Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Signed, sealed ... maybe not delivered: Bernie Sanders fans, take heart. The Democrats released their party platform late last week and it includes a proposal for the U.S. Postal Service to offer basic banking services, like cashing checks. The concept has previously been backed by labor unions, Sen. Elizabeth Warren – and yes, Sanders – though the banking industry has tended to resist the effort.
Still, it's unlikely to come to fruition anytime soon, given the sorry state of the post office's budget and the fact that such a provision would require congressional approval. The party document includes some additional banking measures: a defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, support for a financial transactions tax and a proposed ban on bankers sitting on the boards of the Federal Reserve's 12 regional banks. The platform also calls for an updated version of the Glass-Steagall Act, which the GOP platform recently endorsed. Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC
Wall Street Journal
Getting serious: The battle over peer-to-peer payments is heating up, as banks reintroduced their joint venture, called clearXchange, that allows instant transactions.
Tipping the scales: Observers lauded PayPal's agreement with Visa last week, which ended their longstanding feud, but it appears "the terms of the deal reflect Visa's superior bargaining position as the owner of crucial payment infrastructure," the paper says.
Always be prepared: Some of the country's biggest lenders said in recent earnings reports that they're increasing their reserves, anticipating a rise in loan losses in coming months. "The higher reserves in part reflect efforts to expand loan volume. As competition for borrowers intensifies, some lenders also are lowering credit-score requirements and taking on riskier customers," the paper says. "But they also stem from a growing conviction that improvements in credit quality have come to an end."
Chasing NIM: Net interest margin, the difference between what banks pay on deposits and charge on loans and investments, fell at six of the largest banks in the second quarter, despite the Fed's December rate increase. That's bad news for regional banks, too.
Swaps struggle: Banks, particularly in Europe, are running into problems using derivatives with the implementation of post-crisis rules.
New York Times
Payday crackdown: The paper explores the possible impacts, on borrowers and lenders alike, of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's upcoming payday loans rule.