John Buhrmaster, president and CEO of First National Bank of Scotia
Community banks, by and large, appear well-prepared for capital standards that Basel II will phase in beginning in January. Still, concerns remain on how the requirements will shape cost structures and consolidation at smaller institutions.

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Community banks in the region are getting better, but the hunt for short-term income could bite them down the road, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said in its quarterly report.

Banking attorney Caren Enloe
The CFPB's lawsuit against an Atlanta-area debt collector could open the door to litigation against banks for their role in the process of pursuing debts against consumers who do not owe anything.

Lenders desperately want to make potentially lucrative home loans to those with less-than-stellar credit, but only a few are willing to try given legal uncertainties. Here's how a few are designing their products to get a jump on the competition.

Virginia National CEO Glen Rust
A former employee wants the company to look at a merger of equals or selling its wealth management operations to increase shareholder value. Management, meanwhile, wants to grow in a way that diversifies income and reduces risk.

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Somali-Americans who send cash home to their relatives can breathe a bit easier following the decision by Merchants Bank of California.

Community banks and credit unions have filed class actions against Home Depot and Target, using untested legal arguments to claim the retailers should pay banks’ expenses tied to recent data breaches. There is very little legal precedent here, and hundreds of millions of dollars could hinge on the court rulings in these cases.

Bob Beauprez, a former community banker and Republican congressman, is challenging incumbent John Hickenlooper in Colorado's gubernatorial race. A pro-Hickenlooper group has released ads attacking Beauprez's banking ties, including the sale of his bank to First Community Bank in Taos, N.M. That bank failed in 2011.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's action against Flagstar Bank on Monday marked a series of firsts for the agency, including the first time it enforced its new mortgage servicing rules and the first time it banned a servicer from servicing new loans until fixes are made.

More community banks are looking to outsource their mortgage operations to reduce the regulatory burden, but structuring such deals – and determining proper compensation – can be tricky. Here's how two Chicago-area lenders solved the problem.
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Image: Bloomberg News
Banks, credit unions, payday lenders and installment lenders are likely to feel the impact of restrictions on loans to members of the military that the Defense Department has proposed.
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