Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has issued an indictment of potential conflicts of interest in the delivery of retirement advice, with particular regard to incentives. Although most of the companies listed in the report have provided no official response, some industry stakeholders say Warren's criticisms are overblown and that there are ways to structure incentives to ensure advisers act in their clients' best interest.
California Assemblyman Ash Kalra has proposed capping interest rates on consumer loans above $2,500 at 24% in an effort to protect consumers in the state from long-term debt and other abuses. Opponents of the bill say it could lead to some consumers being unable to get credit and would be unfair to responsible borrowers.
The latest survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute finds that 37% of American workers estimate they would need at least $1 million to ensure a comfortable retirement, compared with 19% who quoted that figure a decade ago. However, the survey noted that the estimates are closely correlated to respondents' current income.
House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairwoman Ann Wagner, R-Mo., said during a hearing to debate the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that the Office of Legal Counsel could pave the way for CFPB Director Richard Cordray's removal and that a law restricting removal by the president is unconstitutional. Theodore Olson, an attorney for PHH in a case against the CFPB, shares Wagner's position.
Theodore Olson, former US solicitor general and an attorney handling a court case against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, provided his opinion on how to reform the agency during a House Financial Services Committee hearing. Olson recommended that Congress take control of the CFPB's budget and that the president have more control over the director.
The Index of Banking Activity rose to 58 last month from 54.3 in January, the highest score since March 2016. The increase is attributed to a spike in consumer lending, mainly in the Northeast.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is expected to reach a 1.35% reserve ratio set by the Dodd-Frank Act next year, two years ahead of schedule. Once the Deposit Insurance Fund reaches 1.38%, smaller banks can receive credits for contributing to the increase.
A survey by GOBankingRates found that the retirement savings of 55% of Americans total less than $10,000, a figure down only slightly from 56% in 2016. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, adults 65 and older spend an average of almost $45,000 a year, meaning the majority of future retirees don't have enough money saved to cover their expenses for a single year.
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