Richard's Rapid Fire - February 23, 2018

CBA LIVE: RECORD ATTENDANCE ONCE AGAIN  – With more than 650 bankers registered and overall attendance closing in on 1,400 plus, CBA LIVE 2018: Beyond the Bank is at record attendance. This year, with Brad Conner of Citizens Bank as CBA’s Chairman, we continue to build upon prior successes to bring together senior leaders throughout the retail banking community. With a star-studded lineup of speakers, a sold-out exhibit hall and a host of networking opportunities, it is the MUST ATTEND EVENT in retail banking. The good news is there is still time to join us in Orlando, March 12-14, at the Hilton Bonnet Creek. 
Here is What to Expect – With over 90 hours of programming covering Auto Finance, CFPB, Community Reinvestment, Default Management, Deposits and Payments, Digital Channels, Fair and Responsible Banking, Home Equity Lending, Risk, Student Lending, Small Business Banking and brand-new forum tracks covering Internal Audit and Talent Management, there are must attend, top-of-mind sessions for everyone.
In our general sessions, be sure to catch:
  • On leadership: Bank of the West CEO Nandita Bakhshi and Citizens Financial Group CEO Bruce Van Saun;
  • On cybersecurity: General Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA and NSA;
  • On IBM Watson: Alistair Rennie, General Manager of IBM Watson Financial Services; and
  • Futurist: Scott Klososky, Founding Partner at Future Point of View. 
We also will host Super Sessions on marijuana banking and fraud as well as an all-things-Washington general session. 
Time to Right Size Federal Student Lending – Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) are at it again. They are attempting to reform our costly higher education system. One way to do that is by right-sizing the federal government’s role in student lending, which currently accounts for 92 percent of all loans with 1 out of 6 in default. Want CBA’s view on a prudent solution? Be sure to read my op-ed in The Hill, which makes the case for taking advantage of the private market’s outstanding success.  HINT: 98% of private student loans are being repaid.
Speaking of Federal Student Loans – The Education Department is asking for public input on how to treat undue-hardship claims for borrowers seeking financial relief from their student loans (these claims would allow bad loans to go bankrupt). CBA will be reviewing any proposal from the Administration and will offer comments discussing the key differences in the federal student loan program and the success of student loans offered by private lenders. Any changes must recognize the clear distinction between these two programs.


CFPB Issues 5th RFI on External Engagements – The Bureau continued its weekly request for feedback, this time on its engagement with the public. CBA will be commenting on each of these requests for information (RFI) and you can, too. Comments are due 90 days after publication in the Federal register (which is expected soon).
Outstanding RFIs now include:
Up next, an RFI on complaint reporting processes. 


Bipartisan Backlash – Taking on Republicans as well as some of her Democrat colleagues, Senator Elizabeth Warren criticized supporters of a bipartisan Senate bill designed to reform our financial laws. The bill, drafted by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), brings about some changes to the Dodd-Frank Act, however, it does not include any reforms to the CFPB. If my memory serves me correctly, Senator Warren previously supported the creation of a Senate-confirmed, bipartisan commission at the Bureau. While unlikely, I am hoping her opposition to the bill is due to her desire to install a diverse, bipartisan board at the helm the CFPB.
CBA Visits with OCC & Treasury – I joined Comptroller of Currency Joseph Otting for a roundtable discussion this week, and, yes, we did discuss bank small-dollar lending and how to improve the Community Reinvestment Act. Moreover, Members of Team CBA visited with senior policymakers at the Department of Treasury to discuss regulatory innovation, data aggregation, Fintech partnerships and nontraditional bank charters. Productive meetings all around, and glad to hear Rodney Abele of PNC, Mark Erhardt of Fifth-Third, and Jeff Bloch and Dominic Venturo of U.S. Bank could join CBA at Treasury.
Team CBA and members visited the Department of Treasury this week.  Pictured (L-R):  Rodney Abele of PNC, CBA's Dong Hong, Jeff Bloch of U.S. Bank, CBA's Tiffany Haas and Mark Erhardt of Fifth-Third.
ICYMI – CBA’s General Counsel Steve Zeisel penned an excellent op-ed in American Banker making the case for a 21st century approach to the Community Reinvestment Act. Be sure to read his piece here.
Hut, Hut, Hike – With the release of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting minutes, several rate hikes are highly expected and all but a done deal. The question now becomes: Will it be three rate increases or could there be more? Stay tuned.


Welcoming CBA’s Newest Associate Member – We are pleased to welcome Navigant Financial Services Consultants to the CBA Family.
FSR & ICBA – Best wishes to Cam Fine of ICBA and Tim Pawlenty of FSR as they step down as heads of their respective organizations this quarter. I have enjoyed working with them over the years.
JPMorgan’s New HQ – Starting next year, the Bank will begin constructing a 2.5 million-square-foot HQ in Manhattan for 15,000 employees.