ABA Banking Journal
September 30, 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
American consumers are safer today than they were one year ago thanks to the swift adoption of EMV technology, ABA SVP Jess Sharp wrote in an op-ed this week. Since last October, more than 700 million chip cards have been issued and payment networks report that in that time, counterfeit card fraud has been cut in half among merchants using chip card readers. (The Hill)
The U.S. economy expanded at a slightly faster pace in the spring than previously reported, aided by new-found strength in business construction. The Commerce Department said Thursday the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy, expanded at an annual pace of 1.4 percent in the April-June quarter. That is up from a previous estimate of 1.1 percent growth. (New York Times)
Investors betting on consolidation as the best path to improve bank performance have unleashed a wave of shareholder activism at banks. In 2015 alone, activists launched 22 campaigns aimed at U.S. banks both small and large, up from eight in 2009, according to Thomson Reuters activism data. And beyond these formal campaigns, hedge fund investing in banks continues to rise. (ABA Banking Journal)
Car loans, mortgages and saving for college are the top reasons consumers plan to consult their bank over the next year, according to a new survey by the American Bankers Association. Two in five Americans indicated they may contact their bank about these or other important financial decisions within the next 12 months. (ABA Banking Journal)
Verint Systems
Atherton Research got an exclusive sneak peek at VBProfiles’ upcoming Fintech landscape report and it’s huge! The San Francisco-based market intelligence platform, that tracks innovation, deal flow and news across the technology industry, found over 1,000 Fintech companies (startups and historical incumbents) which raised over $105 billion in total funding and worth nearly $870 billion in current value. (Forbes)
After analyzing more than 500,000 public Venmo payments, researchers at student loan marketplace LendEdu determined that a slice of pizza and a small flying stack of money were the most frequently used emojis. It makes sense given the app's majority base of millennial users, but Venmo isn't just for booze and food. Two of the top 30 most frequently used emojis were related to rent, another to utilities, and three to various car expenses. (Bloomberg)
As we approach the fall and harvest season for many parts of the country, I’m reminded of the resiliency and productiveness of U.S. farmers and ranchers, writes Steve Apodaca. I’m also reminded how we as ag bankers know our customers and our communities, and how we care for and help both. This is despite the challenges we face, including, but not limited to, burdensome regulations, unfair competition from the Farm Credit System and credit unions, and much more. (ABA Banking Journal)
The San Francisco branch of the Federal Reserve has a game on its website that lets you play at being Chair of the Federal Reserve. After tinkering with it, I've come to some conclusions: Modeling the economy is a mug's game, short-term interest rates are a poor tool for steering the economy, and I should never be given the job of running a central bank, writes Mark Gilbert. (Bloomberg View)
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
The Federal Reserve proposed easing "stress-test" requirements for banks with less than $250 billion in assets, a major piece of good news for U.S. regional banks. Fed governor Daniel Tarullo, speaking at Yale University on Monday, said banks with less than $250 billion in assets that don’t conduct significant nonbank or international activity would be exempt from the "qualitative" part of the Fed’s annual stress tests. (Wall Street Journal)
In advance of a congressional hearing on consumer access to banking services this week, ABA wrote to leaders of the House subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit voicing its support for several bills that would provide increased flexibility for brokered and reciprocal deposits. (ABA Baking Journal)
The number of new mortgages issued in 2015 rose 22 percent—reversing a more than 30 percent decline in mortgage originations the previous year—even as the number of originating institutions declined and nonbanks accounted for a greater share of new loans, according to housing finance data released Thursday. (National Mortgage News)
Computer Services Inc
Thomson Reuters
The House passed a GOP-backed bill Wednesday night to delay the Obama administration’s controversial overtime rule from taking effect Dec. 1. The Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act passed mostly along party lines by a vote of 246-177, delaying for six months the rule that makes 4.2 million Americans eligible for overtime pay. (The Hill)
Under a bill introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) this week, companies—banks and nonbank financial technology firms alike—will be able to test innovative fintech products under a streamlined process with greater certainty about compliance requirements. (ABA Banking Journal)
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the central bank has no "fixed timetable" for raising interest rates but she believes the economy is ready for a rate hike by the end of the year. She said during an appearance before the House Financial Services Committee that when the Fed met last week, a majority of her colleagues believed it would be appropriate to raise rates before the end of this year. (New York Times)
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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