Monday, July 29, 2013

Wells to stop selling off some debt, report says

Wells Fargo is planning to stop selling consumer loan debt its customers fail to pay to third-party collectors, the American Banker reports (paywall).

The move comes as regulators have been taking a harder look at this type of thing, particularly as evidence has emerged that collectors have gone after payments that have either been already made or discharged.

JPMorgan Chase has also stopped some of that activity in its credit card unit, as well.

DEPOSIT BOOM COULD BE OVER: For several years now, banks have been flush with deposits as low interest rates and market volatility made people keep their money in the banks. Interest rates are now inching up, and deposits across the FDIC were down in the second quarter for the first time since 2010, SNL reports.

Bank of America is one bank that's done a lot of work in this arena, as SNL points out. The Charlotte bank has been getting rid of high-cost CDs and bringing in low-cost deposits.

BANKS OF THE FUTURE WILL HAVE FEWER TELLERS, MORE TECH: As more and more transactional business gets done online or with technology, bank branches today are being built with less space for tellers and more room for specialty services. Not everybody's a fan. Advocates for the elderly say this cuts down on their access to banking services. The change also means fewer job opportunities for high-school educated people.

PITTENGER TO HOLD TOWN HALLS: The first-term Congressman will hold four around the area next week: in Charlotte, Mooresville, Cornelius and Waxhaw. The Charlotte Republican sits on the House Financial Services Committee.

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Financial headlines

BANK STOCKS COULD LEAD ECONOMY SOON: For the first time since 2008, financial stocks could soon become the largest industry in the S&P 500, overtaking tech companies, Bloomberg reports. After significant growth in the stocks of Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, the sector now makes up 16.8 percent of the index, twice what it was three years ago.

DIVIDEND STOCKS UP: After a brief blip, dividend-paying stocks are back in favor among investors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

SUMMERS ADVOCATES FOR BIG BANKS: If you're a defender of big banks, then Larry Summers is probably your guy in the running for the next Fed chairman, Quartz says. He's defended the big bank model, argued that it was pure-play investment banks like Lehman Brothers that started the financial crisis, and said if banks had been bigger, the crisis might not have happened to begin with.

Around Bank Town

ON THE FRONT PAGE: New state laws mean hospital bills will be less confusing ... Two people drown in Caldwell County flood waters .... Former hairstylist forges new career at scrap metal yard.

THE COMMUTE: Nothing terrible, but South Mint Street and Lyndhurst and East Tremont avenues will be closed starting today.

THE WEEK AHEAD: Charlotte City Council holding a special meeting tonight, presumably on the airport ... Local unemployment report coming out Tuesday .... SPX reports earnings Wednesday.... North Carolina's last sales tax holiday is this weekend.