Banking Blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:48 am
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

Investors and bank account holders alike should breathe a sigh of relief. Today Fitch Ratings affirmed the AAA credit rating of U.S. government debt, joining Moody’s. From the Fitch report: The affirmation of the U.S. ‘AAA’ sovereign rating reflects the fact that the key pillars of U.S.’s exceptional creditworthiness remains intact: its pivotal role in

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Saturday, August 13, 2011 12:30 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

A petition drive is under way in Missouri to qualify a ballot initiative that would cap the interest rate on payday, car title, installment and consumer credit loans in the state. If successful, the effort would place the following question before Missouri voters on the November 2012 state ballot: “Shall Missouri law be amended to

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Thursday, August 11, 2011 3:53 pm
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

This week ING Direct, the popular online provider of high-interest checking accounts, finally knuckled under to the reality that Americans still need checks. The company had long refused to issue checkbooks to customers, instead offering to send paper checks on behalf of customers via the mail. In a lot of ways, ING Direct’s antipathy toward

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Thursday, August 11, 2011 9:21 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

If you needed $1,000 for an unexpected expense, where would you get the money? The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or NFCC, asked consumers that question in a poll last month. The poll was conducted informally through the counseling service’s website, yet still, the results were sobering. Thirty-six percent of the 2,667 respondents said they’d

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011 4:28 pm
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

Ever worry about debit card fraud emptying out your checking account? If so, you’ll be happy to know that Visa announced today it will soon begin a push to bring fraud-fighting chip authentication to U.S. debit cards. From the press release: Visa Inc. today announced plans to accelerate the migration to EMV contact and contactless

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011 4:14 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

Banking customers hoping for higher interest rates on savings accounts and deposit certificates got another bonk on the head Tuesday from the Federal Reserve, which said it plans to keep a key interest rate at the current level for another two years. The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target range for the

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Thursday, August 4, 2011 3:44 pm
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

If you’re wondering why the Dow Jones has been down more than 400 points at times today, it’s mostly because of scary developments in the European debt crisis. Basically, yields on Italian and Spanish government bonds are rising and their prices are falling, putting pressure on those countries’ governments and their banks, which hold large

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Thursday, August 4, 2011 10:22 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, is officially up and running –┬ábut still without a director, a vacancy that limits some of the agency’s enforcement authority. The Senate Banking Committee had scheduled a hearing the first week of August to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Richard Cordray for the position, but the

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 3:47 pm
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

Looks like U.S. banking customers might get carried along for the ride as banks realign their US presence in response to increasingly stringent regulation and a dismal economy. International banking giant HSBC is apparently looking to scale back its retail banking operations. From Matthias Rieker at Dow Jones: For a company that wants to focus

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Monday, August 1, 2011 9:00 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

The Center for Responsible Lending has issued a scathing report charging that checking account advance loans offered by some U.S. banks are in no respect different from payday loans offered at nonbank storefronts. Here’s a summary from the July 21 report, “Big Bank Payday Loans”: While payday loans have typically been offered by non-bank payday

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