ABA Banking Journal
February 19, 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
A responsibly regulated fintech industry is essential for ensuring consumer protection and allowing for greater cooperation between banks and alternative financial service providers, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols wrote in an op-ed this week. (American Banker)
Why does the subject of "customers" come up so infrequently in discussions with banks? This doesn’t mean banks have no customer focus, but it just doesn’t resonate at the board-level, decision-making part of the institution. Does this mean customers are happy? (BankNxt)
Bankers who think they aren’t facing competition from nonbank marketplace lenders should take a closer look, according to bank technology leaders speaking at ABA’s National Conference for Community Bankers in Palm Desert, Calif. (ABA Banking Journal)
According to a BI Intelligence report, banked millennials are making fewer and fewer branch visits and are increasingly turning to digital channels. Of the 1,500 millennials surveyed, 74% make one or fewer visits to a bank branch, per month, to perform activities other than using an ATM. (Business Insider)
March Networks
Verint Systems
According to Blythe Masters, founder of the startup Digital Asset Holdings, regulators are warming up to the blockchain. While they’ve voiced concerns in the past regarding the difficulty of regulating the blockchain, they are now "very interested in the potential of [the] technology to improve transparency, audit trails, transaction reporting and reduce operational risk," according to Masters. (Reuters)
The consensus on negative interest rates is becoming increasingly negative. For banks, there is growing concern from analysts that even slightly negative rates can seriously suppress profits. (Wall Street Journal)
Visa is introducing a new service to help issuers empower consumers to monitor and control how, where and when their Visa credit, debit and prepaid accounts can be used. By providing consumers with real-time visibility and control over their accounts, they can take immediate action to protect themselves from security threats and fraud. (Banking Technology)
Policy News
In a letter to the Financial Accounting Standards Board last week, ABA called for FASB to hold additional meetings and the issuance of a new draft standard to address the complexity of the proposed Current Expected Credit Loss model. The letter followed an FASB roundtable which ABA said contained "little to no substantial discussion as to how bankers and auditors would address CECL issues in light of current and expected auditing standards and reporting expectations." (ABA Banking Journal)
Federal Reserve officials are already signaling why they might lower forecasts for growth, inflation and the path of future interest rates when they meet next month. Minutes from the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting released this week show that officials were worried about a series of drags and disruptions that are likely to derail their December projection of four rate increases this year. (Bloomberg)
PULSE, a Discover company
Thomson Reuters
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has just finalized a policy under which companies may request "no-action" letters indicating that bureau staff have "no present intention" to initiate enforcement or supervisory actions based on a particular product or aspect of a product. The policy is ostensibly aimed at facilitating innovation, but as ABA and others have pointed out, the bureau’s policy does virtually nothing to reduce regulatory uncertainty. (ABA Banking Journal)
ID Analytics, LLC



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