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Richard's Rapid Fire - May 18, 2017
From “Don’t Bank” to Bank Charter: Is SoFi Having an Identity crisis?
Talk about an about-face in company strategy. In eye-popping fashion, SoFi, the online lending startup that ran a 2016 Super Bowl commercial with the tagline “don’t bank,” announced its intentions to apply for a bank charter in the coming weeks. Yeah, you read that right. An online lender who openly and energetically touted anti-bank rhetoric is now preparing paperwork to apply for a federal bank charter. On the heels of this announcement, SoFi’s President Nino Fanlo decided to leave the firm and join a biotechnology startup. Nino was a panelist during CBA LIVE’s Banks vs. Fintech general session, and he is a former banker.
A Tale of Two Appointments: Acting OCC Comptroller Noreika and CFPB Director Cordray
Some Senate Democrats are crying foul that President Trump “circumvented” the Senate confirmation process by appointing Keith Noreika as Acting OCC Comptroller. Lest we forget, President Obama “recess appointed” Richard Cordray to serve as CFPB Director, while the Senate was still in session, because Republicans had concerns with the nomination. Nearly 19 months after his recess appointment, Cordray was eventually confirmed by the Senate. Without an eventual Senate Confirmation, this appointment would have been held unconstitutional. Think D.C. has been hectic lately? We have not seen anything yet.
Heard in the Halls: Latest on Financial CHOICE Act
While no date has been set, we expect the Financial CHOICE Act to be considered on the House floor in June. Previously, the legislation was expected to be considered next week, but since has been pushed back.
Wells Fargo is Shrinking its Branch Footprint
According to Wells Fargo’s SVP and Head of Community Banking Mary Mack, the bank will close 450 branches in 2017 and 2018. However, they are exploring increasing their digital and paperless branch presence. This is just the latest development as banks continue to innovate and evolve. Our regulators, namely the OCC, as well as so-called consumer groups must allow banks to change to meet the ever-growing needs of consumers. Otherwise, some banks will go the way of Blockbuster.
Founder of Commerce, Vernon Hill, is Back in the U.S.
Vernon Hill, Former Chairman, CEO, and founder of Commerce Bancshares, is back in the U.S. banking business, taking over as Republic First Bancorp’s Chairman of the Board. After turning Commerce into one of the fastest-growing banks in the 1990s, the former Burger King franchisee will bring his knowledge and expertise to this new venture.
Membership Spotlight: Eastern Bank’s Fintech Spinoff
Eastern Bank’s fintech spinoff, Numerated Growth Technologies, is making the small-business loan process quicker for consumers, while reducing the cost of origination and providing a quality customer experience. Currently, three banks have licensed the technology. This is just the latest from CBA member banks as they seek to innovate on behalf of consumers and small businesses.
Three Things to Know To Be in The Know
Steve Allocca was named President of Lending Club.
CBA's OnSite Education Team was in Auburn Hills, Michigan teaching MarketSim to Comerica employees this week.
CBA Executive Banking School's Freshman Faculty met in Dallas this week to prepare for the 2017 program, taking place July 23-August 2, at Furman University.