Slideshow Comments of the Week: No Social Media for You!; Bitcoin, Privacy and Crime; GSE Déjà Vu

Published
  • May 31 2013, 10:23am EDT
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American Banker readers share their views on the most pressing banking topics of the week. As excerpted from the Comments sections of AmericanBanker.com articles.

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On a suggestion that legislators have caved in to bank lobbyists and hobbled regulators:

"We really need to stop flogging the notion that the main problem with regulation is the influence of bank lobbyists and the cowardice of Congress. Presuming or insinuating that bankers oppose things only for bad, self-serving and dangerous reasons is pure bunk. Bankers have become vilified but that doesn't make them incapable of stating good arguments on policy matters."

Related Article: We Have the Tools to End TBTF, We Just Have to Use Them

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On competition for small-business loans from online lenders:

"For banks to compete in this arena, they'll need to loosen up on their guidelines. The reason most business owners turn to alternative sources in the first place is because the banks usually deny them."

Related Article: Tech Startups Force Small Banks to Consider Online Lending

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On anonymous payment systems like Bitcoin and the indicted Liberty Reserve:

"All these services act as fertilizer to nourish crime."

Related Article: Feds Wrongly Demonize Privacy in Liberty Reserve Case

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On anonymous payment systems like Bitcoin and the indicted Liberty Reserve:

"If banks and traditional financial service providers respected basic client privacy more and facilitated some desired form of digital payments that did not always involve harmful reversibility to the merchants, then companies like Liberty Reserve won't even be necessary."

Related Article: Feds Wrongly Demonize Privacy in Liberty Reserve Case

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On the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's proposal that banks undertake special due-diligence to cut off Liberty Reserve:

"Haven't these guys heard of [the Office of Foreign Assets Control]? Why not just use the existing authority to 'block' transactions with the offenders? Or is our goal here to be seen as part of the solution (instead of asleep at the switch)?"

Related Article: Fincen Seeks to Deputize Banks in $6B Laundering Case

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On cybersecurity legislation that would allow Internet companies to share user information with the government:

"Cybersecurity should not come at expense of privacy."

Related Article: Why Cybersecurity Legislation Will Likely Come Up Short—Again

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On a suggestion that chip and PIN (EMV) security technology could make prepaid cards prohibitively expensive to issue:

"The 'burden' of extra cost with EMV is a mind game for the issuer. Ask, for example, any (even low-wage) employee whether they want to start messing with checks again or are ready to pay one-off fee of $3 for the chip card. The industry and their customers are no strangers to some outrageous charges, so an extra dollar shouldn't scare either side much."

Related Article: EMV Could Make Prepaid Cards Prohibitive to Issue, Unless...

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On a lawyer's advice that banks forbid employees from having their own social media pages:

"So they must delete their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. etc.? There's no way that will work. I could see a bank prohibiting employees from displaying bank logos, or discussing bank products on social media - or prohibiting access from company computers. But that's very different from trying to ban employees from even having social media accounts."

Related Article: Compliance Roadmap for Proposed Social Media Rules for Banks

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On a government sponsored entity reform bill in the works under Sen. Bob Corker:

"These proposals to utilize the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac infrastructure in some way, like all well-intended, politically expedient proposals and policies of housing and mortgage finance interventions since the Great Depression, share the same characteristic of unintended consequences that lead to the financial crisis."

Related Article: GSE Reform Bill Quietly in Works Under Sen. Corker

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On consumer groups pushing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to further restrict account overdraft practices:

"The consumerist critics reveal their agenda when they praise banks that have discontinued offering overdraft services. Representatives of these groups have made no secret of their view that bank customers should not be overdrawing their accounts and that banks should make it harder for customers to do so. It would not be the first example where the advocacy of consumerist groups differs from customer preferences."

Related Article: Looming CFPB Overdraft Rules Could Hit Some Banks Hard

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On a Pew Charitable Trusts survey that indicates most consumers do not understand overdraft fees and opt-in provisions:

"I would love to know how the question was asked in the Pew 'survey' - the phrasing of a question can have a big impact on results."

Related Article: Looming CFPB Overdraft Rules Could Hit Some Banks Hard

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