Thursday's Headlines: The latest casualty in the small B-D closing streak

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MCL Financial, with 44 reps in its Santa Ana, Calif., offices -- is the latest small brokerage focused on illiquid alternative investments to close, according to Investment News.

The article goes on to say: "Small and midsize broker-dealers have been struggling for a variety of reasons of late. Many that sold illiquid private placements and real estate deals have seen a huge rise in legal costs due to litigation filed by investors. In addition, retail investors' lack of trading activity, coupled with historically low interest rates, have hammered a number of broker-dealers."

The site lists 18 firm closings since March, 2010, which displaced more than 2,500 reps.

Other news:

Capital One Financial is an early bidder for HSBC's U.S. credit-card portfolio. [WSJ]

China units of HSBC and Citi won initial approval to underwrite corporate debt in China which will make them the first foreign banks to win the coveted licenses. [Reuters]

Family offices are looking to up their investments in hedge funds, which could be good news for small hedge funds or emerging managers. [DealBook]

The top bankers in the United States and Europe saw their remuneration increase by 36% last year on average.[Financial Times]

Allstate had $600 million of disaster losses in May, making Q2 the insurer's most expensive for catastrophes since Hurricane Katrina. [WSJ]

The Swiss National Bank renewed calls for UBS and Credit Suisse to bolster their capital as quickly as possible. [WSJ]

Carlyle Group is interviewing banks this week in preparation for its IPO. [BusinessWeek]

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