June 3, 2021
The Gateway For Payroll Data
U.S. bank profits rose to $76.8 bln in Q1 2021, a 29.1% jump from previous quarter

WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) - U.S. bank profits rose 29.1% during the first quarter of 2021 from the previous quarter as banks adjusted expectations for future credit losses downwards, a bank regulator said on Wednesday.

The industry posted $76.8 billion in first-quarter profits, up from $58.3 billion a year prior and $17.3 billion in Q4 2020, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) said.

It added that three-fourths of all banks (74.8 percent) reported higher quarterly net income compared with the year-ago quarter and that the share of unprofitable institutions dropped from 7.4 percent a year ago to 3.9 percent.

Loan balances declined from the previous quarter and year driven by a reduction in credit card balances, the agency added. (Reporting by Katanga Johnson)

Paving the Payments Future
Bank CEOs Head to Washington Citing Efforts for Underbanked

(Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and their largest rivals are preparing to tell lawmakers they’ve stepped up efforts to bank under-served communities, ahead of scrutiny into their lending to Americans facing hard times during the pandemic.

“We took steps to make sure those in need, including those without access to traditional banking services, received each round of stimulus payments quickly,” JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said. The bank also delayed payments and extended forbearance options on mortgage and other accounts, and funded more than 400,000 loans to small businesses, according to remarks prepared for his appearance alongside other banking CEOs before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

The two days of testimony will mark the first time top bankers have faced a public cross-examination — albeit on video — since Democrats took control of the Senate and the White House early this year. The CEOs are expecting to meet with frustration from policy makers who are concerned about evictions and mortgage defaults after historic job losses, as well as the pace of lending to consumers and small businesses. Bankers have said sluggish loan growth has been a product of low demand.

IRS, Treasury Announce Families of 88% of Children in the U.S. to Automatically Receive Monthly Payment of Refundable Child Tax Credit

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced today that the first monthly payment of the expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit (CTC) from the American Rescue Plan will be made on July 15. Roughly 39 million households—covering 88% of children in the United States—are slated to begin receiving monthly payments without any further action required.

The American Rescue Plan increased the maximum Child Tax Credit in 2021 to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and to $3,000 per child for children between ages 6 and 17. The American Rescue Plan is projected to lift more than five million children out of poverty this year, cutting child poverty by more than half.

Low-Income Americans May Have a Long Economic Recovery Ahead of Them

The coronavirus pandemic certainly did a number on the U.S. economy. In April of 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate reached its highest level in history. And in the course of the past year, many people have depleted their savings in the absence of having a steady job.

At this point, though, things are looking brighter. The jobless rate has steadily declined since peaking a year ago, and with coronavirus vaccinations rolling out to the public, some restrictions are already being lifted. That should help open up the economy, create more jobs, and allow for an eventual recovery.

But we shouldn't expect that recovery to be even across all economic groups. In fact, lower earners may have a much more difficult time moving past the pandemic than those who earn more.

Though the jobless rate has declined nicely over the past year, employment is still down 30% compared to pre-pandemic levels among the bottom third of earners in the country, according to Opportunity Insights. By contrast, the country's highest-paid earners -- those who make more than $60,000 a year -- have fully regained the jobs they lost in the course of the past year.

Overdrafts take a second bow as bank CEOs testify in muted House 'sequel'

Citi said it would reconsider a racial audit, Bank of America confirmed a June 1 office return, and Goldman Sachs's David Solomon pushed back on a slavery question.

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-NC, called Thursday’s appearance by the six largest U.S. banks’ CEOs in front of the House Financial Services Committee the “sequel that nobody asked for.”

As sequels go, emulating a Hollywood tradition, Thursday’s encore delivered a markedly longer run time — a shade over five hours, while Wednesday’s Senate banking panel hearing clocked in at under three — and arguably fewer “gotcha” moments.

Springboarding off Wednesday’s most contentious exchange — between Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on overdraft fees — Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, used her time to tease that she would reintroduce her Overdraft Protection Act in an effort to force more transparency surrounding banks’ offerings and root out insufficient-funds charges she assailed as “outrageously priced, predatory and beyond the scale of … reasonable.”

How a more financially stable workforce can fuel restaurant industry recovery

Forty-eight percent of workers said they'd be willing to leave their job for one that gives them tips at the end of their shift, writes Andrew Garner, SVP of business partnerships at Netspend.

The theme of the COVID-19 pandemic for the restaurant industry is adaptation. This theme is particularly apparent in the rapid shift from cash to digital and contactless payments, which forced restaurants to reconsider how payments were accepted and how workers got paid.

At the height of the pandemic's second wave, Netspend surveyed more than 900 tipped workers across the restaurant, food delivery, hospitality, transportation, salon and spa industries to get a pulse on the financial impacts of COVID-19 and sentiments around tip payout methods.

This research unveiled three core trends that have become opportunities for restaurants as they rebuild their businesses and their workforce. It starts with helping staff pave a path to better financial stability, and presents new ways to maximize operational efficiencies and drive profitable growth.

Caps On Consumer Loans: Cleaning Up the Market or Pricing Out Risky Borrowers?

Lending is a service business. The word “service” is essential because it reflects the relationship between borrower and lender. The term “business” is just as crucial because lending is a business. If lenders cannot cover costs and generate a profit, there is no reason to lend. And for the investors who support the lenders, there would be no reason to invest.

Today’s read is from CNBC, and it covers the topic of lending caps on small-dollar loans. Small-dollar loans are often called “PayDay” loans because their intent is to bridge the borrower to their next payday, where they can clear their obligation.

Payday borrowers perform differently from bank-grade retail loans. Most customers with strong FICO Scores have a wide range of options, but for those without credit files or are credit-impaired, there are fewer options

Student debt forgiveness would impact nearly every aspect of people’s lives

Though the emergency relief measures passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed student loan borrowers to defer their loan payments, student loan debt burdens still loom large for millions of U.S. households. According to the Federal Reserve, the national student debt level in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $1.7 trillion spread across 45 million borrowers—the highest level on record. Given the size of the debt burden, it is perhaps unsurprising that the possibility of student loan forgiveness has become a major policy discussion.

Most recently, President Joe Biden called for $10,000 in student debt forgiveness, while others, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, have called for as much as $50,000 in debt forgiveness. Some have even called for total debt forgiveness, which would represent a larger amount of spending than the cumulative spending on unemployment insurance over the last 20 years. In a recent poll from the Center for Responsible Lending, 63 percent of respondents supported permanently reducing student loan debt by $20,000. As policymakers grapple with this question, it is important to explore how debt forgiveness might relate to household behaviors.

Student debt rises as the future of loan forgiveness remains uncertain

The price of college is going up. The average tuition and fees increased 1.1% for public colleges and 2.1% for private institutions.
This year’s incoming freshman class can expect to borrow more than $38,000 to help cover the cost of a bachelor’s degree, according to a new report.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the price of higher education is an even bigger consideration than usual for students and their families. At the same time, the cost of a four-year college or university has never been higher.

Average tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year increased by 1.1% to $10,560 for in-state students at four-year public colleges, according to the College Board, which tracks trends in college pricing and student aid. The data also showed tuition and fees at four-year private institutions rose by 2.1% to $37,650.

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