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How to Get More for Less in Legal Services

Cost-cutting culture has hit the banking industry. Seeking to restore return on equity to pre–2008 crisis levels, banks are regularly making cost-cutting pledges to shareholders. Traditionally, the legal function was largely immune from such cost-cutting efforts. However, today’s environment of increasing regulation means that legal is a huge cost. Legal can represent as much as five to Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:03-05:00July 30th, 2013|Comments Off on How to Get More for Less in Legal Services

Dodd-Frank’s Preemption Problem

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law in 2010, seeks to tighten the reins on national banking institutions by strengthening the legal standards for the preemption of state laws, thereby making it harder for banks to avoid liability under state law. Prior to Dodd-Frank, national banks and their subsidiaries could escape lawsuits Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:05-05:00May 14th, 2013|Comments Off on Dodd-Frank’s Preemption Problem

Winners Win, Even at Compliance

During the 1970s, U.S. automakers found themselves bombarded by two contradictory mandates: make their cars both safer and more fuel-efficient. Trouble was, making cars safer meant making them stronger (usually, heavier) while mileage efficiency required lighter vehicles. After some fumbling, the carmakers hit on the answer. They began to compete on the very things that had given Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:08-05:00February 19th, 2013|Comments Off on Winners Win, Even at Compliance

New Pitfalls in Consumer Disclosures and Marketing

Banks developing new products and services need to pay as much attention to how they plan to describe and market the offerings as to their actual design. That’s the lesson to be derived from the major enforcement actions taken so far by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), together with federal and state banking regulators, according to Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:08-05:00February 11th, 2013|Comments Off on New Pitfalls in Consumer Disclosures and Marketing

Loan Origination – Getting the Paper Out

For retail banks, an effective loan origination and servicing operation is a key contributor to long-term profitability. Under pressure from today’s economic and regulatory environment, lenders need new and smarter ways to cut costs and increase productivity, while at the same time improving borrower satisfaction and ensuring regulatory compliance. The loan processing lifecycle typically comprises many different Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:09-05:00January 16th, 2013|Comments Off on Loan Origination – Getting the Paper Out

Taming the Compliance Monster

Just two days after the election I will be attending a lunch at which former senator Christopher Dodd, best known as the co-author of the famous (or infamous) Dodd-Frank law will speak to a business group. I hope he will be open to questions because one of the apparently unintended consequences of the regulations that continue to Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:11-05:00October 26th, 2012|Comments Off on Taming the Compliance Monster

Managing Workforce Compliance Risk

Your company may not be fully complying with the wage and hour regulations of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and you may not even know it. In recent years, the DOL has increased its enforcement of these regulations, which has left financial services companies subject to heightened financial and reputational risk. A particular challenge is properly Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:12-05:00August 15th, 2012|Comments Off on Managing Workforce Compliance Risk

Remittances Regulation Raises Costs

As if financial institutions didn’t have enough on their compliance plate, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on February 7 issued a final rule to implement section 1073 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act amending the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (Regulation E). The ruling, which provides new consumer protections for remittance transfers, has Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:15-05:00May 8th, 2012|Comments Off on Remittances Regulation Raises Costs

Humility in the Courtroom for Bankers

It is an understatement that the past few years have been a challenging time for banking institutions. Even as profits begin to rebound, it’s safe to say that the industry faces its most challenging public perception crisis since the savings and loan crisis and, perhaps, even the Great Depression. The Dodd-Frank rationale that banks need to be Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:15-05:00May 4th, 2012|Comments Off on Humility in the Courtroom for Bankers

Compliance Burden on Community Banks

Uncontrollable compliance costs are often cited by community banks as a reason for selling out to another institution. Is this true? While compliance costs certainly have risen continually over the past decade, we wondered if the issue had truly become critical to the long-term viability of the typical community bank. To get a better handle on this Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:15-05:00April 25th, 2012|Comments Off on Compliance Burden on Community Banks

‘Visionary’ Financial Services for the Underbanked

Banks have struggled serving the un- and underbanked for decades. By definition, one wonders how banks can ever serve the unbanked. Even so, to date, it seems that a majority of bank efforts to capture more customers from both segments falls into two categories that I’ll call “missionary” and “mercenary.” I believe neither works particularly well and Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:17-05:00February 17th, 2012|Comments Off on ‘Visionary’ Financial Services for the Underbanked

Best Practices for Compliance Risk Assessment

Editor's Note: For an update to the article, read the 2018 article: Today's best practices for compliance risk assessment.Putting together a compliance risk assessment is pretty much standard procedure by now. Although risk assessment methodology in general has been around for quite a while, its prominence in the compliance field is a fairly recent phenomenon. Formulating the Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:27-05:00December 27th, 2011|Comments Off on Best Practices for Compliance Risk Assessment

Product Development in the New Regulatory Era

When bankers sit down to design new products in this new regulatory era, they should bring their compliance experts in at the start of the conversation rather than at the end. That’s the advice from David Silberman, assistant director, deposit and payment markets, at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). “Compliance is not something that happens at Read More

By |2021-02-17T12:46:31-06:00November 4th, 2011|Comments Off on Product Development in the New Regulatory Era

Raise More Capital and Innovate

I am no fan of needless regulation. The industry has enough to deal with right now with Dodd-Frank, a new (and leaderless) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, derivative regulations and the like. But I question the wisdom of the well-heeled lobbyists in Washington, allegedly representing the interests of the banking industry (read: top 20 banks), aggressively pushing against Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:31-05:00July 1st, 2011|Comments Off on Raise More Capital and Innovate

An Arbitration Agnostic Sees the Light

I’ll admit it: in law school, I thought arbitration was b-o-r-i-n-g. And while in private law practice, I thought arbitration was generally worthless; I usually only added arbitration provisions to a contract when the other party asked. After all, in the experience of the litigators in our firm, arbitration rarely was less expensive than litigation, and you Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:32-05:00May 18th, 2011|Comments Off on An Arbitration Agnostic Sees the Light

Strengthening the Risk Management Culture

With Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation more than 2,300 pages long, it will take some time to understand its full impact on financial institutions. In the interim, there are steps companies can take to deepen their risk management culture and ensure they’re building a strong foundation to effectively execute in the “new normal.” Improving and strengthening risk management Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:32-05:00May 6th, 2011|Comments Off on Strengthening the Risk Management Culture

Ten Lessons from the Crisis

The financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 took a terrible toll on banks. Global losses on loans and securities were estimated by the International Monetary Fund to be as high as $4.1 trillion at the bottom of the recession in early 2009. In the United States, many banks failed or had to be rescued with hundreds of Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:32-05:00April 19th, 2011|Comments Off on Ten Lessons from the Crisis