Communities need a good bank and a good newspaper

People have long talked about the demise of banking. And in the last decade, talk has ramped up on the decline of print media. Of course these industries are changing, and it is likely these industries will move to a fewer number of larger players. But these industries are not going away. In the right niches, banks and newspapers remain important providers of essential services. [Continue]

Tech activity demands ILC shift

Banks and technology companies can form great partnerships, but policymakers should watch how these two industries interact, and intervene if equal access to credit or financial stability is threatened. The country has long benefited from laws that separate commerce from banking; this separation may be more important than ever as the world grows more technologically capable. [Continue]

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]

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]