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Rep. Rick Larsen speaks to the Everett (Wash.) Rotary in the Grand Vista Ballroom of Naval Station Everett in late August 2011.
Wikimedia Commons/Guroadrunner (CC0)/https://bit.ly/2KOGPoJ

Bill Radke talks to Congressman Rick Larsen, who broke with fellow Democrats yesterday to vote for a partial rollback of Dodd-Frank banking regulations. The regulations were originally put in place after the Great recession, to help stop the banking abuses that contributed to the recession. No other Washington state Democrat voted in favor of the rollback, but all the state's Republicans did.

Courtesy of Hachette Book Group

Author Nomi Prins used to be a Wall Street banker. Now she writes with a critical eye about how banks and economies work.

One example: how in 2017, U.S. banks used 99 percent of their earnings to buy their own stocks and pay out dividends to their shareholders.

Seattle's Department of Finance and Administrative Services has approved a new three year contract with Wells Fargo.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/okhmqR

Breaking up is hard — especially if you're a city trying to break up with a bank.

Especially if the other banks aren't all that interested in dating you.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is levying a $1 billion fine against Wells Fargo — a record for the agency — as punishment for the banking giant's actions in its mortgage and auto loan businesses.

Wells Fargo's "conduct caused and was likely to cause substantial injury to consumers," the agency said in its filings about the bank.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Trying to change Obama-era rules, the Trump administration is one step closer to making it more difficult for students to have loan debt wiped clean in cases involving fraud by universities.

FILE: Then-Councilmember Tim Burgess signs an official document after taking the oath of office and becoming the mayor of Seattle on Monday, September 18, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess will unveil his 2018 city budget Monday.

Most of the work on the budget had already been done before Burgess ascended to the office of mayor last week.

But he’s included some legislation of his own.

The letters "CFPB" may not be much more than alphabet soup to your average student loan borrower. They stand for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new-ish federal agency — created in 2011 — with a unique mission and a big effect on student lenders and for-profit colleges accused of defrauding or otherwise mistreating Americans.

The route for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, which links up with the Bakken Pipeline.
Energy Transfer Partners release

The City of Seattle promised last month that it would stop banking with Wells Fargo, because the bank pledged hundreds of millions in loan money to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Where will Seattle put its $3 billion?

Feb 8, 2017

Bill Radke talks to Seattle Weekly reporter Sara Bernard about the Seattle City Council's decision to divest $3 billion from Wells Fargo for their connection to the Dakota Access pipeline and questionable business practices. Bernard explains why the council is focused on placing their money with a bank that they feel is more ethical and how hard that may actually be. 

Paul Wagner, center, of the Saanich Nation on Vancouver Island, takes part in a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the City of Seattle's use of Wells Fargo Bank, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

UPDATE 2/7/2017, 4:30 p.m.

The Seattle City Council unanimously voted Tuesday afternoon to cut ties with banking giant Wells Fargo over its role as a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline project, as well as other business practices.


Seattle's Department of Finance and Administrative Services has approved a new three year contract with Wells Fargo.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/okhmqR

Seattle lawmakers will take a final vote Tuesday on whether to stop banking with Wells Fargo over ethical concerns. The ordinance already received support from eight out of nine City Council members at the committee level.

America's central bank is nudging its benchmark interest rate higher, announcing a move from the current 0.25-0.50 percent to a range of 0.50 and 0.75 percent. The decision emerged from a session of the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday.

Updated at 6:15pm ET with Wells Fargo statement.

The chairman and chief executive of Wells Fargo & Co., John Stumpf, has resigned effective immediately in the aftermath of a scandal over the bank's past practice of secretly selling services to unsuspecting customers.

Stumpf will be replaced by President and Chief Operating Officer Timothy Sloan, long considered to be Stumpf's eventual successor.

This month federal regulators fined Wells Fargo $185 million for opening checking and credit card accounts on behalf of customers who had no idea that was happening. The bank has promised to try to make restitution.

But that's a lot harder than it sounds. A big question is how to compensate people whose credit scores were hurt by what the bank did.

Former Wells Fargo employees who say they were fired for following the law have filed a class-action lawsuit seeking $2.6 billion in damages as the fallout continues over the creation of millions of secret, unauthorized bank accounts.

Two employees are named in the lawsuit, filed on behalf of all the bank's employees in the past 10 years who were penalized for not making sales quotas.

Facing off with the CEO whose massive bank appropriated customers' information to create millions of bogus accounts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., had sharp questions Tuesday for Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf. She said Stumpf made millions of dollars in the "scam," telling him, "You should resign ... and you should be criminally investigated."

Wells Fargo Bank has been ordered to pay $185 million in fines and penalties to settle what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau calls "the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts."

Thousands of Wells Fargo employees opened the accounts in secret so they would get bonuses for hitting their sales targets, according to investigators. More than 2 million deposit and credit card accounts may have been created without customer authorization.

Demand is soaring for Seattle-area homes. Buyers who want to succeed are bidding up prices. This Seattle house recently sold for $100,000 over the asking price.
Courtesy of Seattle MLS

House prices in Washington state are rising faster than in any other state in the country.

Rents are also rising, and it’s all because Seattle companies are hiring. It’s an unusual predicament for people looking for a foothold in this real estate market.

Associates of President Vladimir Putin of Russia have channeled as much as $2 billion through offshore accounts, banks and shadow companies, according to a massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm.

More than 11 million documents, dubbed the Panama Papers, show how dozens of rich and powerful people around the world have used offshore and secret accounts to dodge taxes and sanctions and launder money.

The sign for Rainier Brewing Company, brewed in Seattle from 1878 to 1999. The company is now owned by Pabst Brewing Company. Since Rainier left the city, however, micro and nano brewers have popped up in the city.
Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC By 2.0)

If Larry Adams, a bartender at Blue Moon Tavern, were serving Bernie Sanders, he’d give him cider. A can of Schilling, because that’s what they have there.

Taking on Wall Street makes for good politics in the Democratic Party. And several of the candidates at Tuesday night's debate had tough words about big banks. That was particularly true of former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Although he didn't say so directly, O'Malley suggested several times that consolidation in the banking business was a big factor in the 2008 financial crash and that the U.S. economy remains vulnerable because of it.

Cyberthieves steal hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the bank accounts of U.S. businesses. And many business owners are surprised to find out their bank is not obliged to make them whole.

Dr. David Krier's Volunteer Voyages is one of the victims. Krier says he lost over $14,000 through fraudulent withdrawals from his business account, and he says his bank "refused to cover any of my losses."

Marcie Sillman speaks with Representative Derek Kilmer, a Democrat representing Washington's 6th Congressional District, about the Senate passage of The American Savings Promotion Act, a bipartisan bill to allow more financial institutions nationwide to offer prize-linked savings accounts.

Flickr Photo/megawatts86 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Gwendolyn Hallsmith, executive director of the Public Banking Institute, about the benefits of creating a public bank in Seattle.

Flickr Photo/javacolleen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattle’s HomeStreet Bank has sold a quarter of its mortgage-servicing business to a bank in Atlanta. It’s a sale that moves $3 billlion worth of mortgage relationships out of state. 

Bank Of America's Penalty: As Big As It Seems?

Aug 22, 2014

Ross Reynolds talks with Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, about the almost $17 billion settlement against Bank of America and why it's not as big as it seems.

The Tangled Web Of Payday Lenders On Tribal Lands

Jul 30, 2014

David Hyde talks with financial consultant Shawn Spruce, a member of the Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, about the intersection of payday lenders and Native American tribes.

Payday lenders are increasingly situating themselves on tribal lands across the country to skirt state laws, ensnaring Washington residents. Many tribes are working to save their members from unscrupulous loans.

Harborside Health Services

Ross Reynolds speaks with Steve DeAngelo, executive director of Harborside Health Services, a medical marijuana dispensary in California, about what it's like to run a $30 million business mostly on cash.

Legal marijuana sales exceeded $1.3 billion in Washington state in fiscal year 2017.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Posey Gruener speaks with Russ Rosendal, CEO of Salal Credit Union, about why they decided to offer banking services to licensed marijuana growers in Washington state.

And, Ross Reynolds speaks with AP reporter Kristen Wyatt about Colorado lawmakers' approval of a financial system designed expressly for the Marijuana industry.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Many marijuana business owners say they have bank accounts, but aren’t completely forthright with their bankers about the nature of their businesses. They claim to be in “consulting” or “medical research.”  And they know they could lose those bank accounts suddenly, at any time, since federal law prohibits banks from holding any funds associated with illegal drugs.

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