View from CBA August 16, 2013

This Week's Court Hearing on Interchange Fees

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon held a hearing Wednesday to discuss moving forward in the matter of NACS v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. As noted here before, on July 31, 2013, Judge Leon struck down the Board's current rules on interchange fees for debit card transactions, in place since late 2011. Leon ordered the Board to appear before the Court next Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at 2 p.m. (ET), to give a position on its authority to issue an interim final rule and the time needed to implement it. Interchange is bound to make headlines throughout the fall as the Fed doesn’t appear close on a decision to appeal or not. This issue has all of the financial trades united and working together. CBA had a members-only call today to provide analysis. A follow-up call is scheduled for members next Thursday following the hearing. Mark your calendars for Thursday – more details to come.

CFPB Issues New Ground Rules on Mortgages

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued new ground rules yesterday for mortgage companies and banks. The CFPB will be focusing in on ensuring loans aren’t based on teaser rates, aren’t in excess of 30 years, or based on other banned practices under Dodd-Frank. As the CFPB ramps up its regulatory efforts, expect more rules to be issued. 

Retail Banks Tops in Phone Customer Service

Economic research firm Moebs Services, released a study this week that found retail banks are among the most responsive to customers via the phone. When calling retail and thrift banks, 56 percent answered their phones on the first ring and hold time was a median of 42 seconds. Credit unions answered on the first ring only 44 percent of the time with a median hold of 90 seconds. It’s clear - our banks continue to make customer service a top priority.