Coronavirus Insights: Overdraft Idea, Default Early Warning

Content from around the web related to the pandemic and its impact on the financial world. Ideas, new tools, information, expert viewpoints and more curated by The Financial Brand's editorial team.

One in Three U.S. Households Have Suffered COVID-19 Job Impact

Pew Research Center reports that 33% of Americans say they or someone else in their household has either lost their job or taken a pay cut due to the coronavirus. Pew also finds that 55% of Americans say they have prayed for an end to the pandemic — including people who say they never pray and others who don’t belong to any religion.

Can America Overdraw its Way Back to Prosperity?

Economist Michael Moebs poses a variation of an idea first advanced by Arnold Kling, that Americans’ coming liquidity crunch can be smoothed by allowing them to overdraft. The Fed would cover financial institutions for overdrafts not made good, Kling suggests. Moebs says Fed backing isn’t needed. Just use the existing $46 billion in untapped overdraft limits, but cut the price to help get consumers over the hump. (pdf)

How Some Challenger Banks Are Coping with COVID-19 Crisis

Writing from a secluded room at home, blogger Abraham Tachjian, head of Operational Risk for Standard Chartered’s virtual banking team in Hong Kong, reviews how neobanks have dealt with coronavirus, including internet fake news attempts.

Three Ways to Ease the Burden on Overwhelmed Contact Centers

More than half (57%) of consumers say call support is their first choice to get answers they need, according to an Accenture report. The coronavirus crisis has both compounded the need for answers and complicated how banks and credit unions can manage the crush due workforce and security issues. The firm lays out a three-step plan to keep up with the evolving crisis.

One in Five Credit Union Branches Now Closed or Drive-Through Only

As of March 24, 22% of federally insured credit union branches in the U.S. were either closed or had service significantly curtailed, based on a survey of 255 credit unions with 4,884 branches conducted by Credit Union Times. The publication included branches closed completely and those open by appointment only or that redirect members to drive-through lanes.

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Consumer Loan Default Spike in China Could Foretell U.S. Woe

“The early indicators from China aren’t pretty,” Bloomberg Law wrote in a late March report. Overdue credit card debt has swelled there by 50% from the previous year. The country’s debt levels had soared prior to the coronavirus outbreak there, but China is hardly alone. In the U.S., credit card balances reached $930 billion last year.

How Coronavirus Impacts Social Media Dialog

“The coronavirus pandemic represents unchartered territory for business,” according to Renata Mittnacht, Associate Director, Strategy, and Carly Gibson, Strategist, for Ogilvy. “Companies are being challenged on multiple levels with consumers asking questions not just about their advertising, but also about their core values, how they treat their employees….” In a white paper the authors set out a five-step social strategy for brands.

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