JPM's Reputation: American Banker's Marc Hochstein and Jeanine Skowronski argued that JPMorgan Chase's recent refusal to process payments for a startup condom company – allegedly citing potential damage to its reputation – highlights how bank regulators' heightened concern with reputational risk could easily spiral out of control. "When regulators expect banks to 'manage' the risk that someone, somewhere might disapprove of a customer, it's hard to predict which ones will become pariahs," they wrote. Most readers agreed that banks should not be asked to play the role of moral police. "Operation Choke Point and comparable regulatory efforts are driving us toward 'politically correct banking," commented Wayne Abernathy of the American Bankers Association. Is that where a large and diverse country like the United States wants banking to go? Our history and traditions suggest, no." But other readers also pointed out that condoms were the least of JPM's problems. "As if JPMorgan Chase has such a sterling reputation," Jim Wells wrote.  

Meanwhile, Deep in the Innovation Well: Consultant Lynn David argued that banks could still offer free checking by offering e-checking accounts and charging for paper statements and notices. John Eberly of the tech agency Clock Four Inc. suggested mobile banking wouldn't take off until all key players— providers, merchants and consumers —are sufficiently motivated to change. And Gregg LeStage of Kotter International argued that banks would make more progress on new business models, product and services if they insourced their innovators. "By taking a diagonal slice of the organization, from senior management to tellers, and giving them permission to innovate, banks can draw on the broader, more diverse knowledge of existing talent," he wrote. "The first ideas from the employee-led innovation network may be small, but they will build on each other quickly."

BankThink Live: Missed American Banker's Retail Banking Conference 2014? You'll still be able to listen to its inaugural BankThink Live sessions. We'll be posting each speaker's segment on the blog over the next few weeks. In fact, you can already watch SunTrust marketing chief Rilla Delorier share her thoughts about banks and financial literacy here.  

Got an informed opinion on the business of banking? Submit to BankThink. Full submissions guidelines are available here.