Wednesday's Headlines: Forex hiring up at banks

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Banks including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are hiring more senior bankers and salespeople in their foreign-exchange operations, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports: "Banks are snapping up Wall Street staffers disappointed by pay that was down some 10 percent to 15 percent in 2010, including bonuses with a higher component of unpopular restricted stock."

Hiring is especially strong in electronic trade-execution platforms, as well as new hires by European and Australian banks expanding their presence in New York. Morgan Stanley said in February that it boosted foreign-exchange headcount by 40 percent last year, while BofA has been expanding its foreign-exchange strategy team, as has French bank BNP Paribas.

Other news:

JPMorgan Chase investment bankers will get a 34 percent raise this year, if the bank keeps up its torrid first-quarter clip. [Fortune]

The banking industry could divide into weak and strong in the face of a tough economy and increasing regulation. [NY Times]

A British governance agency told shareholders to vote against Barclay's proposed executive compensation system, calling it "opaque" and "overly complex." [Guardian]

Following a two-year boom, high-frequency trading is poised to slow down. {Financial Times]

FINRA ordered Citigroup to pay $54.1 million to two wealthy investors for losses they suffered on municipal bond funds in the midst of the crisis. [WSJ]

Mortgage-backed REITs are making a big comeback, with several money managers launching funds in the past year. [WSJ]