Protests during Washington D.C. against the Trump travel ban
On a look at how community activists are swaying bank policy on issues like private prison financing, although the strategy may remind some of the Obama administration's Operation Choke Point:

"This is good. The firms involved get to decide whether or not the influence groups have a point and their reputation is what is at risk. If the public has a compelling case and bankers turn a deaf ear, then it is congress who should take action. It is never appropriate for a regulator, however well intentioned, to pick winners and losers."

Related: Welcome to Operation Choke Point 2.0
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Another reader weighs in on the effects of community group efforts to use banks as a "choke point" to spur broader social change:

"While I agree that banks as private companies have the right to bow to popular sentiment, I am troubled by the increasing inclination toward mob rule in our society. Banks should be mindful that for every outraged mob that marches in front of their headquarters, another equally active group will likely hold the opposite opinion. Maybe a better policy for banks would be to simply serve any legally operating business equitably and leave the virtue signaling to Congress and Hollywood."

Related: Welcome to Operation Choke Point 2.0
Katie Porter, Democratic U.S. Representative candidate from California, smiles during a campaign rally in Anaheim on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018.
On Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., grilling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger about how APRs are calculated:

"I don't know that under the pressure of a congressional interrogation, field examiners would be able to answer Rep. Porter's APR question off the top of their heads. Their first thought would be, "Where is APRWin?" Then they might think about taking out a pencil and paper, or iPhone calculator, to do some cipherin', as Jethro Bodine used to say to Uncle Jed. Ms. Kraninger's ability to answer such a petty and wonky question means nothing. Where is Alan Dombrow when you need him?"

Related: 6 takeaways from CFPB chief's visit to Capitol Hill
Putting a puzzle together
On an argument that bank leaders should focus on building great teams instead of obsessing over the competition:

"If people are invested in and valued for their insights and contributions, potential is optimized. As a leader in 2019, you can't just focus on the competition and the bottom line; developing a larger group of evangelists who love what they do is never a bad thing. When you help people grow, your business grows!"

Related: Focus on employees, not competitors
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
On Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., urging CFPB employees to report waste and abuse at the agency:

"The mere staffing of the CFPB is a waste of money."

Related: Waters urges CFPB employees to blow whistle on agency leaders
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On an argument that fintechs should be required to meet the same regulatory standards as banks and credit unions:

"Fintechs have done an excellent job of marketing themselves to small businesses, positioning themselves as leader of technology in a way that small business owners — usually reliant on eCommerce — find appealing. As someone who advocates for credit unions among my own small business clients (and anyone else who will listen), I can see how well fintechs have branded themselves as THE competition against the Big Banks in a way credit unions haven't."

Related: Why are fintechs getting a regulatory pass?
Wells Fargo sign
On Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan testifying before the House Financial Services Committee about efforts to clean up the bank's risk management practices:

"While I'm not fan of WF, the OCC and CFPB were too slow and too lenient with WF. And, how did the Board think it was OK to permit incentives without checks and balances? Did you read that WF had an MRA from 2009 related to complaint management that was uncorrected and the OCC rolled into the 2016 consent order? My regulators (and my Board) would ask for my resignation if I had an MRA that was seven years old! Wow!"

Related: Sloan says Wells Fargo has cleaned up its act. Congress begs to differ