s Big Six banks have an obsession with cutting costs amid record profits: The extended bull market and booming economy is the stuff investors used to dream of. But for some, it's just not enough. Coming off a quarter in which they collectively earned an eye-watering $11.6-billion, Canada's largest banks participated in a Bay Street conference last week where the main focus was, of all things, cost control. It has been this way for a few years now. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

A decade on, and the banking bailouts still fuel the rise of global populism: The London alumni of Lehman Bros. are to meet for a reunion bash on Sept. 14 at a swanky club in the City, as the financial district is known, 10 years less a day after the investment bank’s spectacular collapse. Several hundred former Lehman employees are expected to attend the boozer, and it’s a safe bet they can afford the £70 ($120) ticket. Opinion (Eric Reguly, for subscribers)

Wealth management: High-net worth investors can now hold bitcoin investments in their registered accounts, including registered retirement savings plans and tax-free savings accounts. Starting this week, investment advisers are able to purchase the First Block Capital Bitcoin Trust, a fund that launched last year for accredited investors, on the NEO Connect – a trading platform developed by Aequitas Innovations Inc. and a sister platform to the NEO Exchange. Story (Clare O'Hara)

MORE FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Regulation: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Sunday it was immediately suspending trading in two investment products that track cryptocurrencies, citing confusion in the markets over whether the products are exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The SEC said in a statement that trading in Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One would be halted in the United States until at least Sept. 20. Story

MORE DEALS NEWS

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Oil sector: AltaGas Ltd. says it has signed deals to sell about $560-million worth of natural gas midstream assets and power-generating assets to two buyers. Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. has agreed to pay $165-million for a group of smaller-scale gas midstream and power assets in Canada, as well as its commercial and industrial customer portfolio in Canada. Story

Cannabis sector: Aurora Cannabis Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire marijuana company ICC Labs Inc. in an all-stock deal it valued at $290-million. Story

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