Slideshow 'Marianne Lake for POTUS?' Comments of the Week

  • September 26 2014, 11:01am 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 from our social media platforms.

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On why JPMorgan Chase's chief financial officer, Marianne Lake, and other executives who made American Banker's list of the Most Powerful Women in Banking should take their talents to Capitol Hill:

"It is these types of women in the financial industry that I would like to see someday seek political office. I'll bet [JPMorgan's Marianne] Lake and her contemporaries -- can get things done where their male counterparts often seem to dare not go."

Related Article: The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking

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On why community bankers should associate themselves with the "shop local" movement:

"It makes no sense to shop local and not bank local. But think of all of your would-be customers who do precisely that. Call them on it. They'll understand because they are already predisposed to shopping local. Chances are you just haven't raised their level of awareness on this disconnect and asked them to reconsider where they bank."

Related Article: Why the Local Food Movement Is Good for Community Banking

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On the argument that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have no need for capital so long as they are backed by the U.S. Treasury:

"Hallelujah! Why is it so difficult for people to grasp this basic premise? You don't need capital when you have essentially unlimited access to the balance sheet of the federal government with no associated cost."

Related Article: How Much Capital Does a GSE Need? None

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On how little progress some of the largest U.S. financial institutions have made in cleaning up their servicing practices since the robo-signing scandal:

"'Just 4.5% of the loans reviewed qualified for some type of financial payment to the borrower.' That is not an insignificant error rate, particularly when they are operating under consent orders requiring them to clean up servicing operations. If those banks had 'just' a 4.5% chargeoff rate, they'd be insolvent."

Related Article: Banks Seek Exit from Robo-Signing Enforcement Order

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On Apple Pay's chances of popularizing mobile payments in the near future:

"I think some may find payments 'cool' but I would assume that most people want a simple, secure way to make payments, with the emphasis on security. The assumption that all merchants are going to upgrade their machines before October 2015 is also suspect as many will not understand the liability shift that befalls them. Finally, just because [merchants] have [near-field communication technology] doesn't mean that they turn it on. Several vendors, after years trying to gain traction, have just shut it off due to the cost."

Related Article: Why Plastic Cards Will Survive Apple Pay

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On the argument that the government policy changes in response to the housing crisis have made homeownership needlessly inaccessible for first-time buyers:

"Because of the very shortsighted responses to the housing crisis, seller-funded down-payment assistance was eliminated, down payments and [mortgage insurance premiums] were increased and seller-funded closing-cost assistance was drastically reduced. The historical bar to buying a first home has always been the up-front costs, and this overreaction increased the up-front costs significantly. This has cut the number of first-time buyers in the market by over 30% and has now killed the housing recovery. While the industry advocates are now calling for an overdue reversal on this policy, this is unlikely to happen since a reversal would admit a very serious mistake and no one takes responsibility for mistakes today."

Related Article: FHA Fees Are Holding Back First-Time Homebuyers

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On the regulatory burden faced by smaller banks as compared with credit unions:

"The marked difference in regulatory scrutiny between banks and credit unions is startling. I have yet to hear of a single credit union receiving [an] enforcement action on their courtesy-overdraft program while very small banks have been slammed if they charge more than six overdraft fees in a year. It is not uncommon for a credit union to charge a member more than six overdraft charges in a month. But I have yet to see any outrage or regulatory action on it."

Related Article: Crossing the $10B Threshold Is Painful, Acquirers Say

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On how government auctions of distressed mortgages to private investors can be improved:

"The bulk-loan-sale program is a great way to centralize housing investment for institutional investors, as well as to keep individual families from only having to pay the net acquisition cost of housing for themselves. To change these outcomes, if desired, would require auctioning not loans in bulk ... but rather, the actual individual properties themselves. If homeowner/occupant users are desired, rather than landlords, such auctions would also have to take place publicly and locally, most likely at the actual properties, rather than only 'virtually,' much less privately for only investors."

Related Article: How Auctioning Troubled Mortgages Can Boost the Housing Recovery

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On why banks' mobile apps that cater to low- and middle-income Americans outside of mainstream financial services may fall flat:

"This is the major problem with those who persist in using the terms 'unbanked' and 'underbanked.' It gives them the feeling that nontraditional consumers are secretly pining away for relationships with traditional banks. Wrong! The more accurate way to look at these two groups of consumers is that they see banks as either totally or partially irrelevant. Thinking that mobile apps will change this fundamental only increases banks' delusion about consumers who prefer to deal with service providers face-to-face, close to work or home."

Related Article: Banks Experiment with Apps for the Underbanked

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