A warmer opinion on banking?

ArizonaPalmTreesI recently had the pleasure to speak with a few bank general counsel and experts in the industry about a side of Dodd-Frank we typically don’t focus on: the good side. Yes, Dodd-Frank, has a good side, though whether that good side outweighs the bad is up for debate. One benefit, pointed out by both Simon Fish, executive vice president and general counsel of BMO Financial Group, and Tom Feltner, director of financial services at the Consumer Federation of America, is that the myriad of rules that comprise Dodd-Frank can lead to increased consumer trust.

On the same theme, earlier this week Edelman published its 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, exploring the ‘state of trust’ around the globe. Trust in financial services remains at the bottom of their list; but if you’re in the U.S., things are looking up. While trust in U.S. banking isn’t close to the 69% seen in 2008, it is UP over the last year – rising to 35% from a record low of 24% in 2011. It’s the best the industry has seen since Dodd-Frank was passed in 2010. Also of note – 50% of Americans “trust banks to do what is right”  – another significant gain for the industry.

So does that mean that Dodd-Frank, in this aspect, is helping the industry? Are consumer opinions of the industry warming?

I’m heading to sunny Arizona tomorrow, for Bank Director’s annual Acquire or Be Acquired conference, where M&A is a big focus. What are the expectations for bank M&A in 2013? Rick Childs of Crowe Horwath LLP highlights findings from our recent research.

What do you think of the FFIEC’s proposed guidance on social media? I’d love to hear your thoughts.