Slideshow 'Then It's Oops': Comments of the Year

Published
  • December 23 2015, 1:34pm EST
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We revisit some of the best comments readers posted in 2015. Comments are excerpted from reader response sections of AmericanBanker.com and BankThink.com articles, except where noted.

On the argument that warnings about the continued threat of 'too big to fail' are overblown:

"This is probably the same type of messaging nuclear power plants tell their surrounding communities. 'We've got this, don't worry, safety is our #1 priority' … until something happens, then it's 'Oops.'"

Related Article: The Right Way to Take Measure of TBTF

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On the difference in the ways that regulators and bankers see risk:

"When I was a kid, we had a go-kart that we would race against time around a course in my backyard. But the kart was equipped with a governor that prevented it from going over 15 mph, so once we got the hang of taking the curves at full throttle, no one was able to beat anyone else's time. Boring! Then a mechanically minded friend figured out how to remove the governor, and we were off to the races again, with each new lap besting the time of the previous. It was great, exhilarating fun until one of our friends flipped over and had to be rushed to the hospital with a broken arm and a concussion.

"I think that injured friend became a regulator. The mechanically minded buddy? A banker."

Related Article: Banking's Tragedy of the Commons


On how an influx of post-crisis regulation has changed the nature of banking:

"Banking used to be about helping people obtain their home and trying to protect the place you work for also, but now [it's] trying to make sure you have the fifty pieces of papers signed and in the file."

Related Article: Prune HMDA Reporting Requirements for Small Banks


On Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul's attempt to woo Bitcoin enthusiasts:

"Just for fun, imagine if Rand announced that if he becomes president, all tax refunds will be paid in bitcoin." (via Reddit)

Related Article: Rand Paul Chides 'Naysayers' Who Want to Regulate Bitcoin

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On a report that banks like Citigroup are trying to channel Silicon Valley's forward-thinking spirit by partnering with financial technology startups:

"Frenemies indeed. These guys are deathly afraid of disruptive tech."

Related Article: Banks Lean on Startups to Bolster Their Digital Futures


On PayPal's $25 million settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for allegedly forcing its credit product on customers without their consent:

"Good luck to all the technology companies entering a regulated industry. I am not saying the regulations are good or bad. I do feel level playing fields are good. Can you imagine Starbucks being regulated by Richard Cordray and Liz Warren? The brown goo would be $.45 versus $5.30!"

Related Article: CFPB Hits PayPal Over Online Credit Product


On how one community bank is attempting to ward off hackers by tightening authentication security for employees who use its systems remotely (<a href="https://twitter.com/grifmon/status/601887182329147394" target="_blank">via Twitter</a>):

"Risk? I'd have an easier time robbing Ft Knox than I do logging in remotely. #10FactorAuthentication yes really."

Related Article: Remote Employee Access Is Risky; This Bank Makes It Safer

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On whether banks' innovation labs help drive fresh ideas or amount to a lot of hot air:

"Put me in the naysayer camp. Innovation labs are today's bright shiny objects. Big banks have difficulty getting their ancient, patchworked core banking systems to work seamlessly and reliably, and they're devoting resources to delivering services through household appliances? (Who doesn't yearn to pay bills while vacuuming?)"

Related Article: Bank Innovation Labs: Boon or Boondoggle?


On the difficulty for banks of converting core processing systems (<a href="https://twitter.com/Ghela_Boskovich/status/631173098859933696" target="_blank">via Twitter</a>):

"Heart & lung transplant while the patient runs a marathon… Ideal time will always be moot. #coretransformation."

Related Article: Biting the Bullet on a Core Conversion


On the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's efforts to get a better grasp of new financial services innovations such as digital currencies, neobanks and marketplace lending:

"It is refreshing to see the OCC start thinking about the new banking! After years of chastising rent-a-charter innovations or closing down direct-deposit advances they are finally embracing the fact that banks need to step up or lose out. Let's see if the old dogs can really adopt a new attitude before they look like taxi drivers in an Uber world."

Related Article: OCC's New Lexicon: Neobanks, Bitcoin, Peer-to-Peer

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On community banks' disdainful attitudes toward 'entitled' millennial staffers eager to ascend the ranks:

"Guarding power for the sake of tradition in today's world is killing the ability for community banks to grow and respond. And one more thing, what some may perceive as 'entitled' could simply be an unfair label on an entire generation simply because they can do more on their mobile device in 15 minutes than it took a team of people 40 years ago all day to accomplish. Don't hate the whippersnapper, find a way to relax and delegate."

Related Article: Bankers May Not 'Get' Millennials, But They Need Them


On the discontinuation of an ambitious faster-payments project and ouster of CEO Gordon Baird at Independence Bancshares in South Carolina:

"What were these directors thinking? Baird must have been a great salesman to entice the board to spend nearly $10 million on a totally unproven technology instead of them focusing on getting the bank back on a firm footing. I am also amazed that the regulators let this go on so long. Thank goodness the board came to its senses."

Related Article: Payments Debacle at Small S.C. Bank Shows Risks of Ambitious Tech


On the formation of a financial services policy group to advocate on behalf of tech companies, with no plans to add bank members (<a href="https://twitter.com/bebrown2/status/661832402407436288" target="_blank">via Twitter</a>):