Next steps: Wells Fargo is the latest bank testing predictive budgeting tools that suggest financial next steps for its mobile app users. “We want this to be part of how customers lead financially healthy lives,” said Katherine McGee, head of digital product management for Wells Fargo virtual channels. “We really want to be where our customers are. Customers are on the phone a lot. We recognize they lead busy lives. Wells is just a part of that life.” For all the data banks have, they haven't really tapped into the opportunity. For the most part, they just feed financial forecasts to the customer, instead of reading the customer data and determining what they might need or want next, like moving money into their savings accounts or spending alerts. Wells is testing the predictive features with employees and some customers and plans to make the features available to all mobile customers this summer.
Not good enough: It’s time to close the gender wage gap — our economic growth depends on it, said Janet Yellen, the first female Federal Reserve chair. Even though women’s economic progress has been crucial to the growth and prosperity of the 20th century, it hasn't been sufficient. "Despite this progress, evidence suggests that many women remain unable to achieve their goals," Yellen said, speaking at her alma mater, Brown University. "If these obstacles persist, we will squander the potential of many of our citizens and incur a substantial loss to the productive capacity of our economy at a time when the aging of the population and weak productivity growth are already weighing on economic growth.”
Symbols of appreciation: Ukraine’s former central bank chief, Valeriya Gontareva, quit her post in April after constantly receiving death threats and ongoing harrassment from her political enemies. Gontareva stabilized the economy in her three years on the job and nationalized 87 banks with about 60% of the sector’s assets. “These banks were not banks. We call them zombie banks without any assets, with only liabilities,” she said. “About 20 of them were just money-laundering machines. They do not do any business at all.” She also cut the central bank bureaucracy from 12,000 to 5,000 and let the country’s currency, the hryvnia, float, which shrank people’s incomes as it stabilized the economy. She has won admiration from the International Monetary Fund and economists for her work. “For me it was like three years of sustained harassment,” Gontareva said. A successor will take over this month.
In-house innovation: For Jennifer Samalis, Fidelity’s senior vice president for brokerage products and customer experience, fintech acquisitions have a place in the organization’s innovation strategy, but co-creating innovative products in house with Fidelity clients gives the company more flexibility. Fidelity’s Trade Armor program, which helps guide active investors through the complexities of selling with a graphical and intuitive interface, is one example. "Trade armor took eight different data points and combined them into one and gave you [the] ability to trade from a visual perspective," Samalis said. "You could see the lightbulb going off in their eyes… Being able to help somebody to aspire to be a better trader and give them the tools to do it gets me going."
Jennifer Manry, Capital One’s vice president of enterprise technology, has joined the Women Who Code advisory board.
In case you missed it
New leadership: Rebeca Romero Rainey, chairman and chief executive of Centinel Bank in Taos, N.M., and a former ICBA chair, was named the successor to Camden Fine, who is retiring as the CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America. The appointment came at a time when policymakers are more open to regulatory relief and willing to acknowledge how differently rules affect large and small banks. “What we’ve seen is the one-size-fits-all approach to regulation,” Rainey said. “The rules, whether it’s mortgage lending rules, whether it’s capital rules, don’t take into account some of the unique characteristics that we represent.” The leadership transition will occur in May 2018.
Ambition bind: State Street has said that the statue is meant to empower girls to take on STEM subjects in school as well as to draw attention to the power of women in leadership, but Christine Gallagher Kearney argues that she perhaps should have been depicted as a woman, not a girl, and that, if she were, she wouldn't have the impact she has had. “As a society, we pay lip service to the idea of empowering girls, but despise what they become: powerful women,” she said, pointing out that last year women-led startups received less than 3% of all venture capital money. “Meanwhile, we bubble with pride when Girl Scouts learn entrepreneurial skills selling cookies. … Creating that future, one where empowered girls become powerful women who are supported and celebrated means dismantling the obstacles that exist now. Tackling the patriarchy is not a girl’s job, fearless though she may be. It’s something we must do together.”
Women march: Women protested Venezuela's socialist government Saturday in a "women's march against repression,” banging on pans, stripping off their shirts (although some had makeshift gear to protect them against tear gas and rubber bullets), singing the national anthem and chanting, "Who are we? Venezuela! What do we want? Freedom!” Some marchers approached soldiers to offer them daisies and invite them to join. "What will you tell your kids later on?" one woman asked.
Feminism branding: Check out this Bustle analysis of Julian Assange’s tweet comparing Hillary Clinton and Marine LePen. It points out that there are two different feminism camps: one where women support all other women (not feminism) and one where men and women believe in the social equality of the sexes. “In the worldview of Assange's tweet, Clinton and Le Pen are pretty much interchangeable. That idea makes no sense to anyone who thinks that a woman has individual worth created by her values, expertise, skills, or ideas — but it makes perfect sense if you believe that women are nothing, that no woman has anything to offer the world except her vague, diffuse 'femaleness,' and thus, any one should be as good as the other.”
Goal!: Read about the girls’ soccer team that joined a boys’ league and won it.
American Banker is now accepting nominations for the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance rankings, the community impact and lifetime achievement awards, and the top teams.