ABA Banking Journal
December 22, 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 tax bill successfully passed Congress, several companies—including banks of all sizes—announced plans to increase employee compensation and charitable contributions as a result of the significant tax cut corporations will receive under the new law. (ABA Banking Journal)
According to the latest report from Freddie Mac, mortgage rates remain largely unchanged, but may be poised for movement following the Federal Reserve's recent raise in its benchmark rate to 1.5 percent. (Washington Post)
In this special bonus episode of the ABA Newsbytes Podcast, Evan Sparks and Shaun Kern interview ABA Chief Operating Officer Jeff Owen, who retires on Dec. 31, 2017, after 45 years with the association. (ABA Banking Journal)
Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting says the financial services industry must offer customers easier access to services such as lending, money transfer and payments through mobile applications and websites to prevent losing business. (The Hill)
Data Center, Inc. (DCI)
Verint Systems
Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain, told CNBC that central banks may begin to hold digital currency as early as next year. (CNBC)
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Policy News
The tax reform bill cleared its final procedural hurdle Wednesday as the House voted again to approve the measure, marking the first fundamental changes to the U.S. tax code in more than three decades. The bill now goes to President Trump for signing, which he is expected to do in the coming days, although possibly not until after the new year. (ABA Banking Journal)
The House has passed H.R. 3312, the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act of 2017, by a bipartisan vote of 288 to 130. A key part of the American Bankers Association’s Blueprint for Growth, the bill replaces the arbitrary $50 billion asset threshold for systemically important status in the Dodd-Frank Act with a more tailored, nuanced set of systemic risk indicators. (ABA Banking Journal)
The American Bankers Association offered feedback to the federal banking agencies on a recent proposed rule that would simplify the complex Basel III regulatory capital calculations for all but the very largest banks. (ABA Banking Journal)
ABA and six other financial trade associations have called on Congress to move forward with legislation to implement strong national data security and breach notification requirements that would replace the current inconsistent patchwork of state laws. (ABA Banking Journal)
Computer Services Inc
LexisNexis Risk Solutions
The FDIC board has approved a $2.09 billion operating budget for 2018, down 3 percent from the 2017 budget. The board also authorized a 2018 staffing level of 6,076 positions for 2018, a net reduction of 287 positions from the 2017 staffing level. (ABA Banking Journal)
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