View from CBA – December 19, 2014

December 19, 2014

The entire CBA Family wishes everyone a wonderful Holiday Season and I hope you all have the opportunity to spend some time out of the office to rest in advance of 2015.
 
I am looking forward to being in Jennings, LA with family. As always, I will visit a community bank, Wal-Mart (multiple times), payday lenders, the Boudin King, and the Ragin' Cajun Bookstore to check out the latest happenings and trends. A new stop will be the Whole Foods in Lafayette -- I have my doubts a store of this nature can thrive in a smaller market.
 
One final item: 3 – The over/under on how many times I will watch "It's a Wonderful Life."
 

CFPB Takes on Sprint – Is Apple Next?

This week, the CFPB brought an action against Sprint Corporation in Federal Court of New York for allegedly engaging in unfair acts and practices by billing its customers for unauthorized premium short messaging services. The Bureau claimed a supervisory authority over Sprint because "Sprint extends credit to, and processes payments for, consumers in connection with goods and services that Sprint does not directly sell or that consumers do not directly purchase from Sprint."
 
CBA's Regulatory Counsel Kate Larson has some further insight into this issue: The CFPB is trying to eliminate a merchant's practice of advertising coupons or free giveaways which "trick" customers into entering their cell phone numbers and, instead of providing a free item, would force the customer to unknowingly purchase a monthly subscription which would continue until they cancelled it. Interestingly, the CFPB used its authority of regulating consumer financial products, not its larger non-bank participant authority. Not only is the Bureau exercising authority over a telecommunication company under the guise of the payment processing capabilities, it is doing so to control the behavior and practices of merchants. This opens the flood gates for the CFPB to attempt to regulate any activity requiring a payment processor system and creates a new frontier for which companies are categorized as payment processors. Apple is on notice.
 

Warren: "We should have broken (the banks) into pieces."

As I mentioned last week, the recent bipartisan passage of a small roll back of an innocuous Dodd-Frank provision has been interesting as we have learned which Members of Congress are in the "Results Caucus," and which are firmly in the "Rhetoric Caucus." Not even a U.S. Senator is capable of writing a perfect 1,100 page piece of legislation. Much like our Constitution, which has been amended 27 times, it is natural to look at perfecting Dodd-Frank as time passes. The answer from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)? "I agree with you Dodd-Frank isn't perfect,"Warren told The Hill newspaper. "It should have broken you (the banks) into pieces."
 

CBA LIVE 2015 – Early Bird Ends January 9, 2015

Reminder – your opportunity to save $300 on CBA LIVE ends January 9, 2015, so be sure to register by then. You should also take a moment and make your hotel reservation. We have reserved blocks of rooms at both the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf Astoria – the meeting space for CBA LIVE is in the middle and connected to both hotels, so you may stay at either place. We are in Orlando, FL this year - join us and escape the cold!
 

Financial Services Providers Failing to Connect with Millennial Generation

new study from BNY Mellon and the University of Oxford, which includes the feedback of 1,178 millennials, found financial services providers such as life insurers, banks and asset managers are failing to connect with this key consumer demographic. According to the study, 59 percent of millennials believe they have not seen products targeted at people like them and they want products which clearly demonstrate they are being rewarded for tying up their money. Asked how their contact with financial services providers could be improved, less than one percent of millennials want financial services providers to connect with them through social media.
 
New Committee Leaders for 2015 We extend a special congratulations to the members of our committees who have been named Vice-Chairmen: Todd Hollander of MUFG Union Bank (Small Business), Michael Young of EverBank (Deposits and Payments), and Tom Fowler of SunTrust Banks (Default Management).
 
The Committee Vice-Chair (VC) supports the Chair in setting the Committee's mission, annual goals and agenda. Together the VC and Chair help steer the Committee through the regulatory and legislative issues affecting their issue area. The VC will also take over as Chair after the Chair's term has completed and will then serve as Chair for 2 years.
 

Lagniappe

PNC Financial Services Group has named Sally McCrady as Director of Community Affairs and President of the PNC Foundation.
 
David Bell, Director of Federal Government Relations at KeyBank and a member of CBA's CFPB Committee, is retiring at the end of 2014. We wish him all the best and have enjoyed working with him over the past two years.