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Empowering women to become more financially independent has been a hallmark of Lori Chillingworth's career as a small-business banker. Now she's on an even bigger mission: to help more women in Utah gain seats on corporate boards and compete for political office.

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A long-expected change to the rules for provisioning against bad loans is coming soon, and opponents are going on the offensive, arguing that it is impractical and would be especially hard for small banks to comply with. But few concessions, if any, are predicted.
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The central bank originally established a 10-year time horizon for completing upgrades to the nation's aging electronic payment system. But a task force convened by the Fed thinks that's not ambitious enough.

Independence Bancshares in South Carolina last week fired its CEO and gave up its dreams of shaking up the payments world after losing nearly $9 million on the effort. Many details are still unknown, but it looks like a case study for what can go wrong when community banks invest in technology.
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A California company called NEFT wants to provide the online meeting place where debt-laden borrowers get together with lenders and credit bureaus to negotiate repayment plans. Backed by some prominent investors, NEFT says it offers carrots to get all the parties to participate.

Foreign banks looking to buy a U.S. institution long faced tough scrutiny from the Federal Reserve, and the financial crisis has only made the process harder.

The long-delayed approval of the merger of M&T and Hudson City should have been a bright spot in postcrisis M&A, but a small footnote from the Fed quickly reminded bankers that dealmaking will remain a demanding process.

The Small Business Investment Company program may be less famous among banks than some of the SBA's other programs, but it enjoyed a record in fiscal 2015 that wrapped up this week. Stories like that of Opus Bank in California shed light on why.

In comments to the Treasury Department, traditional financial institutions are calling for more oversight of an industry that is fast becoming a big competitive threat.

BB&T has rolled out a digital banking platform that lets customers customize which features appear once they log in. It saves the bank having to decide what to show and what to hide on devices with different screen sizes.

Wells Fargo has seven women on its 16-member board, a 44% ratio that is twice that of the average top 25 bank. It got there, in large part, by looking beyond C-suites for qualified directors.

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