View from CBA January 10, 2014

Today - Early Bird Registration for CBA LIVE 2014 Early bird registration for CBA LIVE 2014 ends today, so register before 9:00 p.m. EST and save $300 on attending the premier conference event in retail banking. 

We are just a couple of short months away from CBA LIVE where we will hear from former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on current and emerging cyber threats, Chris Gardner on pursuing the American dream, the CFPB on what’s ahead, and disruptors like Bitcoin, which has captivated the attention of the financial industry and Capitol Hill. Our nine forums include the first one dedicated solely to the CFPB and offers 80 hours of programming on the issues we will be tackling this year -- from disparate impact to student loans. 

Keeping with the theme of CBA LIVE 2014 – “Red, White, and Banking,” this year’s Joe Belew Award will go to our member bank with the most innovative program focused on helping our service members, veterans and their families. Guidelines and details for applying for the award may be found here.

QM Deadline Today

CBA’s retail banks have been working around the clock to comply with the CFPB’s historic mandate on new mortgage rules. Throughout this process, we have appreciated the CFPB listening to industry concerns, especially as to the definition of a ‘qualified mortgage,’ in order for lenders to have ‘safe harbor’ protection from liability for most of these loans. CBA’s retail banks remain committed to helping their customers realize their dream of homeownership, and we hope these new rules will not restrict mortgage credit to consumers. CBA looks forward to working with the CFPB to ensure the mortgage loan market remains strong and available to those consumers who seek to become homeowners. 

Private Student Loan Meeting with Government Stakeholders

This week’s meeting on the student loan market, hosted by the Treasury Department, with a number of CBA’s members, federal regulators, and the Department of Education was an opportunity to highlight our message on this issue. With over $1 trillion in outstanding federal student loan debt, the federal government should learn from the long-standing best practices of the private student loan market to best serve our nation’s students. 

Last month, a study was released which showed the positive trends in private loan performance over the past 5 years; most notably only 3 percent of private loan borrowers are seriously delinquent on their payment obligations. In contrast, federal student loan default rates are at an unconscionable level and rising. A Bloomberg Government study released this week found the “weak economy and high levels of unemployment among recent graduates has increased default rates. The federal government may be looking at significant losses, perhaps as high as $200 billion.” We look forward to working with the government to find ways to continue to help students responsibly get the credit they need to finance their educations, as well as with our regulators to provide our banks the flexibility they require to help those students in need. 

Membership News

eLynx joined CBA prior to the close of 2013, making them the 15th associate member added to CBA’s roster last year. 

Business Efficacy is our first new associate member of 2014. Thank you to Mark Luppi of HSBC, and a former Chair of CBA’s Small Business Committee, for his referral. 

Silanis Technology has joined CBA as our second newest associate member of 2014. 

News and Notes

M&T Bank President and a former CBA Board Member Mark J. Czarnecki has been given the added duties of chief operating officer. He will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the company, including coordination of the bank’s credit, audit and risk divisions. CFO Rene F. Jones and Executive Vice President Kevin J. Pearson have been named vice chairmen of the M&T Bank subsidiary.  

JP Morgan Chase has promoted Kristin Lemkau to chief marketing officer, adding to her ongoing role as head of communications for its consumer and community banking unit.  

Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS), one of CBA’s premier sponsors, was recently acquired by Fidelity National Financial, Inc., a leading provider of title insurance and transaction services to the real estate and mortgage industries. LPS has been reorganized and rebranded as a wholly-owned subsidiary called Black Knight Financial Services, Inc.