financial reform

Banks Made Less on Overdraft Fees Last Year

The average fee for overdrafting your bank account rose again last year, but evidently, more Americans are doing a better of job managing their checking accounts, because the amount paid in overdraft fees dropped by $2.5 billion in 2011, after a $3 billion drop in 2010.

How a Debit Card Fee Cut Backfired on Merchants

Washington's efforts at financial reform keep having strange and unintended consequences. In response to a law that was meant to lower excessive debit card transaction fees on merchants, Visa and Mastercard found a way to raise the fees on a host of small businesses.

Banks Back Away from New Fees, Eye Cost Cuts

The financial world's fee fever may have abated -- for now. Several big and medium-sized banks say they're not implementing fees for debit card use anytime soon. But with bank revenues slipping, they do need to act, and more are considering cost cuts to repair their bottom lines.

Beyond Card Fees: Banks Look To Sell Your Data

New and higher debit card fees may not be enough to satiate the big banks. Financial institutions looking for more revenue are now eyeing another potential source of money: Selling your debit-card transaction data to marketers. So which is worth more to you: The deals such targeted advertising will bring, or your privacy?

Bank Fees: What's the Breaking Point for Customers?

Bank of America learned pretty quickly last month that customers think $5 a month is too much to pay to use a debit card. But is there such a thing as a reasonable bank fee? One in three people say they're prepared to walk away from their financial institution to avoid a fee, a new survey reveals.

Why You Should Care
About the Volcker Rule

This week, the government took a big first step toward shutting down the Can't Lose Room in the Wall Street Casino. It's now one comment period away from enacting the Volcker Rule, which limits the kinds of risky investments banks can make with money insured by the U.S. taxpayer.

Online Banks Booming as People Flee Wall St. Giants

While thousands of Americans unleash their anger at big banks in protests around the country, many more are registering their dissatisfaction from their keyboards. In the wake of last week's news that Bank of America is adding a new $5 fee for debit card use, online-only banks saw waves of new customers coming through their virtual doors.

The Tricky Logistics of Occupying Wall Street

Three weeks after it began, Occupy Wall Street is getting its second wind, with a wave of celebrity support, and linked protests popping up in other cities. But camping out in Manhattan is getting logistically ever more complex: How long can Occupy Wall Street continue to actually occupy Wall Street?

MetLife Sells Bank Unit to Avoid New Fed Regulations

In order to avoid new federal rules and heightened scrutiny from regulators, MetLife has decided to sell its banking unit. That's a smart move for the nation's largest life insurer, and keeps it on a level playing field with its competitors.

Citi Shuts Another Prop Trading Group for Volcker Rule

Citigroup is closing another one of its proprietary trading groups as it and other banks prepare to comply with the Volcker Rule, which will reduce the exposure of lenders to risky trading activities. What the move will mean for financial giant's profit margins, and its stock price.

The Financial Landscape: OPEC Quotas and 'Too Big to Fail'

The theme for Thursday is big players adjusting to a changing world: Citigroup is shutting down a major hedge fund it used for soon-to-be-banned proprietary trading, Goldman has been subpoenaed over its role in the subprime mortgage crisis, and OPEC is thinking that it might need to pump more oil.

Bank Overdraft Fees Still Plague American Consumers

Last year, the government changed the rules on debit card overdrafts, requiring banks to get customers' permission before allowing transactions that would lead to penalty fees. But despite the new rules, overdraft fees continue to be an expensive pain in the neck for millions of Americans.

Goodbye, Free Checking; Hello, New Bank Fees

The era of free checking accounts is coming to an end. Many consumers will face an extra $144 a year in account fees, plus higher dues for their debit cars, and increased ATM charges, too. It's all part of a banking industry backlash against last year's consumer friendly financial reforms.

New SEC Rule Gives Investors a Vote on Executive Pay

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday approved a measure that gives institutional shareholders a vote on executive pay at large corporations, part of regulators' efforts to give investors greater say over top-level salaries that have been described as excessive.

Volcker to Resign From Economic Recovery Advisory Board

Paul Volcker, chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board for President Barack Obama, is set to step down from the position next month. As a key adviser to the president, Volcker has advocated for tougher financial regulations and counseled the government on fiscal policy.

Consumers May Get Hit With Higher Debit Card Fees

New rules proposed by the Fed for debit card transactions may mean that consumers end up paying much more for using their cards, while big retailers save billions. The proposed rules would sharply limit the transaction fees sellers have paid, which could push banks to recoup that money directly from buyers.

The Hidden Cost of Big Wall Street Bonuses to Society

Though most Americans wish that Congress would rein in excessive pay on Wall Street, that won't happen while the huge campaign contributions keep flowing. And the financial industry's big money shell game drains away something more precious from our society than money -- it siphons off talent.

Six Reasons Why Goldman Is Wrong on a Banking Recovery

On Thursday night, venture capitalist and DailyFinance columnist Peter Cohan went on CNBC's "The Kudlow Report" to debate whether the banking industry is at the start of a period of recovery, as Goldman Sachs claimed this week. Here's why he argued that Goldman was dead wrong.

Federal Reserve Releases Massive Amount of Bailout Data

The Fed on Wednesday released detailed information about the efforts it took to stabilize financial markets during the recent downturn. The Fed, which is facing increasing criticism from conservatives, defended its actions, and noted that no money was lost on its bailout programs.

M&A Activity Expected to Jump 36% in 2011

Global mergers and acquisitions activity is expected to rocket upward 36% next year, getting its strength from the financial and real estate industries, according to a report released Monday -- a level of increase that hasn't been seen since the credit crisis hit.

Investment Banks Exploit Volcker Rule Loophole

Investment banks are working around new regulations restricting them from putting their own capital into short-term investments: The Wall Street institutions are sidestepping the Volcker Rule by making direct purchases of securities, companies and properties, which are considered longer-term investments.

Morgan Stanley Earnings Preview: Profits Will Fall

Morgan Stanley is expected to report sharp declines in third-quarter earnings and revenue ahead of Wednesday's opening bell, hurt by months of weak trading activity. The financial giant is forecast to post earnings of 15 cents a share, less than half the 38 cents a share booked a year ago.