While the US economy is considered to be broadly healthy, CreditSights researchers point out trends that could prove adverse. Among them, banks appear to be tightening criteria for commercial and industrial loans, the number of new consumer credit accounts has fallen 6% from its 2016 peak and a University of Michigan survey shows a drop in consumer confidence.
Blockchain technology has been touted for the security it provides, but recent incidents show it can be breached by hackers in certain circumstances.
Mortgage applications in the US gained 2.5% year over year in the week that ended Wednesday, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association survey.
Federal Reserve officials are largely in agreement on terminating the bank's balance-sheet wind-down by the end of 2019, according to minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's January meeting. The minutes show committee members were divided on whether further interest rate hikes should be introduced this year.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has only sought customer refunds in one of its six settlements this year. Two of the companies did pay refunds and, in some circumstances, refunds may not be appropriate, an expert said.
Small-dollar lending is regulated by states, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rewrite of a small-dollar lending rule is "a welcome first step toward regulatory modesty," writes the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. The rule written during Richard Cordray's term as CFPB director would have decimated the industry, the board writes.
Banks are adding technology that includes tablets, interactive experiences and video to branches. A PwC survey finds 2 in 3 respondents say branches are important to them.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Fernando Iraola says growth could slow in the US and China this year, affecting the corporate treasury landscape. "Because the cost of funding associated with leverage is increasing, and there is a potential slowdown in economic growth, de-leveraging has to be part of the gameplan from a corporate treasury standpoint," he says.
Corporations operating in many international jurisdictions may be saddled with hundreds of bank accounts, an area ripe for streamlining. "Overall, corporates should make sure their banking partners understand where they fit into the general treasury strategy," said Pieter Sermeus of Zanders.
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