A panel at American Banker's Regulatory Symposium about the Department of Justice program featured a spirited debate about whether it is prudently fighting fraud or cooling banks' relationships with legal businesses.

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Mortgage underwriting overlays are not only tighter than they were precrisis, they're more restrictive than they were 15 years ago — a trend that Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro wants to change.

The commitment by the two housing giants marks a win for upstart VantageScore Solutions in its quest to compete against industry leader Fair Isaac Corp. However, the outcome of the review is uncertain, and Fannie warned that the costs of adopting new credit scores might prove to be "substantial" for lenders and others.

Regulators would like banks to use their mobile banking services to reach the unbanked and underbanked. Some, including Southern Bancorp and BBVA Compass, are working to create mobile features that will help them compete with check cashers and payday lenders.

Sens. Sherrod Brown (left), and Richard Shelby (Bloomberg News)
There is a good chance legislation that would provide regulatory relief to small banks and address concerns about which banks are dubbed systemically important could be wrapped in the same Senate bill next year, experts said at American Banker's 4th Annual Regulatory Symposium.

FDIC chairman Martin Gruenberg (Bloomberg News)
Regulators are developing joint standards for cybersecurity, testing special exam procedures and helping banks assess their own readiness, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Martin Gruenberg said at American Banker's 4th Annual Regulatory Symposium. That's a good thing because community bankers said they need a lot of help.

Nonagency mortgage securitization has fallen well short of forecasts this year, as commercial banks bid up for loans to put on their balance sheets. But the fourth quarter could offer this moribund market a chance at redemption.

Image: Thinkstock
At least two mortgage servicers say they are close to being released from an OCC enforcement order that required 14 of the nation's largest bank servicers to fix flaws in their foreclosure reviews. But the OCC says it has set no timetable for freeing any of the banks from the 2011 order.
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The purchase of Santa Barbara Tax Products Group is the latest move by the prepaid card pioneer designed to lessen its dependence on retail giant Wal-Mart.

Deborah Van Valkenburgh, senior vice president of strategic brand management at PNC
In marketing, deciding on a strategy is the easy part. The challenge involves figuring out if it's working. PNC Financial, Regions and other companies at a recent conference discussed how to know if a bank getting a good return on its marketing dollars.
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Chris Marinac, director of research at FIG Partners
The old taboo against loan purchases is being quietly broken, as small and regional banks with excess liquidity chase higher yields and find a common interest with banks that need to drain some assets.

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