ABA Banking Journal
January 8, 2016

This ABA Banking Journal newsletter is a free, twice-monthly supplement to the ABA Banking Journal magazine intended to help you stay on top of industry and policy news. You can also stay abreast of banking news by visiting aba.com/BankingJournal, home to ABA Daily Newsbytes and other email bulletins.

Industry News
Hackers are nothing if not persistent, and anyone who follows cybersecurity knows that techniques get bolder and more sophisticated each year. The last 12 months saw several new trends and 2016 no doubt will bring more, from extortion hacks to chip-and-pin innovation. (Wired)
 
As in other highly competitive industries, banks often find attracting good employees to be a challenge. This is particularly true for community banks in rural areas, where bringing talent into the organization from outside can be even more difficult. To ensure a reliable supply of strong team members, some banks are boosting their internal training efforts. The result is better retention, along with a competitive advantage over other nearby employers. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
2016 could be a watershed year for consumers seeking mortgages, as the biggest players in the mortgage field face pressure from federal regulators and Congress to adopt more-inclusive and updated credit-scoring models. Last month, the House of Representatives introduced the bipartisan Credit Score Competition Act, meant to expand access to mortgage money for large numbers of creditworthy loan applicants. (Washington Post)
 
If you want a glimpse of the technology consumers will be seeing in 2016 — from wearables and the Internet of Everything to virtual reality and high-tech home appliances — pay attention to the news from CES, the enormous trade show taking place in Las Vegas next week. (Consumer Reports)
 
Decisivedge
Verint Systems
The lack of public resources available to finance infrastructure is hardly new. Cities and states have been scrambling for years to access private capital. Public-private partnerships, long-term contracts whereby private firms provide assets or services for a traditionally public project, are becoming more popular in the U.S. in part because they can mitigate risk for both public entities and private investors. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
A review of the new Michael Lewis movie "The Big Short" includes many examples of how our malfunctioning financial system may produce fundamentally unfair outcomes. So why do we need that system? In his book "Other People’s Money," financial writer John Kay describes the four principal ways that finance contributes to society. (TechCrunch)
 
Sit in on a bank boardroom meeting today and invariably you’ll hear questions like: Are we meeting customers’ demands for mobile and online banking? How secure is our customers’ personal data? The common thread in these critical concerns is the pervasiveness of technology, which has created an urgent need for increased tech expertise in bank boardrooms. But such expertise is often in short supply. (Wall Street Journal)
 
QwickRate
Policy News
For banks, and perhaps the Federal Reserve too, the nightmare scenario in China may play out more rapidly than anyone could have expected. (Wall Street Journal)
 
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said policy makers’ forecasts predicting four interest-rate increases in 2016 were "in the ballpark," though China’s slowing economy and other sources of uncertainty make it difficult to predict the path of policy. (Bloomberg)
 
PULSE, a Discover company
Thomson Reuters
Regulations under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law are creating more compliance burdens for community banks, credit unions and industry associations, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Released last week, the report found that these financial institutions had to increase staff, training and time to comply with the new rules, with some industry officials reporting a decline in specific business activities due to fear of litigation or inability to sell those loans to secondary markets. (The Hill)
 
An accounting rule that allowed stressed banks to book huge gains simply because they were stressed has been overturned. Earlier this week, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which formulates accounting rules, voted to do away with the rule, which took effect as the financial system was starting to crumble in 2007. (New York Times)
 
ID Analytics, LLC
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