Banking Blog

Friday, August 19, 2011 10:30 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

Should the federal government regulate virtual currencies as if they were home loans, bank accounts or other consumer financial products? That question popped up this week in a comment letter the American Bankers Association, or ABA, submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB. The letter expressed the Washington, D.C.-based trade association’s views about the

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Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:23 am
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

Bank fees are multiplying like tribbles on a vintage episode of Star Trek these days. News this week that Wells Fargo will begin testing a $3 monthly fee for debit card users starting this fall. From the Associated Press: The San Francisco-based bank said the fee will be applied to checking accounts opened in five

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:29 pm
By David McMillin · Bankrate.com

When the time arrives to find a new student checking account, the homework may be getting more challenging for parents and their college-bound children. SunTrust Bank recently informed customers it will begin imposing a $4 monthly maintenance fee for Student Checking account holders who fail to meet one of the following requirements. Minimum of one payroll

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:30 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

The U.S. Treasury plans to distribute $360 million to economic and business development agencies in 11 states and Washington, D.C., as part of a $1.5 billion federal effort to spur more lending to small businesses. The federal State Small Business Credit Initiative, or SSBCI, program is supposed to generate at least a $10 return of

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:48 am
By Claes Bell, CFA · 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, CFA · 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, CFA · 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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