December 1, 2020
The Gateway For Payroll Data
Nearly 1 in 5 millennials has been denied a credit card this year
About a third of millennials (ages 24-39) say they’ve been rejected when applying for credit cards, mortgages, car loans and other financial products this year because of their credit score.

That’s according to a new online survey from YouGov fielded on behalf of Bankrate in October among 3,780 U.S. adults.

And while 32% sounds like a big number, the rate of rejection among this millennials is actually half of what it was when Bankrate asked about credit denials last year and found that six in 10 were rejected when applying for financial products.

Credit card rejections were the most common: About 19% of millennials say their application was refused in 2020.
Paving the Payments Future
OCC proposal prohibits banks from denying lending to oil, gun companies
  • A rule proposed Friday by the Office of The Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) would prohibit banks with more than $100 billion in assets from denying services such as lending and payment processing to businesses in one industry over another as long as the potential client passes the risk assessment.
  • The proposed rule comes as many of the world's largest banks are scaling back their lending in particular industries to align with environmental and social benchmarks.
  • The 45-day comment period connected to the proposal (through Jan. 4) is uncommonly short, but may allow the agency a brief window to issue the rule before the Biden administration is expected to take office Jan. 20.

Lending as a Service
States Grapple with Cost of Jobless Benefits as Pandemic Worsens
The steep and climbing cost of unemployment during the Covid-19 pandemic could give state policymakers déjà vu from the Great Recession—when states used unemployment tax increases and benefit cuts to rebuild unemployment trust funds depleted by millions of job losses.

That’s assuming states don’t get a significant federal bailout, which policy analysts say looks less likely if Republicans hold on to their majority in the Senate.

This year’s record-high unemployment benefits during the pandemic have amounted to more than $500 billion. In less than a year, payments have dwarfed the $293 billion in benefits paid between 2008 and 2013 during the Great Recession and its aftermath. Georgia’s labor department recently said it has paid out more benefits since March than in the previous 28 years combined.
COVID-19 paid leave tax credits for Small and Midsize businesses

Small and midsize employers can claim two NEW refundable payroll tax credits.

The paid sick leave credit and the paid family leave credit are designed to immediately and fully reimburse eligible employers for the cost of providing COVID-19 related leave to their employees.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Enforcement Work
Congress provided the Bureau with four important tools to carry out its mission of protecting consumers: rulemaking, supervision, enforcement, and education. The Office of Enforcement is responsible for conducting investigations of potential unlawful conduct and taking public enforcement actions against entities and individuals that break the law. Enforcement actions are resolved publicly in court or through an administrative adjudication proceeding.

The Bureau has the authority to conduct investigations before instituting judicial or administrative proceedings. We use investigations to gather facts and identify violations of federal consumer financial law to determine whether a public enforcement action is necessary. We rely on a number of sources of information to identify potential issues that may warrant opening an investigation, including consumer complaints, the Bureau’s whistleblower hotline, referrals from state and federal regulators, and findings from the Bureau’s supervisory work.
Local pawn shop gives out free food to help those in need
LUBBOCK, Texas – A Lubbock pawn shop added food shelves in their store to help people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Irene Longoria, General Manager at Pawn Lubbock, said she and her colleagues call it the blessing bin, noting that many customers have expressed losing their jobs due to quarantine and COVID-19.

“We have been seeing a lot of people who have just been here for gas money and that’s pretty sad,” she said. “So now they can come in for gas money and hopefully take a few groceries and help them out throughout the week.”

Store manager Maggie Martinez said there’s no limit to the number of items people can take home. She said the project has garnered a lot of community support.
Why Some State Economies Are Rallying After Slump
Manufacturing Rallies as Tourism, Energy Lag

After a pandemic plunge cratered the U.S. economy in the spring, some states appear to be recovering by catering to Americans’ renewed obsession with homes and cars. States dependent on tourism or energy are still foundering, however.

The nation’s economic output, as measured by gross domestic product, jumped an annualized 38% in the third quarter of this year after dropping 31% in the second quarter, when pandemic shutdowns peaked.

State by state GDP numbers won’t be out until December, but looking at the economic sectors that are coming back indicates which states might be recovering the fastest.
5 challenges the unbanked faced coming into COVID-19
Being unbanked can be downright expensive, as many households use alternative financial solution providers such as payday lenders that can charge exorbitant fees for financial services. Additionally, in the current pandemic those who rely on cash are being further frustrated, as fewer merchants want to handle paper bills.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we’ve seen a huge shift to digital payments — for many, it makes more sense right now to order items online that you’d traditionally buy in-store with cash, or to purchase groceries in advance and then pick them up curbside,” said Brad Hanson, president and CEO of Meta Financial Group and co-president and CEO of MetaBank. “Many of us take these conveniences for granted, but for millions of Americans who rely on cash it’s not that easy, and may leave them more vulnerable."
HSBC considers leaving US retail banking
  • HSBC is considering leaving the U.S. retail banking market, the Financial Times reported Saturday, citing two unnamed sources.
  • A full exit from the U.S., however, is off the table, the sources said, noting the market has strategic importance in investment banking and wealth management.
  • Britain's largest lender, which in February announced a plan to cut 35,000 jobs and $100 billion in assets over three years, is looking to shore up money-losing businesses and pour its assets into more profitable Asian markets.

Most voters are ‘fearful’ and ‘angry’ about the state of the U.S., but a majority now are ‘hopeful,’ too
As the United States struggles with a surge in COVID-19 cases and ongoing disputes about the Nov. 3 election, majorities of voters continue to say they feel “fearful” and “angry” about the state of the country.

However, the share who say they feel angry has declined since June, while more voters now say they feel “hopeful” than did so then, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.

Today, 65% of voters say they are fearful about the state of the country, little changed since June. A smaller majority (57%) say they feel angry, down from 73% five months ago.
Financial Wellness Is Now a Requirement, Not a Perk
More than eight in 10 employers told Bank of America that teaching their workers about money will yield tangible results.

One of the most stressful aspects of being an entrepreneur is knowing exactly what you need to do, but lacking the time and money to do it when it's needed. And sadly, it doesn’t get any better as your business grows bigger. You’re always going to face tough choices. The only difference is, as you grow, your decisions will affect hundreds of people instead of just you and your family.

Here’s one example that's near and dear to me as a CPA and financial counselor: Almost all employers know their employees are struggling with personal debt, and if they could fix that, productivity would skyrocket. Yet they do nothing, even though inexpensive and even free programs exist that may help.
Alternative Financial Service Providers Association
315 Tuscarora St., Lewiston, NY 14092