June 11, 2020
AFSPA Partner


AFSPA Partner


3 in 4 bankers think AI will separate 'winners from losers,' survey finds

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key role in accelerating the digital shift in banking over the next five years, according to a report published Tuesday by banking software company Temenos.
  • More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents said successfully using AI will be a key differentiator between "winners and losers" in the banking industry. Improving user experience through greater customer personalization (28%) ranked as AI's most valuable purpose among bankers surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of Temenos.
  • Two-thirds of banking executives (66%) said new technologies such as AI, cloud and DevOps will continue to drive global banking transformation over the next five years.

Read more at BANKING DIVE

What the Emerging Economic Data Is Telling Us About Jobs and the Eventual Recovery in States

An expert in employment data discusses its implications for state economies and budgets

The recent economic turmoil resulting from COVID-19 has given increased attention to what national and state data are telling us about the pandemic's impact on workers, businesses, and government budgets. Michael Horrigan, president of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, recently answered questions about how to understand the data in these turbulent times, and what it means for economic recovery. Before joining Upjohn in 2019, Horrigan had a long career at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most recently as associate commissioner in the Office of Unemployment and Unemployment Statistics, where he oversaw the publication of the national civilian unemployment rate and the monthly nonfarm payroll jobs numbers.
Read more at The Pew Charitable Trusts


RTO Dealers: State Associations Feel Upbeat and Ready to Move into Economic Recovery

June 9, 2020 - After an economic lockdown put many retail businesses across the U.S. on hold for nearly three months, there is considerable evidence that rent-to-own transactions remained steady throughout the period. Most - if not all - state rental dealer association presidents are confident RTO dealers in their part of the country will continue to thrive in the immediate future.

Some state association leaders who responded to an APRO survey on these topics included Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Culture at SKC Enterprises, dba Rent One, Kelly Martin in Illinois; Vice-President of Operations of Impact RTO Holdings, dba Rent-A-Center, Paul Metivier in Florida; President and CEO of Lebakkens Inc. of Wisconsin, Jeffrey Lebakken in Wisconsin; Owner of Mike Strong Inc., dba Mike's TV-Furniture & Appliance, Angela Strong-McCool in Kansas; and Director of Operations at Rental Concepts LLC, dba RNR Tire Express, Candice Hill in Arkansas.
Read more at Association of Progressive Rental Organizations | APRO

Americans' anxiety about bills dropped in May, Fed survey shows

Delinquency expectations in April were the highest in seven years after COVID-19 shut down the economy

Americans worried less about paying bills in May as the economy began reopening with new safety measures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.

About 12.6% of people worried they wouldn't be able to make minimum debt payments in May, down from April's seven-year high of 16.2%, according to a Federal Reserve survey of consumer expectations released on Friday.

That put consumers back on par with December, when many people were worried about paying for holiday gifts, not dealing with the worst pandemic in more than a century. As deaths from COVID-19 began to mount in mid-March, states shut down businesses and issued stay-at-home orders to stem the spread of the disease.
Read more at HW Media

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Top GOP senator says next coronavirus relief package expected in July

Washington - The next relief package aimed at responding to the coronavirus pandemic likely won't be passed by the Senate until at least mid-July, Senator John Thune, the second highest-ranking Republican in the upper chamber, said Monday.

Thune, of South Dakota, told reporters at the Capitol that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested a "July time frame" for its next package, likely after the Senate returns to Washington from the two week-long recess that begins July 3 and ends July 17.

Thune said the Senate has a packed calendar for the remainder of June, with the upper chamber set to vote on two of President Trump's nominations to the federal courts of appeals and bipartisan legislation that supports conservation and maintenance projects on federal lands. The Senate Armed Services Committee is also weighing the 2021 defense authorization bill, and several Senate panels are convening for hearings focused on the coronavirus pandemic and nominations.
Read more at CBS NEWS

FTC Staff Provides 2019 Annual Financial Acts Enforcement Report to the CFPB

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission has provided its 2019 Annual Financial Acts Enforcement Report to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on its enforcement and related activities regarding the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Consumer Leasing Act (CLA), and Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA).

The report on TILA, CLA, and EFTA highlights, among other things, the FTC's enforcement actions related to automobile purchases and financing, payday lending, credit repair and consumer electronics financing, and electronic fund transfers.

It also addresses the FTC's research and policy efforts related to truth in lending, including assessment and review of information from a qualitative study of consumers' experiences in buying and financing automobiles at dealerships, and a workshop examining small business financing. The report highlights the agency's Military Task Force, which comprises a cross-section of FTC representatives and focuses on various initiatives to assist military consumers. The report further outlines the FTC's consumer and business education efforts on truth in lending, leasing, and electronic fund transfer issues.
Read more at The Federal Trade Commission


To Help the Unbanked, Break the Industrial Bank Taboo

According to the FDIC, 8.4 million U.S. households lacked a bank account as of 2017, putting America behind other rich countries. Minorities and the young are heavily overrepresented among the unbanked, so addressing this problem is a matter of both financial inclusion and equal opportunity. Fortunately, the FDIC can use its authority over an obscure banking charter to help, and it recently proposed to do just that. But if it goes ahead, it can expect stiff opposition from industry incumbents and their champions in Congress.

Many blame the unbanked problem on the recent decline in the number of U.S. banks. But that decline has been more than offset by the 24 percent growth of bank branch networks since 1995. Because the share of unbanked households is also often higher in urban areas, where bank branches are easiest to come by, than elsewhere, proximity to a bank office doesn't seem to be a strong driver of account ownership. Instead, the unbanked themselves generally blame their predicament on either the high cost of keeping bank accounts or their distrust of ordinary banks or both.
Read more at Cato Institute

FTC Halts Deceptive Payday Lender That Took Millions From Consumers' Accounts Without Authorization

Defendants drew repeated interest-only charges, leaving consumers to pay more than promised

The Federal Trade Commission has charged a payday lending enterprise with deceptively overcharging consumers millions of dollars and withdrawing money repeatedly from consumers' bank accounts without their permission. A federal court has entered a temporary restraining order halting the operation and freezing the defendants' assets, at the FTC's request.

According to the FTC, the 11 defendants, through Internet websites and telemarketing, and operating under the names Harvest Moon Financial, Gentle Breeze Online, and Green Stream Lending, used deceptive marketing tactics to convince consumers that their loans would be repaid in a fixed number of payments. In fact, in many instances, the FTC alleges, consumers found that long after the promised number of payments had been made, the defendants had applied their funds to finance charges only and were continuing to make regular finance-charge only withdrawals from their checking accounts. Read more at FTC


Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions By Federal Reserve District

What is The Beige Book? The Beige Book is a Federal Reserve System publication about current economic conditions across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. It characterizes regional economic conditions and prospects based on a variety of mostly qualitative information, gathered directly from District sources.

The qualitative nature of the Beige Book creates an opportunity to characterize dynamics and identify emerging trends in the economy that may not be readily apparent in the available economic data. Because this information is collected from a wide range of business and community contacts through a variety of formal and informal methods, the Beige Book can complement other forms of regional information gathering.

Mnuchin: Trump admin to 'seriously look' at more direct payments in next coronavirus relief package

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday the Trump administration will "seriously look" at sending another round of direct cash payments to some Americans in the fourth coronavirus relief package.

"I think we're going to seriously look at whether we want to do more direct money to stimulate the economy," Mnuchin said while testifying before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. "But I think this is all going to be about getting pe

At the end of March, Congress passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, approving one-time payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples. There's also an extra $500 payment for each dependent child under the age of 17. The payments were tapered for individuals who earned more than $75,000 and cut-off completely for those earning more than $99,000.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS



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