Happy Veterans Day as we honor and celebrate all who have served. Here is the Uncle Sean Update for 11/10/23 (spoiler alert – this was a really fun update for me 🤠, but there is a lot to unpack):
Now that I have had a week to digest the FedFis Roundup Conference, here are a few key points that I want to share (the theme was distinctively Community, Compliance, and Commerce):DAY 1… Right off the bat – The opening ceremony was awesome as we were led by General Steve Lepper in the singing of our National Anthem at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas (also known locally as the Nimitz Museum). If you didn’t have goosebumps after that, you need to check your pulse as you may not have a heartbeat at all!Next came an incredible innovative banker panel with industry leaders Jared Robinson, Ryan James, and Josh Rowland delivering a consistent message of “lean into COMPLIANCE” as that is the financial moat that protects you, your charter, and your customers. Do what you do best – manage the fintech relationships in a safe and sound manner; and own the “compliance aspects as the experts you are!” The theme here was bringing banking-as-a-service back to the bank where it belongs. Hell yeah!!!! ♥️💪Day 2… So many amazing presentations and individual roundtable discussions really created a COMMUNITY and fellowship vibe.Very fitting for Veterans Day… Uncle Sean really enjoyed the presentation by General Steve Lepper on the PATRIOT Card – a Visa debit card built by MOCA and offered by AMBA to help Service Members, Veterans, and their families manage their finances through the unique challenges they face (a very passionate topic). I was impressed with the instant and widely flexible card controls through the app including real-time transaction alerts and instant virtual issuance (great for caregivers). Comes equipped with flexible family controls (just like MOCA’s Family Cards) which is another added benefit. There is also a benefit to bankers as they can participate by:becoming a Marketing Referral Partner; becoming a Custodian & Issuer Sponsor for the PATRIOT card; and/or becoming an Issuer Sponsor of the MOCA card program. Uncle Sean loves programs where everyone wins and a unique problem is solved – especially when our Veterans are involved. VERY Nice!!!! Also loved the presentation on the broader Bankers Helping Bankers ecosystem by Matthew Smith who also was awarded the highly coveted FedFis Buffalo Award!!!!! 🦬 This award is presented annually to someone who is a true community bank champion; and if you know Matthew – there is no doubt that he fits the bill! Congratulations!!!!👀 Sneak Peek… it was announced at the conference that BHB has launched a BaaS Program Toolkit for purchase (go to the Bankers Helping Bankers site and click on the BaaS Toolkit at the top) – a step by step compliant guide to banking as a service!!!! Expect much more PR on this next week. Sorry Charlie, it’s only for bankers; and you have to be signed up to BHB to even access it. But good news – access to the BHB platform is free for bankers thanks to our premier sponsors – just go to the Bankers Helping Bankers site and select “REQUEST ACCESS”. It’s that easy!!! 😊Always my favorite part was ending up at Luckenbach, Texas for some really good Texas BBQ, cold adult beverages, and a live show by the great singer-songwriter, Mr. Kevin Fowler – WOOHOO!!!! 🎵🍺🤠Day 3… Special “thank you” to Jason Mikula for a great job in moderating a Core Processing panel with Fiserv (Sunil Sachdev), Helix by Q2 (Chris Amador), and DCI (Tanna Faulkner) – very engaging discussion surrounding contracts, capabilities, and where the industry is headed from an embedded finance perspective.I also want to give a shout out to Sunil Sachdev for an amazing presentation on embedded finance (feels to me like the next evolution of BaaS) and COMMERCE in the context of further fragmentation of banking (i.e. enterprise merchants / major retail brands continuing to push into financial services – HEB, Walmart, 7-Eleven, Target, Walgreens, Amazon, Dollar General, etc.).Final takeaway that caught my attention… You know you have landed on something special when the conference is over and the audience continues to stay put with an open mike and engage / ask questions in a complete open forum with each other. 😊
Now back to the rest of the Uncle Sean Update!!!!
Here comes 1033 open banking evolution – ready or not from third-party data aggregators 😲… Plaid announced they have “formed a new entity that will build solutions for customers who want ready-made credit risk insights from consumer-permissioned cash flow data. This new entity will operate as a consumer reporting agency and help our customers make smarter risk decisions throughout the lending process.”And from a slightly different angle – Adyen announced they have partnered with Plaid to offer Pay-by-Bank services in North America by utilizing Plaid’s ability to allow consumers to directly connect their bank / financial data to thousands of apps and services. The article states that “Plaid is already trusted by about 1 in 3 Americans with a bank account, and provides a secure and seamless way to connect financial accounts for bank-linked payments.” The Federal Reserve Board released their semiannual Supervision and Regulation Report, November 2023 (easy read at 42 pages). Uncle Sean loves the simple and clean graphs; and although most show continued deterioration in many areas (liquidity, wholesale funding, loan performance, etc.), there is a noticeable trajectory towards pre-pandemic levels (a “reversion to the mean” for my statistical superfreaks out there – you know who you are – own it baby 😝). The question on everyone’s mind (including mine), is if the trajectory levels off or accelerates beyond pre-pandemic norms…. “Soft landing” anyone??? 🤔 Fingers crossed for what the next couple of quarters of bank performance, economic activity, and consumer financial health deliver. Very exciting times for financial geeks like me 🤓 – LOL. And another CU buying a bank… A.E.A. Federal Credit Union (Charter 4915; $385M total assets) to acquire West Valley National Bank (FDIC 58426; $74M total assets).For those keeping score at home, this brings the total to 11 announced CU acquisitions of a bank so far for 2023 (remember that last week in August where we had 5 announced acquisitions of banks – WOW). That compares to 16 in 2022, 13 in 2021, 7 in 2020, and 16 in 2019 (Source FedFis). The trend continues…. More CU news as a couple of huge CUSO’s announced a merger – PSCU and Co-op Solutions announce agreement to combine. CU Today has a very good detailed summary. Quick shoutout to our friends over at FIntegrate Technologies as they announce the promotion of Kris Nuss to Chief Revenue Officer – congrats, Kris!!! 🚀 👀 For anyone managing data capture and analysis (myself included 😬)…. JPMorgan Chase is working directly with US regulators as they build out AI projects. Specifically, the bank is “testing AI applications that can generate earnings summaries for every company that the bank monitors.” Widely viewed as inevitable…. Office sharing company, WeWork has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has become the posterchild (right or wrong) of Commercial Office Space woes in the US CRE market as the BK restructuring is expected to cancel many office space leases – particularly in NY. Regions Bank (NYSE: RF) selects Self Financial credit-building service to help Regions’ Consumer Banking customers build their credit by reporting rent, cell phone, and utility bills to the three major credit bureaus. Another example of building credit without having to take on additional debt – Uncle Sean loves this for younger adults as well as traditionally underserved markets! 😊 Bluevine (business banking platform) announced the launch of Bluevine Premier featuring 4.25% APY (CHA-CHING!!!) on up to $3M in FDIC insured deposits through their sweep program. This is an upgraded product to their existing interest bearing checking capped at 2.0%; with higher minimum average daily balances and higher monthly spend requirements. Bluevine Premier customers that do not meet the minimums can still participate in the higher yields with a monthly fee of $95. Another week another PFM app closes up shop… Status Money (PFM app) is shutting down effective Nov. 10, 2023 and transitioning all user accounts to Quicken Simplifi. DataVisor (AI-powered fraud and risk platform) has partnered with NYMBUS to provide fraud management for NYMBUS customers on their suite of digital banking offerings. 30-year mortgage rates see largest one-week drop in a year (per Freddie Mac research), falling 25 bps on the heals of declining treasury yields. This comes in spite of a sloppy 30-year Treasury bond auction this week that briefly pushed the 10yr and 30yr yields up mid-week before settling back down. ICYMI, there was a bank failure late last week… Citizens Bank in Sac City, IA (FDIC 8758; $66M total assets; $59M in deposits) was closed by the Iowa Division of Banking (IODB). The IODB stated that examiners identified significant loan losses that had not previously been identified by the bank; and was then declared insolvent. “The bank had a concentration of out-of-territory and out-of-state loans to one industry and incurred heavy losses on some of those loans.”FedFis had a failure rating of 4.58 (1.00 – 5.00 scale where 1.00 is good and 5.00 is bad) for Citizens Bank placing them at the lowest percentile of all reporting banks for 3Q2023 (and the prior quarter as well). Nice shameless plug right there!!!! 😉🙂Iowa Trust & Savings Bank (FDIC 18400; $488M total assets) purchased all consumer, business, and public deposits so there is no loss to any depositors. They also purchased all available loans. The FDIC estimates the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) to be $14.8M. Notable FinTech funding for the week:MPOWER Financing (a Public Benefit Corporation providing student loans for international students) closed on additional debt financing that brings the firms overall lending capacity to more than $300m.Volante Technologies (cloud-based payments-as-a-service platform) $66M in equity + debt funding “to make a push into more international services, and to sell to more mid-tier banks to complement the big names already on its customer list.”Greenlite (AI staff augmentation for bank and fintech compliance teams) raised $4.8M in Seed Round. Definitely worth checking them out at greenlite.ai – Nice!!!!
Random Uncle Sean stuff:Keeping this short as the Update this week was pretty jam packed. However – I would like to thank whomever invented spell-check. Without it, I would probably misspell my own name (and I certainly would not be in charge of publishing ANYTHING at all) – LOL!!!A couple of quick Dad / Bad jokes to get the weekend going:Now that I have lived through an actual plague, I completely understand why Italian Renaissance paintings are full of naked fat people laying around on couches…. 😂🤣Was thinking about starting a professional Hide & Seek league, but good players are hard to find…… (groans)… 🙄One last item – I don’t know if this is a factually accurate quote, but I sure hope so as it made my heart smile…“There’s nothing better than a world where everybody’s just trying to make each other laugh.” – Matthew Perry
Have a GREAT weekend and please stay safe!!!
Sometimes known as Sean Mayo – contact me directly for scope and pricing of custom reports / analysis projects at firstname.lastname@example.org | 214-604-6961 – or you can contact FedFis Sales Team at 512-960-0911 | email@example.com #FedFisHasTheData FedFis
FedFis, LLC disclaimer – The views and opinions of Uncle Sean are of his own and may not necessarily represent the views, endorsements, and/or opinions of FedFis, LLC – we all know he’s a little bit different; but that’s why we love him.