Slideshow 'Fintech Is a Marketing Concept': Comments of the Week

  • April 15 2016, 7:30am EDT

American Banker readers share their views on the most pressing banking topics of the week. Comments are excerpted from reader response sections of articles and our social media platforms.

In response to an op-ed on the evolution of fintech disruption:

"Repeat after me, there is no spoon (The Matrix). Fintech is a marketing concept more than a new business model. Most of these players are simply free-riding on existing public/private infrastructure. Consider the marketplace lenders who are in fact marketing and securities firms. A bank processes and funds most of these loans, which are then sold in fractional securities offerings to retail investors. Woop-dee-doo."

Related Article: Welcome to the 'Havoc' Phase of Fintech Disruption

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A commenter downplayed the effect of changes — which were welcomed by community banks — to the Financial Accounting Standards Board's new loss reserve model:

"The need for future forecasts and the requirements for a lot of organized internal historical data — and external economic and peer data are still there. And community banks will have to face that, for bad or good."

Related Article: FASB Wins Over One Vocal Critic with Revised Loan-Loss Plan

Questioning the role of blockchain in the future of identity:

"Interoperability of identity attributes, and liability for attribute errors, are the things that have held up identity management for decades, dating back to [public key infrastructure] in the 1990s. Blockchain aficionados have yet to even mention these critical issues much less engage with them. Instead they carry on like blockchain has some magic powers to make all parties understand one another. Please, let us have some rigor! Would blockchain-for-identity proponents please set out precisely the problems they claim to be solving, and how?"

Related Article: How Blockchain Fits into the Future of Digital Identity

On a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. plan to ease certain requirements for de novo banks:

"In any event, for years now, the word has been out that even if you manage to get a charter from OCC or the now defunct OTS, the FDIC will kill it. Every banking lawyer and consultant who has gone through the process is well aware of it. For the benefit of the long-term health of the industry, one hopes that FDIC's newly expressed fondness for new charters is real, and not simply PR."

Related Article: FDIC Plots Ways to Address De Novo Drought

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On the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau creating a small business lending office:

"Hopefully the CFPB will quickly learn that small business lending has no resemblance to consumer lending, where you can just create a box and connect wages to debt service. Each and every small business is different and the challenge is understanding their business model and revenue assumptions. Applying all of the CFPB's consumer rules will also smother small business enterprises. Dodd Frank strikes again!"

Related Article: CFPB Announces Staff Changes, Adds Small Business Lending Office

On news that Bank of America will interact with customers via "chat bots" on Facebook Messenger:

"Could this bank be any more out of touch with the marketplace? OMG (that's 'oh my god', B of A)."

Related Article: B of A's New Customer Reps: 'Chat Bots' on Facebook Messenger

On an argument for banks to charge upfront, set fees rather than surprise overdraft fees:

"An honest monthly fee that consumers can compare is much better than a 'vicious free-banking-with-punitive-fees model.' Just don't set the fee so high that you push out low-income families."

Related Article: Bank Fees Are Too Damn Low

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Assessing the quality of transparency in the regulatory "living wills" process:

"It's like playing darts with a blindfold."

Related Article: Megabanks Bomb Living Will Tests, Only Citi Passes