ABA Banking Journal
September 2, 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
Mobile banking has leaped into position as the second-most-preferred form of banking, chosen by 18 percent of bank customers, up six points from last year and nearly double since 2014, according to an Ipsos Public Affairs survey conducted for the American Bankers Association. (ABA Banking Journal)
More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in July, a sign that demand for home ownership remains strong despite a shortage of listings on the market. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 1.3 percent in July to 111.3, the highest reading since April. (New York Times)
This much is obvious: Young people don’t buy homes like they used to. In the aftermath of the recession and weak recovery, the share of 18- to- 34 year olds—a.k.a.: Millennials—who own a home has fallen to a 30-year low. For the first time on record going back more than a century, young people are now more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse. (The Atlantic)
The Giving USA Report released in June reports that donations to charities and nonprofits are up 4 percent from 2014, growing at a rate of more than $1 billion a day (totaling an estimated $373.25 billion in 2015). At the same time, a survey from U.S. Bank finds that only 31 percent of Americans have volunteered their time thus far in 2016. (ABA Banking Journal)
As the agricultural economy enters a down period in which low commodity prices have strained farm incomes and concerns about liquidity have reached an all-time high, agricultural bankers are ready and willing to help America's farmers and ranchers. (Agri-Pulse)
Verint Systems
FDIC-insured banks and savings institutions earned $43.6 billion in the second quarter, up 1.4 percent from the industry’s earnings a year before, the FDIC said this week. The rise in net earnings was largely driven by a $5.2 billion increase in net interest income and a $981 million decline in expenses for litigation reserves at a few large banks, the agency said. (ABA Banking Journal)
Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin and other digital currencies, isn’t quite as novel or omnipotent as many have advertised it to be. That doesn’t mean, however, that it can’t do wonders in the world of finance. (Bloomberg View)
After more than 20 years of working on all sides of the bank-insurance business—as a producer, as a bank-insurance leader and insurance company life division head—it’s clear to me that it is indeed very complicated. (ABA Banking Journal)
Bill Gates gives out book recommendations. So does Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. And now, banking executives are offering up their own suggestions for a more literary past time: Goldman Sachs just published a back-to-school reading list of favorites from managing directors and partners around the globe. (Washington Post)
iGen Is Coming. Prepare Now.
Harland Clarke
The first wave of iGen (aka Generation Z) turns 21 in 2018. Their relationship with technology, combined with the expectations this relationship has fostered, poses big challenges for financial institutions.
Learn More
Policy News
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has signaled that the central bank is moving closer to raising its influential interest rate amid sustained improvement in the job market. In a speech at an economics conference, she acknowledged that the recovery’s momentum remains tepid. Still, the country has added an average of 190,000 jobs a month this summer, and the unemployment rate has remained steady at about 5 percent. (Washington Post)
In a letter to Jason Furman, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols provided a more detailed response to claims in a CEA report that that the Dodd-Frank Act and other regulations have had little to no effect on community bank consolidation. (ABA Banking Journal)
Computer Services Inc
Thomson Reuters
With recent changes to the Military Lending Act rules set to take effect in October, the Department of Defense is issuing an interpretive rule clarifying several elements of the changes. The American Bankers Association strongly advocated for further clarifications to facilitate compliance with minimal imposition on customer service. (ABA Banking Journal)
Current discussions around the potential reinstitution of the Glass-Steagall Act—enacted in 1933 to prohibit commercial banks from engaging in the investment business as a response to the Great Depression—are headline-grabbing and emotional. However, Glass-Steagall ultimately has no merit in our current financial environment. It is a relic of an ancient world that no longer exists, where the U.S. was the supreme world power in financial services. (American Banker)
New Year, New Growth!
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.
Learn how.
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