= Subscriber content; or subscribe now to access all American Banker content.
Construction loans are a big source of interest income for community banks but also carry a lot of risk. A few fintech firms say their platforms can reduce the risk and improve the lending process.

Top Stories

Key details — like exactly how many regulations companies will face — remain to be worked out on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's new limited-purpose charter for fintech firms, leaving the industry divided on whether the charter is a good idea.  more »
After more than two decades bringing underbanked consumers into the mainstream, Bryant has found a way to combat financial illiteracy that also addresses two critical business problems facing banks today: keeping branches relevant and finding new customers.  more »
Steven Mnuchin's confirmation hearing is likely to be dogged by stories of homeowners who claim his bank, OneWest, illegally foreclosed on them. While the stories are unlikely to prevent President-elect Donald J. Trump's pick from being confirmed, it could weaken Mnuchin politically and rehash grievances from the financial crisis.  read more »
FinTech Forward
Anthony Labozzetta, CEO of Sussex Bancorp in New Jersey, isn't afraid of change. His unusual approach to banking helped Sussex emerge from the financial crisis with momentum. Now he's building a branch model that could serve as a blueprint for growth-minded banks.  read more »
You'd rather have a heart surgeon who has done a lot of bypasses than a novice, right? Perhaps the same thinking should apply to commercial lenders, according to several university researchers challenging the orthodoxy that making too many of the same kind of loans can only spell doom.  read more »
Some banks are set to get a fourth-quarter earnings boost from their MSR portfolios, thanks to a sudden spike in yields on Treasury bonds. Add to that the prospect of further rate hikes and the potential dismantling of Basel III, and more banks could be encouraged to re-enter the servicing business.  read more »
The Lending Club founder is trying to stage a comeback with the formation of a new online consumer lender. But he will likely face more skepticism than he did during the industry's era of explosive growth.  read more »
The president of the Kansas City Fed is best known for her dissenting votes on monetary policy, but that's not the only way she stands out. Her background as a farmer and former bank examiner gives her a unique perspective among Fed officials.  read more »
Podcast
In this episode of Breaking Banks: American Banker's Innovator of the Year, John Hope Bryant of Operation Hope; Richard Brown and Charley Cooper of the blockchain consortium R3; and Ravi Srinivasan, who describes India's drastic move to stamp out cash.