ABA Banking Journal
January 20, 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
The U.S. economy will continue to expand, with growth in 2017 forecast to reach 2.1 percent, the ABA Economic Advisory Committee said last week. They added that growth could be stronger depending upon the magnitude and timing of any fiscal stimulus. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
Presidential reputations rise or fall with gross domestic product. The state of the economy can determine if presidents are re-elected, and it shapes historical memory of their success or failure. But the reality is that presidents have far less control over the economy than you might imagine. Presidential economic records are highly dependent on the dumb luck of where the nation is in the economic cycle. (New York Times)
 
The robo-advice landscape has seen rapid growth over the past two years—just under 60 percent of the digital advisory companies currently in existence were founded since 2014, and that trend isn’t likely to slow down, as consumers continue to gravitate toward easy-to-access, digital financial management tools that they can take advantage of on their own terms. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
Young people can face a lot of challenges when it comes to buying their first home—and that list may be growing. A house can seem far-fetched for someone struggling with student loans, rising rental costs and growing child-care expenses. But recent data from the real estate website Trulia found that people buying starter homes, or those in the bottom third of home values for their market, can also have a harder time closing on their mortgages or finding a home they can afford. (Washington Post)
 
Data Center, Inc. (DCI)
Verint Systems
Many more students have defaulted on or failed to pay back their college loans than the U.S. government previously believed. Last Friday, the Education Department released a memo saying that it had overstated student loan repayment rates at most colleges and trade schools and provided updated numbers. (Wall Street Journal)
 
Innovating in banking is easy compared with regulating it.One of the most promising developments in the buzzy "financial technology" realm, the one that is supposed to usurp traditional banks, was peer-to-peer lenders.And then the shiny future ran into the stodgy present in the form of regulators. (Bloomberg)
 
Economic activity continued to expand at a modest pace across most of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts over the period from late-November to the end of the year, according to the just-released Federal Reserve Beige Book. Most Federal Reserve Districts reported "moderate" or "modest" growth. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
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Policy News
ABA has offered its support for the OCC’s proposal to grant special-purpose national bank charters to financial technology firms, as long as existing rules are applied evenly and fairly and with effective oversight. In a comment letter, ABA praised the OCC’s efforts to facilitate responsible innovation within the banking system, emphasizing that the implementation of the new charter will be critical to ensuring a level playing field for banks and fintech companies. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
A spokesman for President-Elect Donald Trump said yesterday that Trump has interviewed former Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) for the post of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director — indicating that Trump may be considering removing current director Richard Cordray from his post before his term expires in 2018. (ABA Baking Journal)
 
Technology Association of Georgia
LexisNexis Risk Solutions
Last week, the House voted 239-182 to pass the Commodity End-User Relief Act that would reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The bill includes multiple American Bankers Association-supported provisions. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
(Video) Steven Mnuchin, President-Elect Donald Trump's nominee for Treasury secretary, discusses banking regulation at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee this week. (Bloomberg)
 
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