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Here are the top reads in financial services and deals in the past 24 hours.

FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

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Writeoffs: A government debt default in Barbados has put Canadian banks at risk of writeoffs, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce particularly exposed to the Caribbean country’s troubled finances through loans and securities worth a half-billion U.S. dollars. Story (Tim Kiladze and James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

Trading: Two more staff members on Thursday resigned from ScotiaMocatta, the metals arm of Bank of Nova Scotia, following an exodus of senior management as the bank embarks on a radical restructuring, sources said. Story

U.S. bank stocks: Bank shares may be “better positioned than ever before,” after years of dragging with price-earnings ratios trailing their historical averages, Oppenheimer & Co.’s Chris Kotowski writes in a note. Story

Charges: Australian authorities have charged the former local bosses of Citigroup Inc and Deutsche Bank AG with “criminal cartel offences” over a $2.3 billion stock issue, one of the country’s biggest cases of alleged white-collar crime. Story

DEALS NEWS

Bank mergers: Deutsche Bank AG Chairman Paul Achleitner has spoken with top shareholders about merging with cross-town rival Commerzbank AG as Germany’s largest lender struggles with its turnaround plan, people familiar with the matter said. Bloomberg

Venture capital: Toronto-based Planswell, which allows Canadians to build free financial plans, has raised an additional $7 million in its seed round, bringing its total seed funding to $13.8 million. BetaKit

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WHAT WE’RE READING ELSEWHERE

Private equity: Tricor Pacific Founders Capital has become Founders Group of Food Companies as the Vancouver firm plans to take its North American food-sector strategy to the next level. Launched in 2014 by a group of senior private equity and industry pros, Founders has spent the past three-plus years investing its own capital in a range of businesses focused on specialty seafood and meats, prepared foods, and edible gifts and confections. PE Hub

Hedge funds: Bill Ackman’s publicly traded hedge fund just turned in a double-digit gain in May, the fund’s second-best month since it went public in 2014. Institutional Investor

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