JPMorgan Chase will pay $50 million to homeowners

The U.S. Department of Justice says JPMorgan Chase will pay $50 million to 25,000 homeowners for failing to properly review payment-change notices sent to homeowners who were in bankruptcy.

The Justice Department says JPMorgan Chase acknowledged it filed about 25,000 payment change notices that were sent to homeowners without a proper review. They were signed in the names of employees who no longer worked for the company or who hadn’t reviewed the filings to check their accuracy.

The agency says the settlement will include cash, mortgage loan credits and loan forgiveness. The largest portion of the settlement, $22.4 million, will be made up of credits and second-lien forgiveness. It will go to about 400 homeowners who received inaccurate notices of payment increases during their bankruptcy cases.

The settlement is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Pfizer’s pneumonia vaccine gets approved for use in EU

Pfizer’s blockbuster vaccine against pneumonia and other bacterial infections has won another approval, this time for use in European Union residents aged 18 and older.

Prevnar 13, called Prevenar 13 in some countries, is the best-selling vaccine ever.

It protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal disease, the most common bacterial cause of pneumonia and a top cause of death and hospitalization worldwide. It also causes children’s ear infections, bloodstream infections and other illnesses.

New York-based Pfizer says more than 750 million doses have been distributed worldwide. Last year, Prevnar’s global sales reached $4.5 billion, making it the No. 2 product for the company, which also makes Lipitor and Viagra.

Best Buy to boost dividends, cut expenses as sales sink

Best Buy, the world’s largest electronics chain, will boost its dividend payments and step up cost-cutting efforts as it grapples with a slowdown in sales.

Best Buy will offer a special dividend of 51 cents a share, or $180 million, and increase its quarterly payout 21 percent to 23 cents, according to a statement Tuesday. The Minnesota-based company also will begin the second phase of reducing expenses, aiming to wring $400 million from its operating costs over three years.

CEO Hubert Joly has been making the company more efficient since he took the reins in 2012, though he’s had less success increasing revenue. The chain faces mounting competition from e-commerce. While same-store sales have grown the past two quarters, the company has said they may decline in the first half of this year.

Investors cheered the announcement and sent the shares up as much as 5.5 percent to $40.77 in early trading.

Barclays’ net loss widens with costs of past problems

Barclays’ fourth-quarter loss widened as the costs of correcting past problems overshadowed progress in streamlining the bank’s business after the global financial crisis.

The London-based bank on Tuesday reported a net loss of 1.68 billion pounds ($2.58 billion), compared with 642 million pounds in the same period a year earlier. The loss reflects more than 2 billion pounds of one-time items, including 750 million pounds set aside to cover penalties for alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets and 200 million pounds for misselling payment protection insurance.

“We remain focused on addressing outstanding conduct issues, including those relating to foreign exchange trading,” said Chief Executive Antony Jenkins.

— From news service reports