The banking year was characterized by business disruptions accelerated by the ongoing pandemic, clashes over regulation under a new president and the rise of new technologies.
Merger activity picked up steam in 2021, but a number of deals announced at the start of the year are still awaiting regulatory approval, and all indications are that Biden-appointed regulators will apply more scrutiny to large mergers. banks than previous regulators. On the legislative front, the industry suffered a few setbacks – especially in its long-standing efforts to push through a banking bill on the pot – but flexed its muscles by rejecting a proposal that would have forced financial institutions to report. client account information to the IRS in an effort to catch tax evaders.
It was also a year of major disruption. Well-funded fintechs like Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay have rocked the world of consumer lending, and ‘stablecoins’ – a term few of us had even heard of in the last year – has become a household word and has become a household name. attracted the attention of regulators and lawmakers. It can also be seen as the beginning of the end of bank overdraft fees and the start of climate change stress testing.
Here is a look back at the biggest stories of the year in the banking industry.