SAFE BANKING NEWS BLOG
db PUBLISHER'S NOTE:

Below are recent national news stories covering U.S. and global bank safety (or unsafety).
Please email me your favorite banking news links and/or short videos about your bank experiences so we can share them with all HERE.


August 2014

Why Small-Business Lending Has Not Recovered - Forbes
banklove During the 2008 financial crisis, small businesses were hampered in securing bank credit because of a perfect storm of their falling sales and weakened collateral, and growing risk aversion among lenders. Those days are not over. While lingering cyclical factors from the crisis may still be constraining access to bank credit, there are also structural barriers that seem to be preventing banks, both large and small, from ever fully returning to the small business market. Banks remain more risk averse in the recovery than they were prior to the recession. Measures of tightening on loan terms for small businesses increased at double-digit rates during the recession and recovery, and have eased at just single-digit rates over the past several quarters (Image courtesy of PritchettCartoons) ...

In banks we used to trust - Marketwatch
For over a century bank trust departments fulfilled an important role as fiduciaries and foundations for financial stability within families, churches and other charitable institutions. But in the past couple of decades, short-term corporate and Wall Street greed stripped many communities of the dependable bank trust department. The bankers they trusted had morphed into sharks themselves pushing proprietary products. The OCC needs to step up and protect these legacy trusts immediately from harmful, unsuitable investments and create a regulatory environment that will help end self-dealing and bring back trust to trust departments ...

G20 edging towards deal on 'bail-in' for banks - Reuters
Government leaders are expected to agree in November that the world's top banks must issue special (GLAC) bonds to increase the amount of capital which can be tapped in a crisis instead of calling on taxpayers to come to the rescue. Regulators believe all the world's top 29 banks will need a significant cushion of such so-called "bail-in" bonds for some time to show they can be shut without public aid. The G20's focus will now shift to implementation of its rules and behavior at banks after lenders were fined for rigging the Libor interest rate benchmark, with similar allegations in the currency markets now emerging ...

Ways hackers take over your phone, data and money - Marketwatch
With hacking attacks and other cyber crime making the news almost on a daily basis, it's time we realize that no place is safe. And if you think only computer users should be worried, you are in for an unpleasant surprise. Even with an incredible 20-fold explosion in the theft of financial details from mobile devices, not many people realize just how open and vulnerable to hacking their cell phones are. In today's article I'll focus on less-known strategies that cyber criminals employ to take over your smartphone, your data and your money ...

Fed Plays "Whack-A-Mole" With Inflation - FirstTrust
On Thursday, The Federal Reserve Bank's annual retreat in Jackson Hole, WY will start. The topic is: "Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics." Economists have been studying labor market dynamics for many decades, if not centuries. So, why does the Fed need to do any re-evaluating? The Fed has now been easy for over five years, so it is impossible to argue that monetary policy is being used as a short-term tool. If the labor market is still having problems it must be because fiscal policy is harming potential growth. Artificially low interest rates may cause other problems, like a bubble in some sector, which the Fed has now decided to deal with using "macro-prudential policy tools." It sounds really technical, but it's essentially playing "whack-a-mole" once excesses from easy money pop up ...

Banks Speed Up Drive to Add Chips to Credit, Debit Cards - WSJ
Morgan Montgomery inserted a credit card into a device, pulled it out and tried to pay for her groceries. But the transaction failed because she didn't realize the card was supposed to stay in the machine while she signed for the purchase. "I don't like letting go of it," she said of the card. "I'm worried about leaving it behind." Just last week, grocery chain Supervalu Inc. disclosed that it was investigating a breach that could affect shoppers at roughly 1,000 supermarkets. Major lenders, regional banks and credit unions are rolling out the new cards, which contain a computer chip in addition to the traditional magnetic strip on the back ...

The Bulgarian Banking Disaster - Forbes
Two months after it was taken into conservatorship by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) after a catastrophic bank run, Bulgaria's CorpBank is still closed. Well, nearly closed. It is now open for loan repayments. Depositors can't get their money out of CorpBank, but borrowers can pay their debts. According to Zheni Stefanova from KTB ALive, a Facebook group of CorpBank depositors which is organizing street protests against its continuing closure (the next one is today, Monday August 18th): "We can't use our savings and money at all. As an addition, the companies can't use their frozen accounts... There are many health institutions that can't function normally because of that problem. There were 6,000 retired people with blocked accounts" ...

Fed Vice Chair Fischer On U.S. Bail-in Proposals - ZeroHedge
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer delivered his first speech on the U.S. a nd global economy in Stockholm, Sweden yesterday. Fischer said that the U.S. was preparing proposals for bank bail-ins for "systemically important banks." "The United States is preparing a proposal to require systemically important banks to issue bail-inable long-term debt that will enable insolvent banks to recapitalize themselves - this cushion is known as a "gone concern" buffer." Fischer who previously was chief economist at the World Bank, also makes it clear that he expects ultra loose monetary policies to continue in the U.S. which will be bullish for gold and silver ...

Banks' Failure Plans Inadequate Say Regulators - ABCNews
Federal regulators have told the biggest banks in the U.S. that their plans for unwinding their operations in case of failure are inadequate to prevent the sort of financial disaster that struck in 2008 and led to a massive government bailout. The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Tuesday criticized as "not credible" the so-called "living wills" that the 11 largest banks were required to submit under the 2010 law overhauling financial regulation. The regulators said the banks' plans make unrealistic assumptions about likely developments in case of failure ...

US banks braced for trillion dollar deposit outflows - FT
US banks are steeling themselves for the possibility of losing as much as $1 trillion in deposits as the Federal Reserve reverses its emergency economic policies and raises interest rates. JPMorgan Chase, the biggest US bank by deposits, has estimated that money funds may withdraw $100bn in deposits in the second half of next year as the Fed uses a new tool to help wind down its asset purchase program and normalize rates ...

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