Slideshow Best of BankThink 2015: Editors' Choice

  • December 28 2015, 8:00am EST
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American Banker editors recap 10 of the blog's posts they found most thought-provoking and memorable in 2015.

<a href="" target="_blank">Who Wins the De-Risking Shell Game? Bad Guys, Mostly</a></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">If Banks Can't Solve the De-Risking Dilemma, Maybe the Government Will</a></p>

By Amber Scott, AML consultant at Outlier Solutions Inc.

"The well-informed arguments in these two posts take on banks' heightened tendency toward de-risking. The first says criminals win as the de-risking phenomenon reduces transparency about customers seeking banking services. The second challenges the notion that the government disfavors de-risked businesses too. Scott suggests policymakers could solve the de-risking problem themselves by operating a public bank for shunned businesses to turn to."

— Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief, American Banker

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<a href="" target="_blank">Marketplace Lenders Are a Systemic Risk</a>

By Todd Baker, managing principal at Broadmoor Consulting LLC

"Good opinion writing sparks lively, informed debate. This piece did just that, as evidenced by the comment thread and multiple rebuttals, not to mention a live debate at American Banker's Marketplace Lending + Investing conference in November. We shall see whether marketplace lenders suffer the same fate as yesteryear's monoline finance companies, as Baker predicts, or whether the new business model proves more resilient, but it's certainly an interesting argument with historical perspective."

— Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief, American Banker

<a href="" target="_blank">Data Privacy and AML Rules on a Transatlantic Collision Course</a>

By Michelle Frasher, data and privacy scholar

"Combatting money-laundering and protecting individuals' privacy are two key priorities for regulators. But it is often overlooked how the two objectives are in constant conflict as the enforcement of anti-laundering and counterterrorism policies means the government is after your information. Frasher captures this potential collision head-on while showing how the U.S. and E.U. view the priorities differently."

— Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief, American Banker

<a href="" target="_blank">The Great Rebundling of Financial Services</a>

By Bradley Leimer, head of innovation at Santander Bank

"Bankers don't often get personal. But Leimer went down memory lane recalling his relationship with his first bank as a teenager, and how that institution catered to him and his family for everything: deposits, loans, etc. He argues that all-in-one institutions don't really exist today because of banks' 'self-imposed' unbundling. But he concludes with a note of 'Six Million Dollar Man' optimism: 'We can rebundle the bank.'"

— Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief, American Banker

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<a href="" target="_blank">Banking = Fintech</a>

By Pascal Bouvier, a venture partner with Santander Innoventures

"The competitive tension between banking and fintech overlooks the idea that banking and fintech are the same thing. This piece effectively illustrates the ways in which banking is already a technology business. Bouvier drives the point home with the simple sentence: "To me, finserv = fintech."

— Mary Wisniewski, Deputy Editor, BankThink, Fintech Reporter, American Banker

<a href="" target="_blank">Bank De-Risking Hurts Charities and Increases Risk of Laundering</a>

By Andrea Hall of the Charity & Security Network

"The de-risking debate most often focuses on businesses losing their access to banking services. But the problem is clearly broader than that as charities are getting the cold shoulder as well. Hall brings attention to de-risking's consequences for nonprofits trying to deliver relief to refugees in areas such as Syria and Somalia. And, she notes, those charities 'don't de-risk their beneficiaries.'"

— Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief, American Banker

<a href="" target="_blank">Fixing Data Problems Before They Are Bigger Problems</a>

By Andrew Waxman, a consultant in IBM Global Business Services' financial markets risk and compliance practice

"Take the emergence of the 'chief data officer' as a key new addition to the corporate suite. Add to that a discussion about how banks need to fix data errors before they become tangible flaws at the end of the product assembly line. This compelling piece, which cites as evidence the proactive steps Japanese automakers took to fix product flaws in the '90s, continues to shine a spotlight on the evolving importance of data practices inside banks."

— Joe Adler, Editor, BankThink

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<a href="" target="_blank">Putting Inclusive Back in Financial 'Inclusion'</a>

By Christine Duhaime, a Canadian lawyer and founder of the Digital Finance Institute

"The industry, which is in the midst of an existential crisis, has the potential to help society in ways that were only made possible from recent tech advancements. But this piece shines a spotlight on how studies and proposals dealing with 'financial inclusion' exclude refugees, children and other important groups from the term's definition. Duhaime makes a strong argument on the need to overhaul the definition at a time when technology is opening up opportunities to reach more underserved people."

— Mary Wisniewski, Deputy Editor, BankThink, Fintech Reporter, American Banker

<a href="" target="_blank">Fintech's Gender Gap</a>

By Mary Wisniewski, deputy editor of BankThink

"This pull-no-punches take reveals the sexist attitudes in the fintech industry, which the author explains may be to blame for there not being many women with leadership positions in the sector. Wisniewski argues that better gender balance is crucial for companies trying to lead an innovation wave."

— Joe Adler, Editor, BankThink