ABA Banking Journal
March 30, 2018

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
Generation Z—with their lack of debit and credit cards, their absence of bank accounts and their preference for in-person shopping—poses a challenge to Amazon. But sources say that Amazon is in early discussions with banks to create a product similar to checking accounts for youngsters and those who own no plastic in their wallets. (Bloomberg)
 
While there has been much written about the impact of the recent tax reform law on banks’ bottom lines, less has been said about what it means for financial institutions in the capital markets. Specifically, how is tax reform shaping the dealmaking environment for community banks to midsize and regionals? (ABA Banking Journal)
 
Data Center, Inc. (DCI)
Basys Processing, Inc.
Bankers' optimism about the year ahead grew in the fourth quarter of 2017, as tax reform moved toward the finish line and meaningful legislative regulatory reform came into sight, according to Promontory Interfinancial Network's Bank Confidence Index. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
What keeps Frank Sorrentino up at night? It’s the question of culture—maintaining "the same level of entrepreneurial spirit in the company as the company continues to grow," he says on the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
Sales of new homes slipped 0.6 percent in February, a third straight monthly decline. But year to date, sales are up 2.2 percent compared with 2017 in a sign that buyer demand remains solid. Homebuyers at the start of the spring purchase season are generally finding higher prices and fewer properties available. (ABC News)
 
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Policy News
The FDIC approved a final rule to raise the appraisal thresholds for commercial real estate transactions from $250,000 to $500,000—an increase from the original proposal, which called for the appraisal threshold to be raised to $400,000. The final rule must now be approved by the Fed and the OCC; once approved by the agencies, it will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
The House Financial Services Committee has approved three ABA-backed bills. H.R. 4790 would designate the Federal Reserve as the primary rulemaking agency for the Volcker Rule; H.R. 4861 would repeal FDIC guidance on deposit advance products and direct federal banking agencies to create new guidance; and H.R. 5076 would increase the asset threshold for insured depository institutions. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
The Federal Reserve is looking at revising both Community Reinvestment Act regulations and the way the agency examines for CRA compliance, Fed Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles said. The effort comes as the OCC is taking a fresh look at modernizing and simplifying CRA regulation and supervision, with a formal request for public comment expected in the weeks to come. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
Computer Services Inc
ProcessUnity Incorporated
In a win for ABA and other industry stakeholders, a federal appellate court today set aside some of the Federal Communications Commission’s constraints on when and how businesses can contact customers by phone. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
ABA named Naomi Camper as the association’s chief policy officer, a position created last fall that will oversee all government relations and policy research functions. Camper’s portfolio will include federal and state legislative affairs, regulatory affairs and economic research, as well as ABA’s mortgage, tax and accounting policy groups. (ABA Banking Journal)
 
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point last week and signaled that the central bank is on track to raise rates twice more in 2018. Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell expressed optimism about the current economic picture and said officials were trying to strike a balance on raising rates. (New York Times)
 
Harland Clarke
7 Rules for Killer (and Impactful) KPI Building
Seven best practices for determining which key performance indicators are critical to your financial institution’s success.
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