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April 3, 2012
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News for financial services executives

  Top Story 
 
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  Industry Watch 
  • Fed stress-test treatment of credit cards puzzles investors
    Some elements of the Federal Reserve's latest bank stress tests remain confusing to investors, and bank credit card portfolios are one example. JPMorgan has seen charge offs decline more quickly than some of its peers and has not focused on subprime customers, but the Fed's rating of its percentage of cumulative losses on cards places the bank on par or below those peers. One possible explanation for the lower rating is that JPMorgan is pursuing a growth strategy in credit cards. The Wall Street Journal/Heard on the Street (4/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Increasing number of small banks flee OCC for other regulators
    Some federal regulators contend that smaller banks are shopping around for more lenient oversight after the Dodd-Frank Act changed their regulator to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Bankers argue that they are merely seeking to work with regulators, such as state and credit union officials, who are more in touch with the issues of smaller institutions and won't punish them for the sins of bigger banks. "We are dealing with a false perception that the OCC doesn't understand community banks," said Jennifer Kelly, senior deputy comptroller for midsize bank supervision. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Visa drops Global Payments from its data-security registry
    After a Global Payments security breach that likely affected data for up to 1.5 million credit card holders, Visa has dropped the payment processor from its registry of providers that meet security standards. Global Payments CEO Paul Garcia says the company expects to reestablish its place on Visa's list once issues are resolved. He maintains that the situation, which also affected MasterCard customers, is "absolutely contained." The Washington Post/The Associated Press (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC official recommends "reproposal" of Volcker rule
    Troy Paredes, a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said regulators should repropose the Volcker rule. "At this point, the most prudent path forward would be a reproposal," Mr. Paredes said. "We run the risk that when we solve one problem, we create many other problems and other unintended consequences." Bloomberg (4/2), Bank Credit News (4/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology & Trends 
  • Survey: Mobile customers want more technical help
    Customers want help when using mobile banking. In a recent survey, 60% of participants cited links or contact information for technical support as the most needed improvement. The "most obvious thing is to have some kind of chat interaction with the contact center while using mobile banking," says Michael McEvoy, managing director at Power Consulting, which conducted the survey. AmericanBanker.com (free registration) (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Banks help in Ohio's effort to teach teens financial literacy
    Ohio lawmakers had required schools to provide financial literacy to teen students beginning in 2010, and since then the demand by students to learn more has increased, educators say. Banks such as Fifth Third, Huntington and Key are helping financial-literacy efforts in schools and in the community. "A financially empowered community is a stronger and more stable community," says Jerry Kelsheimer, president and CEO of Fifth Third's Northeastern Ohio region. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn how the Financial Services Industry strengthens the economy at www.OurFinancialFuture.com.
  Economic Report 
  • Daily Economic Indicator: U.S. manufacturing posts growth
    The Institute for Supply Management's factory index increased to 53.4 in March from 52.4 in February, a sign of manufacturing growth that will help bolster the economy, economists say. "We are seeing a broadening in the improvement across the economy," said Millan Mulraine with TD Securities. "I'm encouraged by the backlog of orders which remains quite supportive of stronger momentum." Bloomberg (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Commercial lending expected to buoy economic growth
    Lending by U.S. commercial banks has increased in each of the last 14 months, Federal Reserve data show. The trend is expected to continue, with lending "getting back to prerecessionary levels" as private companies continue to improve their finances, says Brian Hamilton, CEO of Sageworks. "When banks lend more money and businesses are doing better and start borrowing more, this trend tends to sustain economic recovery," he said. Forbes/Sageworks Stats blog (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News from the Hill 
  • Frank lashes out at GOP's proposed changes to Dodd-Frank
    Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., contends that although he and other members of the Democratic Party are not opposed to "fine-tuning" the Dodd-Frank Act to reassure businesses, Republicans are proposing changes that would weaken the law too much. Mr. Frank says two House bills would undo needed oversight of derivative transactions and again destabilize the economy. The Hill/On the Money blog (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Republicans will likely take control of Congress
    President Barack Obama might be re-elected this year, but his second term likely would be much different from his first. Barron's predicted, through analysis of upcoming congressional elections, that Republicans will take control of Congress. The power shift in Washington, D.C., would be good news for investors, according to Barron's. Barron's (free content) (3/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Members in the News 
  • Pimco's Total Return Fund bounces back
    Bill Gross, manager of Pimco's Total Return Fund, with assets of $252 billion, recorded a 2.88% return in the first quarter. The world's biggest bond fund topped its benchmark index by 2.58 percentage points, mainly due to its bet on mortgage bonds. The improvement in returns comes after one of the worst performances for the fund in 2011. The Wall Street Journal (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 
 

  Financial Services Roundtable at Work 
  • Roundtable releases event calendar for Financial Literacy Month
    The Financial Services Roundtable is celebrating Financial Literacy Month guided by the work and financial-literacy curricula of member companies and three areas of concentration: financial education for older Americans, service members and the unbanked and underbanked. This year's 2012 Financial Literacy Calendar features the work of 18 Roundtable member companies and their events held in honor of Financial Literacy Month. Events include:
    • Social media initiatives for saving money and reducing expenses
    • Classroom teaching
    • Community centers outreach
    • Online financial-literacy curricula, among many, many more.

    "Financial literacy is no longer just a trend, it's an integral steppingstone to a financially secure future," said Steve Bartlett, president and CEO for the Roundtable. "Our members take financial literacy seriously, and we're proud to showcase their many efforts."

    The 2012 Calendar of Financial Literacy events can be found at the Roundtable's website. Learn more at www.financialcommunityservice.org.

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  SmartQuote 
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
--Antoine de Saint-Exupery,
French writer


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