What We’re Reading: The Real Bank Transfer Numbers, Financial Aid and a Banking App for Balances

  • CFPB Hears from Students About New Financial Aid Disclosure

American Banker

When weighing financial-aid offers, among students’ concerns are how much debt they will have at graduation and how much they will owe in loan payments each month. That was the feedback released Friday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has asked students, parents and educators to comment on its proposal for a streamlined financial aid disclosure. The bureau released a prototype in October with the Department of Education for the so-called financial aid shopping sheet that a college would provide to prospective students about loan payments and other financial aid sources. In just a few days, the bureau said more than 22,000 people visited its website for more information.

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  • The Numbers Are In: Find Out Just How Many Americans Have Ditched Their Banks

Business Insider

Finally, we’ve got some cold, hard stats on how badly banks are hurting from November’s Bank Transfer Day movement. A new report by Javelin Strategy & Research estimates a staggering 5.6 million big bank customers have switched banks in the last 90 days. Of those, the research firm says a cool 610,000 cited Bank Transfer Day as their reason.

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  • Bank of America: The turnaround challenge of the century

CNN Money

Bank of America has set some lofty cost-cutting and revenue-enhancing goals, but it remains unclear how it is going to achieve them. The bank has yet to post any measurable declines in operating costs, despite it already entering the second phase of its self-induced cost-cutting bonanza. Meanwhile, the firm has seen its top line shrink quarter-after-quarter with no relief in sight. Brian Moynihan, Bank of America’s chief executive, will need to show investors some results quickly. Bank of America’s stock has rallied in the last month on optimism that the company can turn things around this year. Nevertheless, it is still trading below where it was in August when solvency rumors caused its shares to tank.

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  • Customer Experience Reading List For Senior Execs

Customer Experience Matters Blog

Temkin Group Research research shows that an increasing number of companies will focus on customer experience in 2012. So there will be a new cadre of senior executives beginning to learn about customer experience. As they gain interest, they’ll look for materials for getting up to speed. If you can get your senior executives to spend 60 minutes reading through this material, then they should have a much better understanding about what it takes to build a more customer-centric organization. If they show some interest, then sign them up for the monthly CX Journal so they can continue on their learning journey. The bottom line: An informed senior executive is a critical CX asset.

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  • Bank of America’s small business ambitions

Fierce Finance

Bank of America suffered some bad PR recently after reports it had altered the terms of some credit lines to small businesses. Bank of America asked some small business customers to pay off their credit line balances all at once instead of in monthly payments or agree to a new repayment plans with far higher interest rates than. Bank of America said the move affected a small number of customers and imposed standards that were somewhat conventional. Still, the “credit squeeze” obviously did not go over well with the public.

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  • Consumer protection bureau hits the ground running

Philadelphia Inquirer

If you’ve been watching the political cross fire, you know the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) hasn’t had an easy ride into town, thanks to congressional Republicans who still strangely object to the idea of a little more marketplace law and order. First, they scared President Obama away from naming Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren to head the new agency she initially proposed. (A success they may live to regret, since Warren is running for the Senate from Massachusetts and proving to be a forceful voice in national debates, anyway.) Then, GOP senators upped the ante: Led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, they demanded that Democrats agree to rewrite Dodd-Frank to weaken the new agency before they’d consider confirming anyone as its director – a maneuver they knew blocked the CFPB from fulfilling many of its new duties.

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  • Wanted: Banking App To Monitor Balances

New York Times

You haven’t been able to turn around in recent months without hearing about one or another bank adding fees to its checking accounts or making new rules for people who want to keep their free checking. Just 45 percent of checking accounts that don’t earn interest are free, according to the latest Bankrate.com survey of the largest institutions in each big city. That’s down from 65 percent in 2010 and 76 percent the year before. Forget your outrage for the moment. On one hand, many of these institutions received federal bailout funds or other assistance.

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Written by Banking.com Staff