What We Talk About When We Talk About ‘Deregulation’

A casual observer might be forgiven for thinking that when Congress passed—and President Trump signed—the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, or S. 2155, in 2018, that financial institutions were being “deregulated.” That’s what hundreds of news headlines and ledes said. “What’s in the Bank Deregulation Bill” —Wall Street Journal “Senate Bill Part of Deregulation Wave” —Bloomberg “The House easily cleared the Senate … Continue reading What We Talk About When We Talk About ‘Deregulation’

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Bank City USA

Here’s a financial trivia question: What does Tupelo, Miss., have that some of America’s largest metro areas, including Atlanta, Phoenix and San Diego, don’t? The answer: at least two midsize or larger banks headquartered there. Tupelo—a town located in the gently rolling hills halfway between Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala., and with a population a little shy of 40,000—is the smallest U.S. city to have … Continue reading Bank City USA

High School Branches Pay Dividends for Banks and Students

Banks have done a lot to become less physically intimidating over the decades. The Doric stone edifices and teller cages have been replaced by floor-to-ceiling glass windows and roving universal bankers who work on a tablet. Some banks have even turned branches into coffeehouses. But for someone who has never had a bank account, a bank can still be an intimidating place. Financial products and … Continue reading High School Branches Pay Dividends for Banks and Students

At Super Bowl, U.S. Bank Tackles Human Trafficking

Well over 100 million Americans are expected to tune into the gridiron action and funny ads during Super Bowl LIII on Sunday night, but amid the fun is a dark side that often accompanies major live sporting events: a local surge in sex trafficking. While estimates are uncertain—and advocacy organizations note that events like the Super Bowl don’t correlate with increases in the number of … Continue reading At Super Bowl, U.S. Bank Tackles Human Trafficking

Herb Kelleher’s ‘Customer-Centric’ Company

An idea scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin is part of the lore of several of the greatest ideas of mid-20th century America: the Laffer Curve, the automatic fire-hose nozzle, the Space Needle in Seattle. Important concepts, simply presented. Another famous piece of cocktail napkin lore is the original concept for Southwest Airlines — a simple triangle connecting Texas’ three largest cities: Dallas, … Continue reading Herb Kelleher’s ‘Customer-Centric’ Company

The Replacements

Libor—the London Interbank Offered Rate—is perhaps the liveliest dead man walking. It underpins more than $350 trillion in mortgages, commercial loans, bonds and derivatives worldwide; U.S. dollar Libor alone is the reference rate for $200 trillion in financial instruments. And yet virtually everyone in the financial sector acknowledges that Libor’s days are numbered. The British Financial Conduct Authority has said Libor will be sustained through … Continue reading The Replacements

Banking’s Open Door Policy

“Open banking”—is it an aspirational slogan, a discrete business model or a regulatory regime? For ABA VP Rob Morgan, who works on fintech policy, “it is what you want it to be.” The term is just vague enough to accommodate a wide variety of concepts, from access to customers’ financial data up to comprehensive financial marketplaces. In Europe, open banking is closely associated with a … Continue reading Banking’s Open Door Policy

How Banks of All Sizes Are Winning the Talent Wars

Several years ago, as part of a bid to stay ahead of the competitive curve in talent, Zions Bank set out to reinvent a robust but fairly traditional bank employment culture. The regional bank is now finding that those investments in talent are making it possible for the company to compete as the bank talent wars heat up.  With unemployment down to 4.1 percent—a level … Continue reading How Banks of All Sizes Are Winning the Talent Wars

Lincoln and the Banks

It is a testament to the scale of Abraham Lincoln’s place in history that his notable accomplishments in the financial sector are little known today. Alexander Hamilton’s financial innovations are celebrated in a Broadway musical, and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s banking reforms are packaged with the rest of the New Deal policies as a legacy. But Lincoln—whose policies on banks were as transformative as either Hamilton’s … Continue reading Lincoln and the Banks

From Katrina to Harvey: Five Ways Banks Are More Resilient to Disaster Today

The haunting images this week of Houston’s flooded highways and neighborhoods bring to mind the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina twelve years ago—almost to the day. The experience is certainly déjà vu for bankers who lived through Katrina, although thanks to the lessons of 2005, the financial industry is better positioned today to fuel recovery along the western Gulf Coast. After Katrina flattened … Continue reading From Katrina to Harvey: Five Ways Banks Are More Resilient to Disaster Today