The Insured Retirement Institute is praising the proposed Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018, saying it would help people saving for retirement make more informed choices about their personal finances. The legislation also would smooth the path for employers to offer annuities within their 401(k) plans.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined a Kansas City small-dollar lender $1 and seized $14 million in assets from a loan scheme, saying they didn't think the man could pay a larger fine. Richard Moseley Sr. has also been convicted on criminal charges in federal court and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Federal regulators are encouraging banks to enter the small-dollar lending market, but bankers are reluctant because the loans could be out of favor again under the next US president, according to Richard Hunt, president and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association. Six financial institutions offered small-dollar loans before 2013, but hundreds would have to offer them to make a dent in the small-dollar loan industry, Hunt said.
Bank of the West officials say they are cutting ties with companies and business activities they believe are "detrimental to our environment and our health," including some oil, gas and coal companies. The move is being criticized by officials in some states that rely heavily on the energy production business.
Regulatory changes after the financial crisis might be adding systemic risk, Satyajit Das writes. Emphasis on collateralization to reduce risk only creates different risks, he writes.
Two more increases in short-term interest rates are likely to emerge from the Federal Reserve in 2018, with one in September and another in December, a Wall Street Journal survey of economists finds. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans says economic growth could set the stage for one or two more increases this year, while Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin says economic growth will determine the amount of any such increases.
The debate continues over the proper name of Washington's consumer protection watchdog. The agency has been called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since its inception, but acting director Mick Mulvaney says its name is the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, according to the statute that created it.
Many consumers use automatic retirement savings accounts but still should regularly check these accounts to stay on track for retirement goals, writes Penelope Wang for Consumer Reports. Wang notes that consumers should update contributions and asset mix regularly, as well as consider switching to low-fee options to boost retirement savings.
Questions have emerged as to who leads federal regulation of financial technology, after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced a special-purpose charter and after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled a global network to help fintechs. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. also are creating policies.