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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Federal Reserve BULLETIN

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2012, Volume 98

December 27

Consumers and Debt Protection Products: Results of a New Consumer Survey
Thomas A. Durkin and Gregory Elliehausen

Debt protection products help consumers pay off a debt or continue or suspend payments upon the occurrence of unfortunate and unpredictable events like death, disability, and involuntary unemployment. The products can be useful to consumers whose low levels of insurance leaves them vulnerable to such events. Critics, however, have alleged that the distribution method that takes place at the point of sale provides an opportunity for lenders to mislead consumers about the value of the debt protection or even coerce them into purchasing the product. This article reexamines consumer experiences with and attitudes toward debt protection products by reporting on new consumer survey results.

December 27

Legal Developments: Third Quarter, 2012

Three orders were issued in this quarter, one for Old National Bancorp under Section 3 of the Bank Holding Company Act, one for BB&T Corporation under Section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act, and one for Five Star Bank under the Bank Merger Act.

December 18

Legal Developments: Second Quarter, 2012

Three orders were issued in this quarter, one for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited under Section 3 of the Bank Holding Company Act, and one for Agricultural Bank of China Limited and Bank of China Limited under the International Banking Act. The Board also issued a final enforcement decision and cease and desist order against Louis A. DeNaples.

December 3

The Mortgage Market in 2011: Highlights from the Data Reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
Robert B. Avery, Neil Bhutta, Kenneth P. Brevoort, and Glenn B. Canner

This article presents a number of key findings from a review of the data that mortgage lending institutions reported for 2011 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The article documents home-lending activity reflected in the HMDA data and places the 2011 activity in historical context. It also examines changes in mortgage market concentration in recent years and in the credit scores of recent homebuyers. In addition, the article reviews patterns of lending across different racial or ethnic and income groups and across areas that differ in terms of housing market distress. Finally, it discusses how census updates may affect evaluations of the performance of banking institutions under the Community Reinvestment Act.

October 23

Legal Developments: First Quarter, 2012

Three orders were issued in this quarter, one for Adam Bank Group, Inc. under Section 3 of the Bank Holding Company Act, and one for Capital One Financial Corporation and Hana Financial Group, Inc. under Section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act.

September 24

Use of Financial Services by the Unbanked and Underbanked and the Potential for Mobile Financial Services Adoption
Matthew B. Gross, Jeanne M. Hogarth, and Maximilian D. Schmeiser, of the Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs prepared this article with assistance from Emily A. Andruska, Alice M. Cope, Andrew J. Daigneault, and Evann K. Heidersbach.

The increased use of mobile devices coupled with the evolution of technologies that enable consumers to conduct financial transactions using mobile phones has the potential to change how consumers manage their finances. Innovations in financial service technologies may also help foster access and inclusion in the mainstream financial system for unbanked or underbanked consumers. Using data collected through the Board’s Survey of Consumers and Mobile Financial Services, this article examines the characteristics of unbanked and underbanked consumers, their current use of mobile financial services, and the potential for mobile banking and payments to better integrate these consumers into the financial mainstream.

July 3

Legal Developments: Fourth Quarter, 2011

Nine orders were issued in this quarter, one for Banco do Brasil, S.A.; Brookline Bancorp, Inc.; Goering Management Company, LLC; and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. under Section 3 of the Bank Holding Company Act; one for Westpac Banking Corporation under Section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act; one for Green Dot Corporation under Sections 3 and 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act; one for The Croghan Colonial Bank under the Bank Merger Act; and one for Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul S.A. and Bankia, S.A. under the International Banking Act.

June 11

Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2007 to 2010: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances
Jesse Bricker, Arthur B. Kennickell, Kevin B. Moore, and John Sabelhaus, of the Board's Division of Research and Statistics, prepared this article with assistance from Samuel Ackerman, Robert Argento, Gerhard Fries, and Richard A. Windle.

The Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances for 2010 provides insights into changes in family income and net worth since the 2007 survey. The survey shows that, over the 2007–10 period, the median value of real (inflation-adjusted) family income before taxes fell 7.7 percent, while mean income fell more sharply, an 11.1 percent decline. Both median and mean net worth decreased even more dramatically than income over this period, though the relative movements in the median and the mean are reversed; the median fell 38.8 percent, and the mean fell 14.7 percent. This article reviews these and other changes in the financial condition of U.S. families, including developments in assets, liabilities, and debt payments.

May 23

Improving the Measurement of Cross-Border Securities Holdings: The Treasury International Capital SLT
Erika Brandner, Fang Cai, and Ruth Judson

In the wake of the financial crisis, growing interest in improving the measurement of cross-border securities positions and flows spurred the introduction of a new Treasury International Capital (TIC) reporting form, the TIC Security Long Term (SLT). This article reviews the existing structure of TIC cross-border position and flow data, the benefits that the new SLT can provide, and the incoming information from the first two reporting months of SLT data, September and December 2011. While some patterns and characteristics of the SLT data will become clear only after more data have accumulated, the SLT data have already begun to provide timely insights on U.S. and foreign cross-border investment flows that are different from the monthly estimates provided by existing flow data.

Last update: April 19, 2013