A few months back, coming off the results of the Presidential election, we opined on the seemingly rocket-fueled rally in bank stocks. At the time, we posited the following as probable/potential catalysts underpinning the significant positive move in the sector:
Meaningful tax reform - might rates drop from approximately 35% to 25% or lower?
Pro-growth sentiment in D.C. - will it help fuel stronger economic growth as measured by GDP?
Favorable interest rate environment - will expectations of steadily rising rates help shape a steeper yield curve, and result in long-sought margin expansion?
Regulatory relief - could a roll-back or significant revisions to Dodd-Frank help ease the time and costs associated with this post-crisis regulatory burden, particularly for our nation’s community banks?Read Full Post
This blog concludes the Trends in Technology series on fintech, although I do plan on returning to the subject whenever I encounter a fintech subject that I think should be expanded upon. Each day, I invest approximately one hour reviewing email and other resources on fintech. It is possible that in the coming weeks something on fintech will catch my eye and become the subject of a future blog. We will see.Read Full Post
And no, I have not been handed the wrong envelope. Nor is this the analogous case of an unheralded #16 Seed knocking off a dominant #1 blue-blood in the NCAA basketball tournament that has become “March Madness” - shocking, but likely short-lived. As the chart below reflects, bank stock prices literally came to life after the events of November 8, fueled by expectations of tax cuts, regulatory relief, pro-growth sentiment in D.C., and a favorable interest rate environment. And while the run since the Election has been nothing shy of staggering, seemingly prevailing potential headwinds and countervailing prospective tailwinds make for an interesting environment as we sit here today.Read Full Post
Card fraud has been a vexing problem for all institutions. Recent fintech developments may begin to reduce that by increasing the authentication of the payee. One very intriguing method of authentication for card purchases is “selfie pay.” It is exactly as it sounds. A picture of the payee’s face is taken at time of purchase and is compared to a stored picture for verification. Presumably bad hair days won’t create a problem. MasterCard successfully tested this with First Tech Federal Credit Union last year and now is rolling it out in Europe. (Link below)Read Full Post