The US economy is suffering from "persistent trade tensions and slower global growth," according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book. The economy continued expanding modestly in September and into October, but many companies are downgrading outlooks for growth, the survey finds.
US retail sales declined 0.3% in September, the first decrease in seven months, leading to concerns that weakness in manufacturing is spreading to other parts of the economy. Households reduced spending on building materials, hobbies, online purchases and vehicles, the Commerce Department says.
Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, U.S. Bancorp and PNC Financial Services Group reported increases in deposits for the third quarter during earnings calls. Consumers may see the banks as a safe choice during turbulent economic times and in some cases larger banks may be acquiring customers from smaller financial institutions.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chair Jelena McWilliams said she hopes her agency, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will work together on Community Reinvestment Act reform, but says there is no guarantee that will happen. "My hope again is to move together on the the proposal, but we're willing to go as three agencies, two agencies, one agency, whatever the end outcome is," McWilliams said.
Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee criticized Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger for supporting a change to the bureau's independent structure and accused her of not doing enough to protect consumers. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., at one point called Kraninger "absolutely worthless," but later apologized after Republicans said Kraninger was not being treated fairly.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions have approved a new Chase Bank branch in the Richmond, Va. market. Chase has received approval for another branch in the region, which is part of its expansion into Greater Washington, D.C.
The Federal Reserve will likely cut interest rates in October, but "having an outlook much beyond a quarter is pretty tough right now," said U.S. Bank CFO Terry Dolan. The bank reported a 5% increase in third-quarter profit spurred by mortgage banking and commercial products, but a credit downturn is expected, Dolan said.
The popularity of same-day transactions is driving automated clearing house network growth, with the system's transaction count up 9.5% last quarter. Payment volume as a whole was up 11%. "The modern ACH Network is thriving," said NACHA President and CEO Jane Larimer.
Bank of America received the award for best bank in the world in Global Finance's World's Best Global Banks 2019 Awards, based on multiple factors including performance, reputation, management excellence and technology. "Bank of America takes what it calls a 'high tech, high touch' approach to serving clients, and now has 37 million active users of digital banking and 28 million mobile users. Both Erica, the AI-driven virtual assistant in its mobile app, and Zelle®, the payments platform the bank co-owns, are regularly setting new records," according to Global Finance.
Embedded payments hold benefits for merchants, customers and independent software vendors and sales organizations. "Embracing and building a comprehensive digital experience that integrates payments into a seamless commerce flow is a goal that's on everyone's lips, but there's also a lot of confusion in just how to get there," according to PYMNTs.
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