The Rhode Island company had barely opened the doors of its Fairfield County mortgage office when management started getting pushed about making a bigger splash. For now, CEO Joseph MarcAurele seems content to keep one toe in the water.

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First Horizon's Employee Leadership Program, championed by CEO Bryan Jordan, has been described as "life changing" by some of its graduates. It also has helped solidify First Horizon's status as one of the banking industry's most employee-friendly companies. On our list of Best Banks to Work For this year, it ranks as No. 1 among those with more than $10 billion of assets.

The Florida company's business plan relies heavily on consolidation, but management hasn't announced a deal in more than two years. CEO Gene Taylor recently told analysts that M&A remains a focus, but the company will no longer discuss the topic until it has something to announce.

The Detroit lender gave a favorable outlook on credit losses despite the fact that it expects a decline in used-car prices.

Community banks in the Northeast have gotten healthier in the past year, and loan growth has nearly doubled. Now OCC officials are worried that banks may be overstretching to protect their thin profit margins.

Community banks have been steadily increasing their dealing in auto finance, an area with great potential and significant risk for unexperienced lenders.

The CFPB and other agencies are expected to take a hammer to banks' lucrative overdraft fee business, saying that it is a form of short-term credit akin to payday loans. Some banks see the writing on the wall and have made changes, but others have lagged.
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The $44 billion-asset specialty lender viewed its pending purchase of OneWest Bank as its way to get significantly over the $50 billion threshold for systemically important financial institutions. But CIT CEO John Thain is all for a proposal that would raise the SIFI bar higher.

The agency is now using Fincen guidance that was designed to make banks and credit unions more comfortable with the pot industry's risks. Such actions are encouraging more banks — but still not many — to do business with this emerging industry.
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Iberiabank is excited to add equipment finance and an SBA lending platform when it buys Old Florida Bancshares. The deal also gives the Louisiana company its first branches in Orlando.

The company's $800 million goodwill impairment charge may reflect macroeconomic factors, but also likely resulted from a purchase of HSBC branches two years ago. Other banks are unlikely to face the exact same issues, observers said.

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