Changes on the horizon, several issues in play affecting our financial community

posted by Dan Kramer on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in SHAZAM Blog

We’re two years into the pandemic, and I can tell you from a legislative perspective these have been some of the most interesting times I can recall. 

The current state of engaging representatives in Washington is still in flux. Republicans allow visits to their offices, whereas Democrat members mostly want to have Zoom calls, so lobbying has definitely changed. In addition, for the first time in our history the House rules were changed to allow proxy (someone else casting your vote) and remote voting. 

However, pandemic or not, the government is in full motion so don’t be fooled into thinking there isn’t much going on, there are issues at hand pertaining to financial institutions you should keep tabs on.

In politics, lobbying, persuasion, or interest representation is the act of lawfully attempting to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of government officials, most often legislators. Some say the term lobbying came into existence when Abraham Lincoln was president. Each day he’d go downstairs from his White House residency to greet people waiting to speak to him in the lobby – all wanting a favor from him. Hence the term lobbying was coined.

I offer the above explanation because all of us have the right to petition government for a redress of grievances under the Constitution. Government is still moving and legislating, however certain influencers have more presence than others, and as a result it’s more important than ever to talk to your legislator. From a payments perspective, there are several issues in play affecting the banking community — including the Federal Reserve’s look into the establishment of a central bank digital currency

That digital currency is referred to as CBDC. I encourage you to get up to speed on the Fed’s efforts and the current administration’s attempt to implement rules around this and cryptographic currencies. There’s currently a request for comment on the Fed website where they are looking for feedback on the implementation of the CBDC. 

Additionally, there’ve been significant changes at the FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that will affect both banks and credit unions. These changes have not been regulatory, but instead human resources (people) that will impact the thinking of how those organizations are run and how they will regulate you. 

The CFPB recently announced inquiries into bank fees, something their leadership has called “junk fees”. I would anticipate more regulation rather than less with the current administration, and believe you need to contact your legislator to stay in touch with what's happening with these regulators.

As SHAZAM moves forward in the payments space, we consider these policy decisions as well as new technologies that impact you and your customers. Rest assured we will be involved in the conversation at the federal and state level when issues arise regarding payments.
Please keep us in mind if there are thoughts you want to share or feedback you would like to provide. We take great pride in our capability to listen to our clients as we want to make sure we're doing the right thing for them. Feel free to message me.

A note of interest: the Secret Service was not in existence during Lincoln’s presidency and access to the White House was open to anyone. It wasn't until it was his assassination in 1865 the Secret Service was established.

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