ABA Banking Journal
March 18, 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
Since the financial crisis, borrowers have been eager to get lower interest rates and better access to credit, while lenders have searched for higher returns on their investments. Banks, saddled with regulatory burdens, haven't been able to fully meet these needs. This has left room for the growth of a new market — peer-to-peer lending.
 
Listening to earnings calls and analyst presentations, you can feel the bank M&A in the air as management teams are increasingly stating their desire to pursue attractive opportunities as consolidation in the banking sector is also set to accelerate. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
There’s a lot to like about the idea of a cashless society, starting with its effect on crime. Then we should consider the other benefits of eliminating cash. Provided the payments system takes reasonable precautions, it’s impossible to burn up all your money in a fire, or forget where you stashed it. What’s not to like? Very little. Except, of course, for the amount of power that this gives the government over its citizens. (Bloomberg View)
 
Arch Mortgage Insurance Company
Verint Systems
For years, payments has been one of the hottest areas in fintech, and everyone has been lining up to join the party. Now, hands-free innovations are paving the way for a new generation of payment innovations. (TechCrunch)
 
From country to country, monetary units vary nearly as much as the cultures and languages who use them. But have you ever wondered why a dollar is called a "dollar?" A recent post on the Oxford Dictionary's "OxfordWords" blog explained the origins of the names of the world's most common currencies. In the slides below, find out where these everyday words comes form. (Business Insider)
 
QwickRate
Policy News
Speaking this week at ABA’s Government Relations Summit, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) offered a preview of a financial regulatory reform plan that he expects to unveil soon. Key measures in the bill include accountability for both financial institutions and regulatory agencies, relief from Basel III capital requirements for community banks and changes to Federal Reserve mechanisms, he said. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
The Federal Reserve has once again pared its plans for raising interest rates, citing the weakness of the global economy as a reason for greater caution about the prospects for domestic growth. The Fed’s policy-making committee voted not to raise its benchmark rate at a meeting earlier this week, although general expectations at the beginning of the year were for an increase this month. (New York Times)
 
ABA met with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget last week to discuss the Department of Labor’s pending fiduciary rule, which redefines who counts as a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. ABA expressed concern about the DoL’s apparent failure to consult with the OCC throughout the rulemaking process, pointing out that at least one provision of the proposed rule violates the National Bank Act and OCC regulations. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
Computer Services Inc
Thomson Reuters
December 2015 brought a setback to the banking industry as — after years of advocacy and effort — Congress failed to include meaningful regulatory relief in the omnibus spending bill, an outcome that ABA and the state associations fought hard for. Despite the outcome, bankers are rallying themselves for whatever gains they can make in 2016 and laying the groundwork for major efforts with a new Congress and president in 2017. That effort began this week at ABA’s Government Relations Summit in Washington. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
"Does the Fed have a credibility problem?" That was the first question posed to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at Wednesday's press conference following the central bank's decision to leave monetary policy unchanged, and its signal that instead of the four rate increases it anticipated implementing this year, there will be just two. (Bloomberg View)
 
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