A report by CB Insights and MasterCard predicts fintechs and banks will further align their interests in 2020, as banks look to transform how they provide products and services, and digital challengers work to expand their offerings. The report also describes the US as behind the times in fintech regulation, with Europe leading the way in smart regulation.
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In its fourth-quarter earnings report, Bank of America reported strong growth in peer-to-peer payments, digital sales and AI users. Zelle was up 76% year-over-year, the Erica AI platform grew by 1 million users during the quarter, 45% of mortgage and 61% of auto applications were done digitally, and 29% of all consumer sales were digital.
Visa has agreed to purchase financial-technology firm Plaid for $5.3 billion, twice the valuation the startup received in a 2018 funding round. The deal helps Visa build relationships with other fintechs and positions Visa for a future where payments will be more digital and less card-centric.
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Lower interest rates were a prime factor that led to an increase in mortgage originations for Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America in 2019. The increase continued in the fourth quarter, a season which is typically slow for new mortgages.
Recovery in investment banking, demand for consumer lending and a surge in fixed income increased banks' profits in the fourth quarter, despite declining interest rates. JPMorgan Chase has repaid investor confidence by posting the biggest full-year profit in its history, while Citigroup has reported double-digit earnings growth for Q4, largely because bond-trading desks have recovered after 2018's disappointing results. The rebound pushed JPMorgan's yearly earnings to an industry record of $36.4 billion, while Citi saw Q4 revenue of $18.4 billion.
A cyberattack on a significantly active bank in the US "would likely be amplified to affect the liquidity of many other banks in the system," according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "This could have severe implications on the stability of the broader financial system vis-a-vis spillovers to investors, creditors, and other financial market participants," the report states.
Truist Bank's recently unveiled purple logo incorporates two interlocked Ts to signify the merger of BB&T and SunTrust banks, as well as the firm's emphasis on technology and the personal touch of its employees, said chief digital and client experience officer Donta Wilson. The logo will be added to branches and sports venues over the next 18-24 months.