Opinion

Ideas in housing finance

I received a solicitation in my personal mail recently. It was a letter from Unison, which offered me money based on my homeownership. I get a HELOC solicitation almost every week, but this was different, most notably because it wasn’t offering a credit product. [Continue]

Data could open new lending markets to banks

Everyone is talking about fintechs, but I contend banks still have the upper hand when it comes to controlling the most attractive segment of the lending market. Fintechs that are leveraging new avenues of data to identify loan prospects and quickly approve loans are generally reaching loan prospects who wouldn’t qualify for traditional bank financing. [Continue]

Recruiting at rural banks requires holistic approach

Many aspects of industry consolidation are lamentable: Reduced access to services in sparsely populated areas and the diseconomies of scale (i.e., lack of personal service) are two that come to mind quickly. But what should we make of a changing landscape where there are fewer and fewer family-owned institutions? I sure hope family banks aren’t going the way of the family farm. [Continue]

More reg relief possible

Leadership at the regulatory agencies provides hope for additional regulatory relief. Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting is focused on updating and clarifying CRA for both consumers and bankers. The new FDIC Chairman, Jelena McWilliams, recently outlined several reg relief priorities. And now most recently, new Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle Bowman is talking about the importance of reg relief for community banks. [Continue]