Slideshow 'Time to Plow the Same Ground': Comments of the Week

  • April 08 2016, 7:30am EDT
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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.

On a recent forum resuming the policy debate over "too big to fail":

"It's spring, apparently time to plow the same old ground."

Related Article: 'Too Big to Fail' Forum: Plenty of Heat, Little Light

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In response to an op-ed on the need to reinvent checking accounts:

"Innovation is wonderful. It is how banks for two hundred years have been evolving to meet customer needs. Those that succeeded have been rewarded by their customers. Not all innovations succeed. Frankly, as good as a new idea or product sounds on the drawing board, you only know whether it will succeed once your customers show you."

Related Article: Future of Checking Is About More than Killing Overdraft

On the amount of funds amassed in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's consumer relief fund almost doubling from a year earlier:

"One of the Bureau's major enforcement tools — disparate impact — has a major problem: scarcity of real victims. Hard to reimburse victims who have been invented by Bureau statisticians."

Related Article: Why CFPB's Consumer Relief Fund Has Ballooned

On the tension between allowing banks to use internal models to calculate risk-based capital, and setting minimum non-risk-based leverage ratios:

"We had a world where bankers highlighted risks so that they could argue for higher interest rates. Now we have a world in which bankers understate or even hide risks, in order to argue for lower capital requirements."

Related Article: How Regulators Can Truly Simplify Basel Capital Regime

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On the effects of B of A purging some of its branches:

"Bank of America is divesting of SOME branches. They are not shutting all branches in these markets… only closing a percentage, and still have a rather strong brick-and-mortar presence in the markets that are important to them. Customers still want to know they have physical access to a branch, but don't need one as frequently as before, and are therefore willing to drive a few more minutes for those trips."

Related Article: You Take the Branches. We'll Keep the Deposits

On analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts on overdraft use:

"Perhaps it would be more productive for Pew to devote time toward consumer education, teaching people how to reconcile their checking account and emphasizing that writing checks in amounts that exceed what is in the account is not only a bad idea, but against the law. They could also reinforce the notion that if you do overdraw your account, it is only reasonable to expect the bank to charge you a fee for what is really a loan, and oh, by the way…you did it to yourself."

Related Article: Pew's Call for Overdraft Reform Is Off-Base

On the consequence of forcing bank employees to focus too heavily on sales:

"This is a subject long overdue to be discussed. The sales strategies at banks are still in the 1950s. Further, it stays there because there is no external sales training."

Related Article: The 'Glengarry Glen Ross' Approach to Bank Sales Doesn't Work