The Defense Department is set to propose tighter rules that it says would
close several loopholes in current regulations that are designed to protect
service members from predatory lenders.

Congress passed the Military Lending Act (MLA) in 2006, placing caps on the
interest rates that creditors could charge active duty troops and their
families, but lawmakers left it to DoD to determine which lenders the new law
would apply to. In a proposed rule set for publication in Mondays Federal
Register, Pentagon officials said theyve concluded that they drew the initial
definitions much too narrowly.

For instance, while the rules were intended to cap interest...

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fitch Ratings has downgraded Talisman Energy Inc.s (Talisman; NYSE:
TLM) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured ratings
to BBB- from BBB. Fitch also downgrades the companys Short-term IDR
and commercial paper program to F3 from F2. The Rating Outlook has
been revised to Stable from Negative.

The downgrade primarily reflects the companys forecasted continued
negative free cash flow (FCF) profile and heightened reliance on asset
sales to alleviate pressure on leverage metrics.

Approximately $4.7 billion of debt is affected by todays rating...

Nomura Holdings and co-lenders spent nine months poring over the books, sizing up management and even checking out the factory floor at Chinas Ultrasonic AG before deciding in August to give the Frankfurt-listed shoemaker a $60 million unsecured credit facility.

The loan was unsecured in keeping with regulations in China at the time it was structured. Nomura, a Japanese bank, and its partner banks, however, felt they had done their homework.

But within weeks, the 3-year loan had been drawn down in full and two of Ultrasonics top executives had disappeared – leaving the lenders in a situation that should ring alarm bells for foreign bankers exposed to China.

...

The boom in unsecured credit saw regulation stacked in favour of lenders, which had a number of tools at their disposal to claw money back from overburdened consumers. But driven partly by a government crackdown on the runaway lending spree, banks – including African Bank – began to pull back on credit extension over the past year.
And then the countrys largest unsecured lender went belly-up.

In just a few short years, unsecured lending changed from being a buzzword to a near swearword as lenders tightened the tap on this kind of credit.

The latest Reserve Banks Quarterly Bulletin shows growth in general loans and advances to the household sector (of which unsecured...

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Grappling with a slowing economy, Chinas biggest banks are turning their back on mainstay borrowers like manufacturers and courting high growth industries such as healthcare, food and IT in a bid to boost revenue.

The shift in focus by the state-owned lenders coincides with a spike in non-performing loans and slower profit growth as Chinas vast factory sector flounders.

For the first half of this year, the banks reported an increase in bad loans from the Yangtze delta, the countrys main export-focused manufacturing belt, as well as the Bohai industrial rim.

Chinas biggest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (1398.HK) (601398.SS),...

Bloomberg
Conforama is one of Steinhoffs European operations that countered JD Groups dismal performance. Photo: Bloomberg

Nompumelelo Magwaza

IT WAS clear that local consumers were at the worst stage of the debt cycle, after riding on a wave of unsecured lending, Steinhoff chief executive Markus Jooste said yesterday.

Jooste was speaking a day after JD Group in which Steinhoff owns an 86 percent stake released its provisional results, which showed a decline in operating profit to R862 million from R1.4 billion in the financial year to June.

He said it was clear that the South African consumer in general, as a result of a five-year...

Mechanics Bank has announced the hiring of three experienced professionals in Commercial Lending.

Mario Callegari, Senior Vice President and Manager of the Napa Valley region

Mario is a skilled leader in commercial banking and credit administration, and is a terrific addition to our senior leadership team at the Bank and in the Napa Valley region, said Mechanics Bank Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking, Larry Fountain. His knowledge and experience in the Valley will certainly benefit our local clients, and he strengthens our already strong team in the region.

Mr. Callegari brings over 30 years of experience in commercial banking to the Mechanics...

To parents with a freshman entering college this fall: Youre probably expecting to shell out major bucks for tuition, room and board and a million other necessities over the next few years. But before you send your kid off, make sure you share one gift likely to steer him or her along the road to financial security — a sound understanding of how credit works.

You probably learned the hard way yourself that young adults encounter many unfamiliar expenses — and temptations — upon entering college or the workforce. So its important to help your kids avoid early financial missteps that could damage their credit for years to come. A poor credit score can impact their ability...

If you havent already heard, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were unveiled today. Yes, the new iPhones are bigger, faster and more amazing than ever but they are far from revolutionary. Since were an Android site, were not going to go into too much detail on the two new Apple smarthpones unveiled today, but we will look at some of the new features that made the cut new features which have been available on Android devices for quite some time.

In the technology world, there are leaders and there are followers. Apple deserves the credit for sparking the smartphone revolution, but the list below shows that Googles Android and the dozens of manufacturers who build the smartphones we love...