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Senate committee adopts Sanders proposal on oil price speculation

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first_imgA Senate panel today adopted a proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) to make big oil traders divulge reserves held in offshore tankers to skirt reporting requirements, distort supply records and artificially drive up prices. As oil prices rose to $69 a barrel, near the record high for the year, Sanders also announced that he will introduce legislation to require the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to use emergency powers to stem oil price manipulation.The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee folded Sanders proposal on offshore hoarding into legislation aimed at promoting oil and gas exploration. The amendment would require the 50 largest traders of oil contracts to report to federal regulators all of their oil reserves that are stored offshore.Global diesel storage at sea has climbed to about 41 million barrels, Reuters reported today, citing traders and shipbrokers. Seven tankers with an estimated 14 million barrels of North Sea crude are anchored off Great Britain, Bloomberg reported. JP Morgan Chase recently hired a ship to store up to 2 million barrels of heating oil off the coast of Malta.  These companies are hoarding heating oil right now, in the hope of selling it at a higher price this winter when senior citizens on fixed incomes and middle class Americans in cold-weather states need heating oil to stay warm, Sanders said.Since the storage of oil in oversees tankers is not reported to the federal government, the practice already is distorting supplies and leading to unnecessarily high prices. We cannot allow this to continue, especially when the firms that are taking advantage of this situation have received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world, the senator said.Sanders proposal drew support from US and Vermont fuel dealers. Giving federal regulators the necessary authority to bring greater transparency to these markets is a top priority to ensure that these markets are stable and reliable, wrote Dan Gilligan of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Shane Sweet of the New England Fuel Institute, and Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association.With demand down and oil supplies up, Sanders also planned to introduce legislation directing federal regulators to stop speculators from artificially driving up prices. The bill introduction follows a letter Sanders sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission urging it to seize this opportunity to redefine the CFTC as a strong regulator that will do everything within its power to benefit consumers.Commissioner Bart Chilton reacted in a letter today. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the time to act on these issues is now, and the CFTC should aggressively utilize all available authorities ¦to address these pressing issues, Chilton wrote to Sanders.Source: Sanders’ Office. WASHINGTON, June 9last_img read more

Open the door to new loan opportunities without sacrificing security

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first_imgYear-to-year, community financial institutions have become more conservative about consumer lending. So as to not open themselves up to additional risks, many of these institutions tend to only service consumers with prime and super prime credit. However, consumers with non-prime credit make up a solid portion of the consumer lending market, so this desire to stick with “safer” loans leaves quite a few loan opportunities on the table. And when many community financial institutions are dropping their rates to as low as 0% in order to compete with large national lenders for prime and super prime consumers, missing additional revenue opportunities for your loan portfolio is not a small matter.To compound the challenge, Millennials – who present a massive lending opportunity for financial institutions – are often considered non-prime (due to having little-to-no established credit or having outstanding student loan debt.). So while fear of unwarranted risks keeps community financial institutions from supplying loans to these “risky” consumers, new non-traditional lenders are stepping in to swoop up these untapped loan opportunities. Market disruptors like retail lenders (i.e. Costco), mobile lenders (i.e. AutoGravity), and peer-to-peer lenders (i.e. Lending Club) are finding ways to bypass the existing banking system, credit bureaus and financing requirements to lend to this highly sought after demographic.If your community financial institution is avoiding non-prime consumers you are likely creating three major problems for your business:You are missing out on an opportunity to vastly expand your loan portfolioYou are isolating some of your key demographicsYou are losing out on new streams of revenueThe best way to drive loan yield is to expand and diversify your loan portfolio, so you are not missing out on any major opportunities. A whole host of solutions have surfaced in the consumer lending marketplace over the past decade that offer to help community financial institutions adjust their lending policies and criteria so they may begin servicing a greater portion of the borrowing population. These offerings primarily consist of collateral risk protection programs, expanded loan channels, add-on consumer offerings and digital engagement tools.Once you’ve adopted a number of these solutions, you can begin to experiment with various packaging and marketing strategies to differentiate you from your competition, attract new borrowers and generate much sought after non-interest income. The options to take advantage of are ever-evolving, and the opportunities offered through these solutions are endless. If you want to attract new loan customers, you have to set yourself apart from a growing list of competitors. The only way to do that is to offer the entire marketplace something other competitors cannot: end-to- end service, at the low cost only a community financial institution can offer.Contact Brian Timson to learn more about how you can expand and protect your consumer lending portfolio: brian.timson@alliedsolutions.net.Interested in learning more strategies for competing with traditional and non-traditional lenders? Read our white paper on “Stop Handing Over Auto Loans to Your Competitors”.Interested in learning more about effective marketing strategies? Read our white paper on “Consumer Engagement Channels: How and Where to Get the Most Out of Your Communications”. 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brian Timson Brian has held senior management positions in the financial services industry for more than 20 years. Focused on leveraging technology to improve the way that companies do business, he has … Web: www.alliedsolutions.net Detailslast_img read more

Is your disaster recovery/business continuity up to snuff?

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first_imgIs your credit union ready for a disaster? Is your disaster recovery plan (DRP) up to date? Are employees properly trained in its execution? Has it been tested? Does your business continuity plan (BCP) meet your credit union’s growing needs? If the answer to any of these questions is, “No,” or “I’m not sure,” then it is time revisit DRP/BCP now, before it is too late.First let’s discuss the difference between a disaster recovery plan and a business continuity plan. Business continuity refers to plans about how your credit union should plan for continuing in case of a disaster. Disaster recovery refers to how your branches should recover in case of a disaster. Basically, a BCP tells your credit union the detailed steps to be taken to continue its key products and services, while a DRP tells your credit union the detailed steps to be taken to recover post disaster.Some credit unions in the Gulf Coast area had a rude awakening in August when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and caused massive and wide spread devastation. At last count, at least six credit unions in Southern California were forced to close some of their branches due to the raging wild fires currently out of control in the region. Both events caught some credit unions off guard and tested how well they were ready for disasters of this magnitude. continue reading » 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more