February 3, 2022
Paving the Payments Future
Fees make customers twice as likely to switch banks, study finds

  • Retail banking customers are more than twice as likely to switch banks if they’ve been charged any kind of fee in the previous three months, J.D. Power found in a January study. 
  • Banks, however, may be able to entice new clients by providing enhanced financial advisory services, according to the study, which indicated 81% of retail bank customers believe it is at least somewhat important that banks make an effort to improve users' financial health. 
  • The trend toward fee reduction in the banking industry may be seen as “the tipping point when retail banks successfully averted the threat of disruption” from fintechs “by putting their customers’ needs ahead of short-term revenue,” the article asserted.

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CFPB's Chopra is unafraid to keep fighting

Long before Rohit Chopra began riling up the payments industry and Republicans, the 39-year-old native of New Jersey was shaking up student government at Harvard University.

Lessons learned in those undergraduate years are serving him well now in his new role as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Chopra was elected president of the Harvard Undergraduate Council (HUC) in 2002, beating his opponent in what the Harvard Crimson described then as a "hard-fought campaign" fueled by a record turnout.

Toronto city council to consider zoning restrictions on payday loan outlets

All levels of government needed to tackle the problem, Coun. Anthony Perruzza says

Back in 2019, Shelly-Ann Allan's bank refused to lend her the money she needed to help pay for her father's funeral, so she had to turn to a payday loan company.

But what she didn't account for was the death of her stepfather shortly after. She had to take out another payday loan on top of the one that still had a balance of $1,500.

"The interest rates [have] built up and built up on me, and there's where it's affecting me right now," said Allan, who lives near Jane and Finch, an area of the city that has a disproportionately large number of payday loan companies. 

Bank of America sees 28% Q4 profit jump

  • Profit at Bank of America jumped 28% in 2021’s fourth quarter, to $7.0 billion from $5.5 billion a year earlier, the bank reported Wednesday.
  • The bank’s performance, though, looks more impressive if taken over the full year. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender earned just under $32 billion in 2021, a 78.8% increase over the $17.9 billion it took in throughout 2020.
  • Some of the bank’s steepest gains came not on the retail side for which Bank of America is best known but in its investment bank. Investment banking fees increased 26% in the fourth quarter, year over year, to $2.4 billion. Drilling further, advisory fees saw a 55% uptick over 2020’s fourth quarter, to $850 million.

India to launch its own digital currency in 2022-2023

India’s central bank will issue a digital rupee in the 2022-2023 financial year which begins Apr. 1.

India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the introduction of the digital rupee would be based on “blockchain and other technologies.”

India would be one of the world’s largest economies to introduce a so-called central bank digital currency (CBDC) if it sticks to its plans, following in the footsteps of China which is testing a digital yuan.

India’s central bank will launch a digital version of the rupee in the next financial year, the country’s finance minister said on Tuesday.

The IRS already has all your income tax data – so why do Americans still have to file their taxes? by Beverly Moran, Professor Emerita of Law, Vanderbilt University

Doing taxes in the U.S. is notoriously complicated and costly. And it gets even worse when there are delays and backlogs, making it especially hard to reach the Internal Revenue Service for assistance.

But to me this raises an important question: Why should taxpayers have to navigate the tedious, costly tax filing system at all?

The case for a ‘simple return’
In 1985, President Ronald Reagan promised a “return-free” tax system in which half of all Americans would never fill out a tax return again. Under the framework, taxpayers with simple returns would automatically receive a refund or a letter detailing any tax owed. Taxpayers with more complicated returns would use the system in place today.

KeyBank Partners With CAHS to Expand Bank-On Resources to Returning Citizens Program

KeyBank Foundation has donated $100,000 to make banking resources available to formerly incarcerated citizens in greater Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn., January 31, 2022 /3BL Media/ – KeyBank and The Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS) are partnering to expand CAHS’ successful Bank On CT coalition into the greater Hartford area. A key focus of the expansion will be to provide banking and financial literacy resources to formerly incarcerated citizens being served through the CAHS Returning Citizens (CRC) reentry program. Bank On CT is an effort to assist unbanked individuals with access to free or low-cost banking services and to help overcome obstacles they often face to achieve financial stability. Launched successfully in 2017 in greater New Haven with the help of KeyBank and other Connecticut banking institutions, Bank On CT will now be made available to qualified residents in the greater Hartford area, including formerly incarcerated residents, many of whom struggle to establish themselves financially.

“The critical importance of accessible and affordable bank accounts cannot be underestimated for individuals reentering society from the penal system,” said Takima Robinson, Director of Asset Building Programs for CAHS. “Research shows that financial capability services have a positive effect on reentry success by addressing racial financial inequity and reducing a tendency to recidivism. We are grateful to KeyBank for sharing our vision to combat poverty and advance economic security to reentry citizens and all unbanked and underbanked populations throughout the greater Hartford area.”

Poll: Most Americans aren't 'done with COVID.' But new numbers hint they may be soon.

Are Americans “done with COVID,” as the journalist Bari Weiss said she was on last week's “Real Time With Bill Maher,” triggering a frenzy of commentary and controversy?

The short answer is: not yet. According to the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll, nearly 7 in 10 Americans (69 percent) say the pandemic is not “over in the U.S.,” and just a third (34 percent) say it’s “over as it pertains to [their] own life,” regardless of whether it’s “over for others.” The fast-moving Omicron variant is still causing 500,000 cases and 2,500 deaths a day; more than 140,000 COVID patients are currently hospitalized.

The longer answer, however, is that a broader embrace of pre-pandemic normalcy could be right around the corner.

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