Bankers well-positioned to help farm customers through crises

In the last 12 months, Bob Worth has lost three Minnesota farming friends to suicide. Two of the men, aged 50 and 55, faced liquidation of their family farms. With the third, Worth said it was definitely not financial stress. He was “one of the best farmers in the area,” Worth said. “He just thought he was going downhill. As much help as he got, tried to get — medical help, psychological help — he just knew he was a failure.” [Continue]

Political wrangling likely to reignite as Mulvaney’s term ends

Leadership at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is likely to become a hot political topic again. Mick Mulvaney was appointed to lead the CFPB as by President Donald Trump last November after the previous leader, Richard Cordray, resigned to run for Governor of Ohio. Cordray resigned before the end of his statutory term, however, and President Trump  appointed Mulvaney as “acting director” until a permanent director could be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. That temporary appointment ends June 22. [Continue]

SBA’s Linda McMahon up close and personal

I am originally from North Carolina. I was born in North Carolina and was actually friends with Vince growing up. We met when I was 13 and he was 16. We later married right after I graduated from high school and then went off to college. We just celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary. It’s a wonderful thing to have been together this many years, to be married to your best friend, to have two great kids, six grandchildren – it’s truly a blessing. [Continue]

OCC wants banks active in small-dollar lending

U.S. consumers borrow nearly $90 billion every year in short-term, small-dollar loans that range from $300 to $5,000. Because many banks have withdrawn from this market, consumers have increasingly turning to alternative lenders. Joseph Otting, Comptroller of the Currency, wants banks back in the micro-lending business offering responsible short-term, small-dollar installment loans. Otting believes banks … Read more

Midwest earnings figures show larger banks out-pace smaller banks

Income trends among banks in the Midwest tracked with the nation overall, as first quarter earnings across the banking industry exceeded last year’s first quarter earnings by 27.5 percent. First quarter earnings at Illinois’s 450 banks exceeded last year’s first quarter earnings by 24.4 percent. In Wisconsin, where there are 201 banks, the gain was 21.8 percent; in Minnesota where there are 304 banks it was 17.6 percent and in Iowa (294 banks) it was 13.5 percent. [Continue]

House passes reg relief bill

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S.2155) overwhelmingly passed in the U.S. House of Representatives May 22. The final tally was 258-119 votes for the bill. Thirty-three Democrats voted for the bill. The bill passed the Senate March 14 by a vote of 67 to 31. The bill now goes to President … Read more

Oak Ridge Financial creates Equity Capital Markets Group

Oak Ridge Financial Services Group, Inc., based in Golden Valley, Minn., announced May 21 it is expanding its investment banking practice. To facilitate the expansion, Oak Ridge has brought several people into the organization. Five of its new hires comprise its newly created Equity Capital Markets Group, and two will provide structured finance services for specialty finance companies. [Continue]

Uncertainty around ADA website/app compliance leaves banks vulnerable

Lawsuits related to alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act are on the rise and a number of banks have been targeted for inadvertent, technical violations of this federal law. The ADA lawsuits relate to bank websites and mobile apps that are inaccessible to visually impaired consumers. If your website and mobile apps have not been made accessible for purposes of the ADA, your bank is vulnerable. [Continue]