Today's Headlines

    AFSA Meets with FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams

    AFSA met with Jelena McWilliams, the Chairman of the FDIC, this week. AFSA raised several key issues with the Chairman, including: the lingering effects of Operation Choke Point, how the Military Lending Act (MLA) limits the availability of credit for service members and their families, the benefits of industrial bank charters, the FDIC’s request for information on small-dollar lending, and the increasing Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation.

    Chairman McWilliams expressed her commitment to ensure that Operation Choke Point is ended, understood that using APR to disclose finance charges for short term loans leads to high values compared to longer term financing and that the FDIC would consider industrial bank charter applications. She was also interested in learning about the MLA and TCPA.

    AFSA looks forward to continuing to work with the FDIC on this issues in the future.

    February Featured Listing

    The Featured Resource Directory listing for February is New York-based Dealertrack Lender Solutions. Dealertrack provides innovative technology that is critical to the success of any automotive dealership or lending institution. Their unmatched product suite fosters efficiency through integration and enables growth-focused decision-making that yields measurable results. The powerful combination of Dealertrack products and large-scale network of dealership clients and lending partners improves both the car-selling and -buying experience.

    Webinar addresses strategy and bottom line results

    Join AFSA on Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. ET for the webinar, “Optimize your acquisition strategy and elevate profits,” presented by Experian. The capabilities of today’s technologies, backed by real-time data updates make it possible to engage consumers when they are most motivated to respond. Learn how the right prescreening process can help identify consumers who are more likely to respond to credit offers and are likely to repay.

    This webinar will demonstrate how current consumer data can invigorate your acquisition strategy by providing: 

    ·         Accurate, data-driven prospect lists tailored to your campaign goals.

    ·         The flexibility to customize your decision criteria.

    ·         Effective consumer targeting for maximized campaign performance.

    ·         Confidence to expand your risk tolerance to include qualified, vetted subprime consumers.

    Registration and materials from previous webinars are available at AFSA’s Webinar Resource Center.

    Experts agree that Blockchain’s utilization in the vehicle retail channel is imminent

    Among the many panels of subject matter experts at the recent AFSA Vehicle Finance Conference tackling the latest technology topics facing the industry, the subject of Blockchain drew a standing room only crowd of execs looking for information to determine if and when using Blockchain is right for their businesses.

    Blockchain refers to a technique of recording transaction details on a system of distributed ledgers, where a group of market participants agrees to keep a copy of all transactions.  Sharing transaction details in this manner eliminates reliance on traditional record-keepers and prevents manipulation of the data, as the accuracy of any piece of information can be compared to the copies held elsewhere.

    One common thread in describing the phenomenon of Blockchain today is to compare it to the early days of the internet. For example, using a vehicle identification number (VIN) as a unique identifier of a particular vehicle, that VIN lives in Blockchain and has tremendous benefits to sellers, buyers, finance companies and service departments during the lifecycle of that particular vehicle.

    “It eliminates friction in the vehicle lifecycle and allows verification from all parties,” observed Justin Oesterle, CEO of RouteOne LLC. Using Blockchain as an electronic distributive ledger brings both transparency and trust to transactions, noted Lisa Chao, National Manager, Enterprise Cash Management & Treasury Operations at Toyota Financial Services.  “Functions like funding and consumer transactions have the opportunity for more efficiency when they are used on the Blockchain distributive ledger,” she said.

    The panelists noted that there are intellectual property concerns holding back widespread acceptance of Blockchain as companies are cautious in their thinking, especially about sharing information. “The pace of adoption is challenging because not everyone is there yet,” Osterle said. “But I would recommend that companies build a foundation now because it is coming.”

    The subject of Blockchain and the impact on regulations and regulators also was discussed. “Get it right with regulators,” advised Kevin Point, Managing Director, Product Executive, Chase Auto Finance. “Define what it is in your company and what is not. Using Blockchain for securitization could be coming soon.”

    The art of convincing senior management to commit to investing in Blockchain was compared to using the same format and language as a business case pitch. “It involves education and not scaling too much too quickly,” Point advised. “Allow for check points and assessment at those check points in the process.”

    AFSA Board approves nominations of three new members

    The AFSA Board of Directors recently approved the nominations of three executives to replace three board members, all of whom recently retired.

    Susan Bridges, Chairman of the Board of Security Finance Corporation of Spartanburg, S.C., replaces Kent Younce, who retired from Security Finance. He was a member of the AFSA Board and AFSA Executive Committee. Bridges will serve on both the board and the executive committee.

    Bridges joined Security Finance in 1989, and in 1993, was elected as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Security Finance Corporation of Spartanburg.

    Jim Drotman, executive vice president for Ford Motor Credit Company’s operations in the United States and Canada, will replace Dale Jones, who retired from Ford Motor Credit. Drotman will replace Jones on both the AFSA Board and Executive Committee. 

    Previously, Drotman was executive director, Sales and Marketing, Ford Credit Europe. He joined Ford Credit in 1993 as a customer service representative

    Carlos Minetti, President of Consumer Banking at Discover Financial Services (DFS), will take the AFSA Board seat of Kelly McNamara Corley, who retired from Discover Financial Services January 31, 2019. She served on the AFSA Board of Directors since 2001.

    Minetti is a member of the DFS Executive Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of Discover Bank and the Bank of New Castle, Del. He joined Discover in 2001 as the EVP of Cardmember Services.

    AFSA Adds Expertise in Member Services & Engagement

    The American Financial Services Association is pleased to announce the addition of Toni Lewis-Bennett as Vice President of Member Services & Engagement. Lewis-Bennett was hired following the departure of Sheilah Harrison who retired at the end of January after more than 30 years of service.

    Lewis-Bennett is responsible for the strategic direction of the association’s member services and membership engagement by expanding AFSA’s visibility, membership growth and delivering added value to members. She has over 20 years of association management experience and served as the Associate Vice President of Membership at the Mortgage Bankers Association prior to joining AFSA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland. Lewis-Bennett also received her Certified Association Executive certificate in 2016.