Richard's Rapid Fire - December 22, 2017

December 22, 2017

Dear Santa: Here is My Wish List for 2018

As we reflect on 2017 and look ahead to 2018, I wanted to share with you some of the things I asked Santa to put under my tree:

  • A prosperous banking industry;
  • A Senate-confirmed, bipartisan commission at the CFPB;
  • Quality regulatory appointments and Senate confirmations of nominees with banking experience atop all regulatory agencies;
  • Greater balance in the rules and regulations governing the banking industry, including repeal of Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act;
  • A right-sizing of the federal government’s role in student lending, including implementing a “Know Before You Owe” disclosure to help federal student loan borrowers understand the true cost of their loan;
  • A favorable court ruling on ACA International v. FCC (TCPA case), which has sizeable implications for banks and their ability to communicate with their customers.
  • Elimination of the MLB’s designated hitter rule;
  • A Dallas Cowboys surprise Super Bowl victory; and,
  • My last Christmas wish: to properly call out the names of my elves – Alexa, Echo, Echo Dot and Siri.


It is a pleasure working with such a tremendous, thoughtful and committed membership. From the entire CBA Team, we hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season. I will talk to you all in 2018!


End of an Era at M&T Bank

The world lost an innovative banker and an even greater person this past week in M&T Bank Chairman and CEO Bob Wilmers. For decades, Mr. Wilmers was a vital part of the Buffalo community and those who knew him lauded his kind, thoughtful nature. I met with Mr. Wilmers a few months ago and he was still as committed to meeting the needs of M&Ts customers as he was his first day on the job. For those of us in the banking industry, Mr. Wilmers was a titan and his recent message to shareholders is a must read for all bankers. Mr. Wilmers will certainly be missed and my deepest sympathies to his family, friends and to everyone at M&T Bank.


Succeeding Mr. Wilmers as chairman and CEO is Rene Jones. Additionally, M&T named CBA Board Member Rich Gold President and Chief Operating Officer of M&T and M&T Bank.



Tax Reform Signed Into Law, Banks Issue Employee Bonuses and Wage Hikes

Congress and the Administration accomplished a task they have not been able to tackle in decades: passing pro-growth tax reform. The bill will empower American families and help businesses drive economic growth. Included in the bill, among other provisions, includes a cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Immediately after the bill’s passage, Fifth Third announced plans to pay 13,500 employees a bonus, PNC will gift $1,000 to 47,500 employees and Wells Fargo announced it will target $400 million in philanthropic donations next year. Additionally, all three banks raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour. These are fantastic initiatives by CBA Member banks.


Overall, meaningful tax reform has been long overdue and we appreciate efforts by the Administration and Congressional leaders in carrying this legislation into the end zone for American consumers, small businesses, the banking industry and our nation’s economy. For a deeper analysis on the bill from CBA, please click here and see below for a side-by-side of individual rate changes.


*The new law increases the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers, $18,000 for heads of household and $24,000 for joint filers in 2018 (compared to $6,500, $9,550 and $13,000 respectively under current law).



CBA LIVE: Get with The Program

Have you registered for CBA LIVE 2018: Beyond the Bank? Better yet, have you seen this year’s 90-hour, info-packed program? With General Session speakers such as former CIA and NSA director General Michael Hayden, Bank of the West President and CEO Nandita Bakhshi and Citizens Financial Group Chairman and CEO Bruce Van Saun, this is the can’t miss conference of 2018. Join banking’s senior leaders March 12-14 in Orlando to catch the action. Our Early Bird deadline is just around the corner. Sign up now to reserve your seat for retail banking’s premier event.


Welcoming GenPact as CBA’s Newest Associate Member

We are excited to welcome GenPact to the CBA Family. They are a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation for their clients.



Three Things To Know To Be In The Know

Fed seeks to trim rules overlapping with U.S. consumer bureau

Regulators See Cybersecurity as Top Financial Industry Risk

Bank Stocks Can Fight the Fed, for Now





Mary Mack was given an additional title when Wells Fargo named her head of consumer lending. She will also continue to serve as head of the bank’s retail banking unit.


We all know bankers go the extra mile for their customers, but a handful of Regions Bank employees went even further on snow-covered roads to help a customer pop the question to his now-fiancé. 


Today, a federal court held a hearing in the case of English v. Mulvaney, which challenges the legality of President Trump’s appointment of Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney. The hearing addressed whether Mr. Mulvaney can continue to serve as Acting Director until a final judgment in the case is issued (which could be a lengthy process). Should any meaningful developments emerge from the hearing, CBA will be sure to keep our membership in the know.


This week, Team CBA celebrated the holidays with a murder mystery adventure at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.