January 25, 2022
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Bank of America strategists expect use of stablecoins to grow and the US to issue a central bank digital currency between 2025 and 2030. "We expect stablecoin adoption and use for payments to increase significantly over the next several years as financial institutions explore digital asset custody and trading solutions and as payments companies incorporate blockchain technology into their platforms," according to a report from the strategists.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (1/24) 
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Retail Banking Roundup
Florida-based BankUnited gave each of its employees bonus compensation of $5,000 toward the end of 2021. CEO Rajinder Singh called the move a "$7 million investment" that has "changed the dialogue in the company."
Full Story: American Banker (1/24) 
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Banks' shift toward digitization is being helped by advancements in ATM technology, which enable them to provide a number of retail banking services and maintain brand presence without the need for a full branch. The ATM market is expanding at a compound annual rate of nearly 5%.
Full Story: PYMNTS (1/24) 
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Industry News
The S&P 500 dropped sharply Monday before recovering to finish up 0.3%, while the Nasdaq 100 rose 0.5% after sinking as much as 4.9%. The wild trading day came ahead of a meeting this week in which the Federal Reserve is expected to signal an interest-rate increase in March.
Full Story: Reuters (1/24),  The New York Times (1/25),  Bloomberg (1/24) 
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The stock prices of major banks could face the biggest losing streak in over a year as the KBW Bank Index slid 3.8% yesterday -- marking the sixth straight day -- the longest since January 2021. "We do view at least a substantial portion of the recent selloff in financial stocks as transitory, and largely fear-based as investors prepare for the Fed to raise interest rates and wonder whether it will negatively impact the economy," said Christopher McGratty, KBW analyst.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (1/24) 
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Regulatory Report
Activist groups and individuals are calling on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to raise pressure on major banks to uphold their net-zero emissions pledges and focus more on climate-related risks.
Full Story: Axios (1/24) 
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Buy now, pay later lenders market their services as a chance to help underserved consumers access and build credit, but tougher regulation is needed as many users could fall victim to predatory practices, writes Mike Calhoun, president of The Center for Responsible Lending. "The lack of transparency into how these products work mirrors questions raised about other so-called innovative lending products -- subprime mortgages and payday loans, for example -- that took advantage of borrowers without financial resources or traditional banking relationships," Calhoun writes.
Full Story: American Banker (1/24) 
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The Securities and Exchange Commission is exploring expansion of cybersecurity rules to include third-party service providers, such as market makers and brokerages not registered with the SEC, Chair Gary Gensler said. Heightened supervision in these areas "could help ensure important investor protections are not lost and key services are not disrupted as financial-sector registrants increasingly rely on outsourced services," Gensler said.
Full Story: Reuters (1/24),  The Wall Street Journal (1/24),  BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (1/24) 
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Legislative Affairs
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., says Congress should be making the rules surrounding digital assets rather than regulatory bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission. The House Financial Services Committee "should do its work to appropriately categorize these assets and determine the rules that will govern their use," McHenry said in letter to committee chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
Full Story: Politico Pro (subscription required) (1/24) 
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CBA Connect
CBA is thrilled to welcome the industry's top leaders to San Antonio, Texas, March 7-9 for CBA LIVE 2022. Network with hundreds of senior bankers and industry leaders, hear from top-notch presenters and experience 60-plus hours of content-rich programming, all at our best available price. Register now to secure your spot at retail banking's premier annual event!
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To highlight the #SmallBusinessSpotlight campaign unveiled in May, the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), International Franchise Association (IFA), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) joined forces to commemorate Small Business Saturday and the historic partnership between millions of small businesses and the banks who helped them attain a lifesaving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan during the course of this pandemic. Over the last week, the groups released testimonials across social media channels and will continue to promote these success stories over the next several months. To learn more about the campaign and how to share your customers' stories, visit www.smallbusinessspotlight.com.
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