ABA Banking Journal
January 6, 2017

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
As the guardians of customers’ most sensitive data, banks are trusted to provide the gold standard in data security. And for most banks, that means a multi-factor authentication process combining passwords with PINs or security questions. But is that enough? (ABA Banking Journal)
 
2016 was a year of many things, but possibly the most meaningful event in the fintech world at least: the Comptroller of the Currency announced recently that the OCC will begin "considering" applications to grant banking licenses to fintech firms. The OCC’s decision could almost entirely blur the lines between tech firms, fintechs and financial institutions. Before that happens, Bank Innovation compiled its annual top 10 Most Innovative CEOs in Banking list. (Bank Innovation)
 
Topic A for business leaders worldwide is the presumed avalanche of pro-business actions about to cascade from Washington after the new Congress was sworn in, and especially after Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20. But how much of it will actually get done? And when rhetoric becomes statutory reality, what surprises will be buried deep in the bills that are enacted and rules that are imposed? (Fortune)
 
Data Center, Inc. (DCI)
Verint Systems
The number of older Americans carrying some type of student debt has nearly quadrupled over the last decade from 700,000 to 2.8 million, according to a study published today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Consumers age 60 or older now make up the fastest growing age segment of the student loan market, the CFPB said, owing an estimated $66.7 billion as of 2015. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
The capital environment shifts to a proactive posture as community banks position themselves for expansion and acquisition. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
U.S. private employers added 153,000 jobs in December, fewer than in November, but the labor market remained solid, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Thursday. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 170,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 140,000 to 200,000. (New York Times)
 
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Policy News
In a letter to congressional leadership, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols outlined several pro-growth policy priorities "that will help our nation’s economy and communities thrive." These policy goals include tailored regulation, more flexible mortgage rules, a sustainable housing finance system, flood insurance reform, a level playing field for all kinds of financial services providers, tax reform, small business lending support, student debt relief, stronger data security standards, an end to price caps on interchange fees and a more sensible regulatory posture. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) yesterday announced the Republican committee rosters for the 115th Congress. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) will lead the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which will also include GOP Sens. Richard Shelby (Ala.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), David Perdue (Ga.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), and John Kennedy (La.). (ABA Banking Journal)
 
Technology Association of Georgia
LexisNexis Risk Solutions
Last week, the federal regulatory agencies finalized a new, streamlined Call Report with simplified instructions for banks with less than $1 billion in assets and no foreign offices. The new Call Report reduces the total number of pages from 85 to 61 as a result of removing approximately 40 percent of the required data items. The new Call Report takes effect with the March 31, 2017 filing date. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
The presidency of Donald Trump will present the opportunity to reshape the Federal Reserve from the outside in. Though many proposals have been floated in recent years, the call to eradicate the Fed altogether is neither reasonable nor wise. That would only deny the risks inherent in globalized financial markets, leaving the U.S. economy open to attack. (Bloomberg View)
 
New Year, New Growth!
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With 2017 here, banks are strategically planning how to reach new audiences, grow market share, and stay competitive. Is your core banking platform helping or hindering your progress? Download the free ebook, Digital Growth: The Paradox of Legacy Platforms, to learn more about the current state of digital banking and why banks are changing cores.
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