October 31, 2017

In the past year we’ve featured a few stories about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and how it aims to keep consumers safe from predatory business practices. From collecting consumer complaints to limiting the power of payday lenders, the CFPB was formed to put regular people on somewhat equal footing with big companies. Still, not everyone sees the relatively new government agency this way. Opponents claim the CFPB has too much power to regulate businesses, thus harming both companies Continue reading

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September 7, 2017

iidar-sagdejevLast year we took a close look at how Wells Fargo fostered a culture of fraud that encouraged employees to open unauthorized credit and debit card accounts for customers. Investigators at the time estimated the bank had created more than 1.5 million fraudulent accounts, leading Wells Fargo to fire thousands of employees. Further inquiries from Congress also caused the company to replace managers and roll back executive pay as part of an overhaul of its retail division. The scandal Continue reading

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August 4, 2017

Since the passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, banks have been required to keep a certain amount of cash on hand relative to their assets. Legislators put the rule in place so that institutions would have enough money in their vaults to bail themselves out in the event of another credit crisis. This video explains the concept of bank capital and why these regulations have caused some frustration in the finance industry.

Questions:

  1. Why are banks required to keep Continue reading
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June 23, 2017

When the economy was on the verge of collapse due to the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to zero in an effort to get money moving around again. The economy is not in such dire straits now, of course, so the Fed has once again returned to raising rates gradually. This video quickly reviews how the Fed works and demonstrates the ways that the central bank affects the nation’s money supply.  

Questions:

  1. What are the Continue reading
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April 27, 2017


bankers-regulatorsThe 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act stands as one of the most complicated pieces of legislation ever devised. The law includes more than 22,000 pages of rules, which is equivalent to about 15 copies of Tolstoy’s epic novel
War and Peace. These guidelines tell banks how much money they must set aside, how they can advertise, what sort of investments they can make, and many other stipulations and requirements.

As you can imagine, keeping track of all those regulations Continue reading

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September 29, 2016

BobnjayFor the past few weeks the business world has been buzzing with outrage over the Wells Fargo banking scandal. Executives at the company likely hoped the worst was over after getting hit with a $185 million fine for allowing such widespread fraud to occur. But as Senator Elizabeth Warren showed last week, regulators and commentators are far from finished with the company. During a hearing with Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf in front of the Senate Banking Committee, Senator Continue reading

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September 12, 2016

MikeMozartLast week regulators at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) dropped a bombshell that surely shocked anyone with a bank account at Wells Fargo. According to the CFPB, employees at the bank created more than 1.5 million phony accounts over the years in order to fraudulently reach sales targets and earn fees. This “widespread” practice resulted in the recent firing of approximately 5,300 Wells Fargo employees. Regulators also hit the bank with a fine of $185 million along with $5 Continue reading

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June 27, 2016

Password protection has been an essential element of online security since the beginning of the Internet age. But as hackers become better at infiltrating digital defenses, many companies have started switching to more advanced user verification methods. For instance, millions of customers at Wells Fargo and Bank of America regularly use their fingerprints to access their accounts from mobile devices. This practice will only grow as more companies include fingerprint-scanning technology in future smartphone models.

And biometric security doesn’t stop Continue reading

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Even though the effects of the recession have eased in the last few years, some small businesses still can’t find banks willing to lend them money. After all, many financial institutions are looking to invest in established companies with little to no risk involved, qualities that most small businesses simply do not have. That’s where OnDeck Capital comes in. This lending startup touts itself as a disruptive financial force that can make loan assessments and send cash to companies within Continue reading

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On the surface, mobile check deposits are about as convenient as banking can get. After all, one only needs to endorse the check, snap a few smartphone photos of it, and send it off to the bank through an app. No interactions with tellers or pneumatic tube machines are required— simply forward the photos and wait for the check to clear.

In some cases, however, that last step isn’t so easy. Depending on the financial institution, mobile check deposits can Continue reading

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