ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION

edition: January 30, 2024

4,056 members

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The CFPB’s enforcement work in 2023 and what lies ahead: CFPB


The CFPB safeguards household financial stability by ensuring that consumer financial markets are fair, transparent, and competitive. Our enforcement authority is among the CFPB’s most impactful tools—reinforcing compliance with federal consumer financial laws and sending a clear message to entities within our authority and the public that the CFPB remains vigilant on behalf of consumers.


When a financial institution, individual, or other entity subject to the CFPB’s authority breaks the law, the CFPB may take enforcement action against them. In certain cases, the CFPB may partner with other federal, state, or local agencies to investigate the wrongdoing and coordinate the enforcement action.


In 2023, the CFPB filed 29 enforcement actions and resolved through final orders 6 previously-filed lawsuits. Those orders require lawbreakers to pay approximately $3.07 billion to compensate harmed consumers and pay approximately $498 million in civil money penalties.


Key actions in 2023

Some of the enforcement actions the CFPB took included:


Protecting Servicemembers from Illegal High-Interest Loans and False Advertising: In February, the CFPB took action against a web of corporate entities operating under TMX Finance, broadly known as TitleMax, for violating the financial rights of military families and other consumers in providing auto title loans.


Read more at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Have a tax law question?

Our #IRS Interactive Tax Assistant has answers.

Watch this short video to learn more:

https://youtu.be/y6HkaBkdKdU


Extensions if you can't file by April 15

If you can’t file a tax return by the April 15 deadline, this is a #FriendlyReminder that there are easy options to get six months more from #IRS: www.irs.gov/extensions


Unclaimed refunds (3 year window)

  1. The law provides you a 3-year window to claim an #IRS tax refund. This is your #FriendlyReminder that for 2020 tax returns, the deadline is April 15, 2024: www.irs.gov/unclaimedrefunds


Jose L. Santiago

Public Affairs Specialist

Tax Outreach, Partnership and Education

Emailjose.l.santiago@irs.gov

Workers are paying to get part of their paychecks early. It’s ‘payday lending on steroids,’ one expert says


KEY POINTS

  • So-called “earned wage access” programs allow workers to take a portion of their paychecks before payday, often for a fee.
  • They’ve grown rapidly: $9.5 billion in wages was accessed early during 2020, triple the $3.2 billion accessed in 2018, according to the latest data by Datos Insights.
  • However, in some cases, high fees and frequent use can translate to an annual interest rate of more than 330%, according to experts, regulators and consumer advocates.
  • EWA programs are also known as daily pay, instant pay, accrued wage access, same-day pay and on-demand pay.


Millions of American workers are paying for early access to their paychecks. In some cases, it can come with a steep price.


So-called “earned wage access” programs, which operate either directly to the consumer or through employers, let workers tap a portion of their wages before payday, often for a fee. The services have ballooned in popularity.


Read more at CNBC

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Nearly Half of Americans Have Under $500 Saved in 2024 — 4 Ways To Buck the Trend


Amid economic uncertainty and gloomy forecasts, Americans are struggling to save. A recent GOBankingRates study of 1,063 U.S. adults found that nearly half of those surveyed have less than $500 in savings, with 36% having $100 or less in savings.


While inflation has steadily improved since the June 2022 peak of 9.1%, borrowing rates and consumer prices are still much too high and real wages too low. Any windfall savings from stimulus payments have been spent long ago, causing the average American family to rely on bad credit to pay the heavy burden of necessities like food and rent.


As always, the best time to change your finances for the better is now, no matter how little the impact seems at first. It’s great to have long-term goals but if you want to buck the trend and start to grow your savings, you’re better off sticking to these four short-term savings goals before striving for overall financial wellness.


Read more at GOBankingRates

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New bank branch on wheels brings financial services to underserved Phoenix communities


PNC Bank has launched a new bank branch on wheels to promote financial literacy among underserved populations in Phoenix. 


The 30-foot banking truck is making regular stops outside affordable housing complexes and nonprofits that serve low-income communities. It's staffed by PNC bankers from traditional brick-and-mortar branches. 


"They go and have conversations with people, whether or not they bank with PNC, about their goals and how to better budget. Or, if they don’t have a bank account, they can set up a checking account right there," said David Crummey, vice president and community development officer for PNC Bank in Arizona. "It’s pretty much everything you can do in a regular bank branch, but on wheels." 


Visitors to the truck can also apply for a loan or mortgage, or use an ATM that allows withdrawals in small denominations.


Read more at fronterasdesk.org

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‘Debt’ Isn’t a Dirty Word: How to Stop Feeling Ashamed of It


Debt can make us feel embarrassed, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Confronting your debt issues head-on is often the first step in getting them under control.


As far as four-letter words go, “debt” doesn’t burn like the classics. But many of us try to keep it out of our mouths just the same. 


Data released by consumer insolvency firm MNP in January found that 40% of Canadians are embarrassed by the amount of debt they owe, while 35% admit to hiding their credit card debt from friends and family. Almost half of Canadians regret the amount of debt they’ve taken on.


Debt shame is having a sad, predictable impact on Canadians’ mental health: anxiety, stress, feelings of isolation — emotions that can descend on us anytime we’re stuck in a situation and afraid to talk about it. That fear can lead to inaction and an even greater sense of anxiety.


Talking about debt won’t lower your credit card balances, but it might make you feel less overwhelmed and more inclined to take positive action. Here are some ways to make the idea of opening up to a loved one or credit professional less daunting.


Read more at NERDWALLET

MONEYTRENDS 2024

Personal Loans Are a Growth Area with Cross-Sell Opportunities


Even with rates rising, unsecured personal loans are the solution of choice for many Americans looking to consolidate credit card debt or cover emergency expenses. But the nature of the competition with fintechs is changing as they seek to broaden their offerings to personal loan borrowers. A J.D. Power analyst explores what can make bank and credit union personal loan programs more competitive in the face of evolving rivals. Also see the latest customer satisfaction rankings for personal lenders and find out who's at the top now that the 2022 leader has exited the business.


The unsecured personal loan business continues to boom at the same time that the competitive lineup is shifting.


The impact of inflation is not only prompting consumers to seek out unsecured personal loans more frequently but is influencing their perspective on the lenders themselves. This is leading to an overall rise in satisfaction ratings among both traditional and fintech personal lenders.


Banks and credit unions active in this space could find this an opportune time to explore cross-selling possibilities.


Read more at The Financial Brand

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FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY NATIONWIDE

Marketing Boosts Deposit & Loan Growth for Community Banks: Study


As banks of all sizes navigate an uncertain economy, marketing budgets are increasingly in the cross hairs. But an analysis of marketing spending by banks with under $2 billion of assets suggests an increase would be the wiser choice for those seeking growth in deposits or loans.


Cost-cutting is back in vogue as banks of all sizes contend with subdued growth. Marketing tends to get the gimlet eye of senior management early on — even though cuts there sometimes resemble a fisherman who economizes by using bare hooks to save money on bait.


“Many of our clients are being asked to reevaluate their marketing budgets for 2024,” says Ally Akins, a consultant at Capital Performance Group. “They are being asked to project the return they’re going to get from each marketing activity, which is something they haven’t been asked to do before.”


As the budget battles heat up, The Financial Brand partnered with CPG on a project meant to offer some insight into the level of marketing spending across financial institutions nationwide.


Read more at The Financial Brand

ADVERTISE

U.S. workers are getting scooped up by international companies hiring remote roles


It’s getting harder to find a remote job in the U.S., but you might have better luck working from home for a company based abroad.


The number of American workers hired by international companies grew 62% last year, according to the State of Global Hiring Report from Deel, an HR platform that specializes in global hiring.


The report is based on 300,000 contracts between Deel customers and workers for both contractors and full-time employees, and roughly 85% of those contracts are for remote positions.


American workers are most likely to be hired by companies in the U.K., Canada, France, Singapore and Australia.


Read more at CNBC

ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION
Alternative Financial Service Providers Association
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