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Archive for ◊ February, 2017 ◊

Islamic Finance Gateway Daily Briefing
Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 | Author:

Thursday, February 23, 2017 – The Islamic Finance Gateway (IFG) Briefing, published from Sunday to Thursday, carries the latest market-moving news and data for institutions offering Islamic financial services. You can view the full IFG briefing via under IFG Briefings Subject. EDITORS CHOICE New fintech challenge seeks ethical, responsible, Islamic innovations

RFI Foundation, Swiss France + Technology Association and Finocracy have launched a new challenge to find ethical, responsible or Islamic fintech innovation. – Salaam Gateway UPDATE 1-Regulators keen to sign off global bank rules despite Trump uncertainty

Members of the Basel Committee of banking regulators are keen to reach an agreement on the final piece of global capital requirements rules sooner rather than later despite US President Donald Trumps pledge to review the banking rule book.- RTRS Indonesias big banks told to submit plans for coping with a crisis

Indonesias biggest banks must write up plans for recovering from potential insolvency, a measure to ensure that authorities do not have to bail them out, the chairman of the banking regulator said on Wednesday.- RTRS ———————————————————— The Islamic Finance Briefings cover all the latest news, data, quotes and industry announcements you need. They also include Islamic Interbank Benchmark Rates, major FX and equity market movements and indicators for all sharia-compliant asset classes. To subscribe to the IFG Briefings use this link: To subscribe to the IFG Community, use this link: We value your feedback, contact us at (Prepared by Tina Kwan) A service of Thomson Reuters and Zawya Islamic Finance Gateway. The contents of this Briefing are independently compiled by the Thomson Reuters and Zawya Islamic Finance Gateway Service, a business of the Global Growth and Operations Division. While material is drawn from Reuters News and other sources, Reuters has not participated in the selection of these articles.

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How to Save on Car Insurance
Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 | Author:

Poor Credit Makes Rates Skyrocket
A two-car couple with poor credit will pay an extra $2,090, on average, compared to a family with excellent credit. That’s more than what it usually costs to add a teen driver or even the penalty for having two DWIs.

CR’s advice: Shop around. For example, an Illinois driver with poor credit could save about $1,700 by using Country Insurance vs. Metropolitan. Also, improve your credit by paying credit card bills on time and monitoring your record for errors and fraud. For free copies of your reports, go to (California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts forbid insurers from using credit scores when setting rates.)

Accident Not Your Fault? It Will Still Cost You
A two-car family with just one not-at-fault accident within a three-year period typically pays about $270 more each year. And if you are responsible, the penalty can be more than twice as high.

CR’s advice: Comparison shopping can yield big savings. In Pennsylvania, a driver with one at-fault accident with Allstate can save more than $1,050 by signing up with Erie Insurance Group, Nationwide, or State Farm. In New York, a driver with one moving violation can save about $800 with Progressive, compared with Liberty Mutual.

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In the first half of this episode, host Brett King, Marc Hochstein of American Banker, and Peter Renton, founder of LendAcademy, talk about the the proposed OCC fintech charter (and Marc plugs ABs upcoming webinar on digital identity).

Sam Maule takes the helm in the second half, and talks to Zeina Shuhaibar from the International Rescue Committee, Ashish Gadnis, founder and CEO of BanQu Inc., and Aneesh Varma, founder of credit score startup Aire, about fintech solutions to help refugees regain some economic stability and contribute to the economies of their new domiciles. There are 65 million refugees in the world. That is 10% of the global population that had to flee war and drought, leaving behind homes, businesses and assets. In the long term, these people need financial services that allow them to rebuild credit, get banking services, pay for things and become part of the economies where they are now.

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Jayakumar appointed Tamil Nadu Finance Minister
Monday, February 27th, 2017 | Author:

In a minor reshuffle, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami named D. Jayakumar as Finance Minister. Mr. Jayakumar will now head the Finance, Planning, Legislative Assembly, Elections and Passports, Personnel and Administrative Reforms and Personnel and Administrative Reforms (training) departments in addition to his current Fisheries portfolio. He has now been redesignated Minister for Finance and Personnel and Administrative Reforms, a Raj Bhavan release said. Mr. Palaniswami was holding the portfolios allocated to Mr. Jayakumar.

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7 Tax Breaks Every First-Time Homebuyer Must
Monday, February 27th, 2017 | Author:

Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

The mortgage interest deduction is one of the biggest home tax breaks and is a crucial new homeowner tax credit. It covers interest paid on loans of up to $1 million, or $500,000 if youre married but filing a separate return.

The deduction can be especially beneficial for borrowers with new loans because interest charges on mortgages are typically steeper in the early years of the mortgages term.

The way loan amortization works, your first payments have the highest ratio of interest to principal, said Andrew Christakos, an accredited investment fiduciary with Westfield Wealth Management in Westfield, NJ

You must itemize on Schedule A of your tax return to claim the home mortgage interest deduction. To do so, add up all deductible expenses for the year, including those related to homeownership as well as other categories. Claiming the mortgage interest deduction can save you tax dollars if your itemized deductions are greater than your standard deduction.

Dont miss this new homebuyer tax credit. Your loan provider should send you Form 1098 shortly after the tax year ends. It will show the amount of interest you paid the previous year.

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Why Do I Have 3 Different Credit Scores?
Monday, February 27th, 2017 | Author:

These days its easy to pull up your credit score instantly. Not only can you order it straight from the credit bureaus, but many banks and sites such as Credit Karmaoffer free credit score reporting. The downside to this ease of access is that you can end up more confused than ever by the discrepancies in all that information. Pull up your credit score from the three primary credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), and youre likely to get three different numbers. Whats up with that?

When FICO isnt really FICO

People tend to refer to credit scores as FICO scores, but in fact FICO isnt the only major credit scoring model in use. VantageScore is a rival scoring model, introduced in 2006 and used by all three credit bureaus. It looks at slightly different credit factors than FICO and weights them differently, so it can produce an entirely different number than your FICO score. Depending on which source you use to access your credit score, you could be looking at your FICO score for one bureau and your VantageScore score for another. To add to the confusion, there are different versions of both FICO and VantageScore, and not every credit score reporting source uses the latest version of the scoring models, creating even more variation in the resulting scores.

Different bureau, different data

Lenders arent required to report your credit activity to all three bureaus. In fact, theyre not required to report it, period. Some lenders will keep all three bureaus fully updated, but others will report to just one or two bureaus or not bother reporting changes to your account at all. Thus your account history at each credit bureau is likely to be different, and that can lead to substantial differences in your credit scores.

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The Toledo Lucas County Port Authority board of directors voted today to participate in financing an expansion of the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The port will cooperate with the Stark County Port Authority and National Football Museum, Inc., which operates the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Museum, to develop a commercial, educational and recreational complex.

The $500 million project in Canton, to be known as Pro Football Hall of Fame Village, is expected to be under construction for more than five years.

The port authority will issue up to $4 million in tax-exempt bonds, according to the resolution, which was unanimously supported.

Port Authority President Paul Toth Jr. said the port authority provided similar financing assistance to the Cleveland Cavaliers for development of new practice facilities. He said the Hall of Fame project is one of the most complex public redevelopment projects he’s ever been involved in.

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Its easy to know, Whats in your wallet? as the commercial asks. But whats much more important is whats in your credit report. Someone with just a few coins in their pocket could be living large in a mansion, while a high-roller with a wad of cash could be turned down for mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, apartments, and even jobs because of his bad credit report.

Your credit report contains the details of your credit history, indicating:

  • Have you paid your bills on time?
  • Have you paid back loans as agreed?
  • How much of your credit cards are you paying off, and how big are your balances?

Incredibly, surveys show that millions of Americans have never checked their credit report. MoneyTips is offering a free tool, Credit Manager, so you can read your credit report right now. Credit Manager will also show you your credit score – a numerical rating of your credit – at no charge, without your having to provide a credit card number.

Why bother? Because you may discover that a mistake has been made that is costing you hundreds of dollars in interest fees. Your credit report may show that an old bill that you paid off is marked unpaid, or that someone elses delinquent account was attributed to you. As a result, when you apply for a loan or credit card, you have to pay higher interest because companies consider you a bigger risk. Why should you pay for someone elses mistake?

In addition, more and more financial accounts are being hacked by criminals around the world. If your credit information has been compromised, a thief could open up a credit account in your name and rack up large bills before you realize it. Left unchecked, it could ruin your credit for years. The quicker you catch it, the faster you could start minimizing the damage. And Credit Manager will help you restore your good credit as well!

Even if your account is accurate, its good to give yourself a financial check-up. By seeing your credit report and score for free, you could learn how to take action to improve your finances. Dont worry; MoneyTips will also help you achieve your financial goals. But the first step is knowing where you are today. Director of Public Education for the credit bureau Experian Rod Griffin explains, Your credit report should be a tool that works for you; it shouldnt be a mysterious thing. The same is true for credit scores.

Visit Credit Manager by MoneyTips to check your credit score and read your credit report now. Youll learn how the rest of the world sees your financial situation. And since theres no charge, you wont even have to see, Whats in your wallet?

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Is AI making credit scores better, or more confusing?
Sunday, February 26th, 2017 | Author:

A consumer’s credit score used to be a commonly understood number — the time-honored FICO score — that banks all used in their underwriting. But banks increasingly are relying on dozens of scores that reflect a variety of data sources, analytics and use of artificial intelligence technology.

The use of AI offers lenders the ability to get a precise look into someone’s creditworthiness and score those previously deemed unscorable.

But such scoring techniques also bring uncertainty: What it will take to convince regulators that AI-based credit scores are not a black box? How do you get a system trained to look at the interactions of many variables, to produce one clear reason for declining credit? Data scientists at credit bureaus and banks are working to find answers to questions like these.

The benefits of AI-powered credit scores

There are two main reasons to use artificial intelligence to derive a credit score. One is to assess creditworthiness more precisely. The other is to be able to consider people who might not have been able to get a credit score in the past, or who may have been too hastily rejected by a traditional logistic regression-based score. In other words, a method that looks at certain data points from consumers’ credit history to calculate the odds that they will repay.

[Digital identity is broken, and fixes are urgently needed. Learn how large financial service and healthcare companies are tackling the issue – to enhance customer experience, to stake out positions in their business ecosystems, and to manage risk – on our Feb. 23 web seminar. Click here for details.]

Machine learning can take a more nuanced look at consumer behavior.

“A neural network more closely mimics the way humans think and reason, whereas linear models are more dogmatic — you’re imposing structure on data as opposed to letting the data talk to you,” said Eric VonDohlen, chief analytics officer at the online lender Elevate. The more complex reasoning of artificial intelligence can find things in the data that wouldn’t be apparent otherwise.

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Flawed Reliance on Credit Scores Leads to Confusion
Sunday, February 26th, 2017 | Author:

An alarming headline from Dec. 2, 2016 read: “New auto loans to borrowers with credit scores below 660 have nearly tripled since the end of 2009.”

This reads like it could be cause for intervention. Is the next credit bubble already at our doorstep?

It might be. This headline, however, does very little to answer that question.

This industry’s most common yardsticks–averages or rough distributions of credit scores– are fundamentally flawed. In the context of a single pool, from a single issuer, at a single point in time, these metrics satisfy the need for a quick proxy of borrower credit risk. But every time we extend their use–to compare different deals, or an entire sector, or issuance over time– we make an implicit assumption. When we then stack these assumptions on top of each other, the status quo that we’re used to is at best misunderstood and at worst nearly meaningless.

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