The Derisking Vortex: "A spate of recent account closings at churches and religiously affiliated charities suggests that de-risking directives are causing collateral damage to faith-based organizations," writes attorney Sheila Tendy. She speaks from experience: a bank recently cut ties with one of her own clients, a cash-intensive Christian church with hundreds of locations throughout the U.S. Commenters were alarmed but unsurprised. "Where do these 'high risk' businesses and organizations go for banking services in the meantime?" wondered "LTroy." "Do they hide millions of dollars under the mattress?"

Project Much? Bank regulators ought to look in a mirror when they give speeches on the importance of ethical culture, writes former Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago economist Bill Bergman. He suggests that establishing a training program for regulators stressing proper conduct could help reduce the risk of regulatory capture, as per Boston College finance professor Edward Kane.

Also on the Blog: American Banker editor-in-chief Marc Hochstein helps decode the Federal Reserve's stance on cryptocurrency as a potential tool for building a faster payments system in the U.S. The Urban Institute's Ellen Seidman and Wei Li argue that it's important to look at the credit quality of mortgage applicants as well as the quantity of applications to get an accurate picture of denial rates.

The Basel Committee's new disclosure rules will give investors a much better picture of banks' risks, thereby helping to improve market discipline, writes financial regulation expert Mayra Rodriguez Valladares.

Lending Club founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche responds to naysayers on the future of online marketplace lending. Jennifer Openshaw and Maureen Adolf of the Financial Women's Association offer tips on how financial firms can encourage greater diversity in the workplace.

Federal courts have effectively approved a financial transactions tax by introducing a fee on the transfer of bankruptcy bonds and other instruments, according to former Senate Judiciary Committee bankruptcy counsel John McMickle.

Leading Republican legislators are pushing back against Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt's recent decision to direct a portion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's profits to affordable housing trust funds. But affordable housing is too important an issue to put on the back burner, writes Partnership for Sustainable Communities president Andre Shashaty.

President Obama's proposed bank tax could help reduce risk to the financial system, writes the National Diversity Coalition's Gilbert Vasquez and Faith Bautista. But they say it should be a graduated tax that exempts any bank with under $100 billion in assets. 

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