TBTF Feedback: "Too big to fail" is fading in the U.S.s rearview mirror. That was the gist of a column by Rob Nichols, CEO of the Financial Services Forum, who took a stance opposing that of an earlier BankThink from Camden Fine of the Independent Community Bankers of America. "Banks today are safer, sounder, more secure, transparent, accountable and performing their critical roles in the global economy," Nichols wrote. "Rather than picking winners and losers, we need to support a system that works for everyone." A few frequent BankThink contributors chimed in to contest the view that TBTF is behind us. "Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear!" commented Boston University professor Cornelius Hurley. "Get a better mirror," tweeted Mayra Rodriguez Valladares.
On the Subject of Stress Tests: Marcus Cree of SunGard outlined what banks can learn from this years Comprehensive Capital Analysis Review results. "Smaller BHCs are faced with a potentially significant problem if their risk controls are judged insufficient for that regulatory environment, and that insufficiency leads to a detailed critique in the March 2015 report," he wrote. Meanwhile, Scott Hein of Texas Tech University argued that the Federal Reserve would fail its own stress tests. "Under its aggressive quantitative easing program, the Fed is borrowing short-term and investing long-term, exposing itself to severe interest rate risk when short-term rates rise," he wrote. "If a top-30 bank had that kind of risk on its balance sheet, it would be taken to task by examiners and shunned by investors."
In Case You Missed It: Our Risk Doctor Cliff Rossi suggested the Johnson-Crapo housing reform bill would fall short of assuring small lenders survival. BBVA Compasss Reymundo Ocañas urged the industry to adapt financial education efforts to modern times. "The goal is to meet the financial education needs of everyone in the community whether its the tech-savvy second-grader, the recent high school graduate getting her first checking account or a retiree learning how to stick to a fixed income," he wrote.
Got an informed opinion on the business of banking? Submit to BankThink. Full submissions guidelines are available here.