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Htee Say, who was born and raised in a refugee camp in Thailand, speaks Burmese, Karen, Thai and English and has a knack for making emigres feel comfortable banking at a Wells Fargo branch in Iowa.
A specialized Wells Fargo branch in Des Moines and the nonprofit Digital Finance Institute are part of a small but growing movement to improve access to financial services for emigres who have escaped war or persecution.

Top Stories

Federal regulators are working to streamline call reports for community banks in response to industry complaints that some of the requirements are unnecessary and increasingly burdensome.  more »
The Fed finalized a rule increasing an asset-size threshold that lets smaller banks finance deals with up to 75% in debt. That benefit, along with an exemption from Basel III capital rules, could prompt some bankers to second-guess short-term growth as they weigh their options.  more »
Banks with more than $1 billion of assets are now required to report overdraft income in their call reports. Data released Wednesday reveals which banks rely most heavily on revenue from overdrafts — and which could be most vulnerable to looming changes in overdraft regulations.  read more »
FinTech Forward
Investor communications company Broadridge Financial Solutions has entered into an agreement with Thomson Reuters Lipper to acquire its Fiduciary Services and Competitive Intelligence unit.  read more »
A small Austin, Texas, bank, formerly called Libertad, had to abandon its initial plan to target unbanked Hispanics. But it has made the most of its second chance by finding a niche in lending to real estate investors. Now it's looking to diversify.  read more »
Community banks had a banner first quarter, federal regulators said Wednesday — but it may come at a problematic time, politically speaking. The Quarterly Banking Profile may only deepen some lawmakers concern that small banks do not need regulatory relief if they are performing so well.  read more »
Several big banks have hired environmental professionals from far outside the world of banking to make sure banks' clients aren't doing things to threaten water quality, public health or worker safety. The executives' job is to protect their banks' credit books — and reputations.  read more »
The Sunshine State is once again outgrowing the rest of the country and some of its thriving community banks are eager to become the state's next flagship. But Florida has changed a lot since the days of the old Barnett Bank, and so has banking.  read more »
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