Posted on July 3, 2015

Is it a reasonable assumption to conclude that consumer preference for overdraft is consistent across different banks? In other words, do the hundreds of thousands of checking account holders at one Midwestern bank differ very much from those at another bank in the same area? I think it is unlikely, given the sample sizes involved.

If you can accept that proposition, then you might be surprised to see how much more some sets of consumers pay for the overdraft service than do others who bank elsewhere. 

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Posted on June 25, 2015

The banks are telling World to expect to borrow less and to pay more.

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Posted on June 9, 2015

H&R Block provided a review of their 2015 tax season results during a call yesterday evening. Given its scale, Block's results are a good proxy for their entire tax season. The company estimates that it helped to prepare one of every seven returns filed this year. Block says it sold 5.1 million refund transfers and issued another 2.4 million Emerald Cards.

But instead of sticking to a nuts-and-bolts presentation of financial results, Block CEO William Cobb went on at length to discuss the issue of tax fraud. 

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Posted on June 1, 2015

Square 1 Bank holds more deposits in Raleigh-Durham than any other bank. Given that, they should be held to a high standard for their CRA obligation. From a purely quantitative perspective, they have done what their regulators asked. But even a simple review of that track record shows that their impact has been minimal. Until PacWest shows that it can do better, the FDIC should block this merger. Moreover, they should go back and write CRA's rules so that it has more room for thoughtful judgment.

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Posted on May 27, 2015

This week I'm hearing about some good news for MetaBank and some very bad news for ITT Tech.

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Connecting the Dots: How Wall Street Brings Fringe Lending to Main Street

At-risk students, for-profit college

"I Feel Like I was Set Up to Fail: Inside a For-Profit College Nightmare."

This story was published in Salon Magazine on January 27th, 2014. In March, Senator Richard Durbin cited this story when speaking on behalf of his bill, The Student Loan Borrowers Bill of Rights.

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