In the week that ended Oct. 14, the number of Americans making their first claims for jobless benefits dropped to 222,000, the smallest number since March 1973, the Labor Department said. It was the 137th week in a row that claims held below the 300,000 mark, which is viewed by economists as a sign that the labor market is strong.
Financial firms are starting to succeed at reducing the average age of financial professionals in advisory roles, according to a report from TD Ameritrade Institutional. Since 2015, the average age of a lead adviser has fallen three years, to 47, the report said.
Clients approaching retirement age require personalized advice, as target-date funds might not be the best choice for them, Clint Barker of PGIM Investments said in a panel discussion at a recent PlanAdviser conference. Jeffrey Bograd of John Hancock Retirement Plan Services noted that tailored advice is crucial for older investors, because people "get only one chance at retirement."
Lawmakers need to work together to reach the goal of tax reform, which is expected to have multiple benefits, writes Tim Pawlenty, FSR's president and CEO. "Working as a team, President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress have a once in a generation opportunity to move the tax reform puck all the way down the ice and then go 'top shelf' against the goaltender for Team Status Quo," he writes.
Changes in how banking services are delivered and slow economic growth have resulted in too many banks chasing less business, even with consolidation in the industry, said Kelly King, chairman and CEO of BB&T. "It's more competitive today than it's been at any time in my career," said King.
Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika is asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to release its "secret analysis" behind the rule to remove mandatory-arbitration clauses from most bank contracts, which opponents believe will harm consumers and banks. "In fact, I hear time and again from community banks that the arbitration rule could threaten their very existence," Noreika wrote in a letter to the chairman of the Senate banking committee.
More than 2,600 bank locations have closed this year and only 873 branches have opened, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Bank branches "still matter," said Marianne Lake, chief financial officer for JPMorgan Chase, and they account for 75% of the bank's deposit growth.
Treasury Department Inspector General Eric Thorson has opened an inquiry into the job status of acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika. Noreika was appointed in May without Senate confirmation under a rule that allows special government employees to hold posts for 130 days.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is being sued by the attorneys general of 17 states and the District of Columbia over her decision to freeze a rule that cut funding to for-profit institutions that issued worthless degrees. The suit alleges DeVos made the decision illegally without justification or public input.
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