Tuesday, March 27, 2012

BofA's mortgage to lease program critiqued

Welcome to the morning roundup. Here's a look at what's news in banking and finance this morning.

Mortgage-to-Lease. Folks are still talking about the pilot program Bank of America announced last week that would allow struggling homeowners to remain in their houses by becoming renters. MSNBC notes that the program got nary a critique, but Business Insider lays out two main points of contention: that there is "no long-term path to ownership," and that it does nothing to solve the problem of too many foreclosures on the market.

Defensive regulators. Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh defended regulators' independent foreclosure review process amid criticism that it is "too friendly to banks," according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Occupy still working. Remember Occupy Wall Street? They're still working, NPR's Morning Edition finds. Two work groups in particular are trying to take on the banking system. One is developing a mobile app that will help people switch bank accounts, while the other is a bit more ambitious: They want to acquire or partner with an existing bank to create a new type of bank that is democratic and upholds their ideals.

Taking profits. While still rating bank stocks "strong buys," Raymond James analysts are saying it's time to sell off a little Bank of America stock and take the profits, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Charlotte bank's stock is up nearly 80 percent so far this year.