ABA Banking Journal
March 13, 2020

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
Two rising community bank executives in North Carolina share lessons in career development and leadership. (ABA Banking Journal)
Fintech startups looking to upend how Americans do their banking are facing their first major test as interest rates fall and fearful consumers seek safety at traditional banks. (Bank Innovation)
Rates for 30-year U.S. mortgages rose from a record low as overwhelmed lenders lifted borrowing costs to curb an onslaught of business. The average rate was 3.36%, up from 3.29% last week, which was the lowest in 49 years of data-keeping, according to Freddie Mac. (Bloomberg)
Bank brands are under attack like never before. Competition is fierce and aggressive. While you strategize on fending off the marauding outsiders, be sure you’re not accidentally making your brand more vulnerable because of your own actions. (ABA Bank Marketing)
The number of American claims for jobless benefits has dropped by 4,000 for a second week in a row, showing that the effects of the coronavirus may not have yet reached the labor market. The Labor Department reported this week that unemployment benefits requests reached a seasonally adjusted 211,000, a decrease of 4,000 from last week. The week before, these claims also dropped by 4,000. (The Hill)
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Policy News
To promote job creation and economic vitality in neglected rural and urban communities, ABA and several other financial trade groups urged House and Senate appropriations leaders to support $304 million in funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in fiscal year 2021, with $35 million allocated for the Bank Enterprise Award program. (ABA Banking Journal)
In letters to House and Senate lawmakers, ABA urged them to support the Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America Act, a bill that would end taxation of interest earned from agricultural real estate loans. (ABA Banking Journal)
Appraisal Institute
Cummins Allison
In a letter to the OCC, the ABA offered support for several proposed rule changes, including those sought by the association during the Economic Growth and Paperwork Reduction Act feedback process. (ABA Banking Journal)
Fifty state bankers associations wrote to Senate Banking Committee leaders last week, urging them to support the SAFE Banking Act, a bill that would provide a safe harbor for depository institutions seeking to serve legitimate cannabis-related businesses in states where such activity is legal. (ABA Banking Journal)
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Coronavirus News
Given the health concerns raised by the coronavirus, and after hearing member feedback, all scheduled ABA events in March have been canceled. ABA is providing banker resources, including free webinars, through a comprehensive incident response webpage.
As the World Health Organization officially labeled the 2019 novel coronavirus a global pandemic this week, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols joined CEOs from some of the nation’s largest banks at a White House meeting with President Trump this afternoon to discuss the financial industry’s response. (ABA Banking Journal)
With concerns growing nationwide about the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, the IRS has issued guidance confirming that Americans financing their health care with a health savings account can access free COVID-19 testing. (ABA Banking Journal)
Recognizing the potential effects of the 2019 coronavirus disease on bank customers, financial regulators today issued a statement calling on banks to work constructively with borrowers and others affected by the virus in their communities. (ABA Banking Journal)



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