first_imgPlease be informed that due to the improved weather conditions, the dispersion of volcanic clouds and the guarantee that all necessary security conditions exist in these destinations, Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral will gradually resume operations according to the following schedule (see below).NOTE: Only passengers with confirmed reservations on the flights listed below should go to the airport. To assure the most efficient answers to questions regarding our flights reservations should only be changed by the call center (0810-222-86527) and not by our people at the airports.DAY June 07 DOMESTIC FLIGHTS AR1788/9 RESISTENCIA 16:15 HS. AR1712/3 SANTA FE 16:40 HS. AU2534/5 CORDOBA 16:50 HS. AU2476/7 TUCUMAN 16:55 HS. AU2458/9 SALTA 18:05 HS AU2436/7 SAN JUAN 18:25 HS AR1536/7 CORDOBA 18:45 HS AU2460 SALTA 20:40 HS AR1538/9 CORDOBA 21:30 HS AU2428/9 MENDOZA 21:40 HS REGIONALS FLIGHTS FROM AEROPARQUE J. NEWBERYAR1256 RIO DE JANEIRO 16:45 HS AR1210/1 MONTEVIDEO 17:25 HS AR1288 SGO DE CHILE 19:00 HS REGIONALS FLIGHTS FROM EZEIZA AR1276 SAN PABLO 17:15 HS AR1364 LIMA 19:00 HS AR1224 SAN PABLO 20:30 HS INTERNATIONALS FLIGHTS AR 1132 MADRID 06:00 HS (June 8) AR 1302 MIAMI 23:25 HS AR 1182 AUKLAND 06:00 HS (June 8) AR 1360 BOGOTA 10:30 HS (June 8) AR 1384 MÉXICO 22:15 HS Also, flights to/from the following destinations continue to be canceled:Through June 12: Between Aeroparque (Jorge Newbery) and Bariloche, Chapelco, Esquel.Through June 09: Between Aeroparque (Jorge Newbery) and Trwlew, Neuquen, Viedma, Rio Gallegos, El Calafate, Ushuaia, Rio Grande, Comodoro Rivadavia, Bahia Blanca, Santa Rosa, San Rafael.Flights to/from Iguazu and Posadas are also being canceled due to clouds of volcanic ash.The present schedule is subject to change if the weather conditions continue to change. You should check for updated information on our web site www.aerolineas.com.Once again, Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral reaffirm their commitment to safety and thank you for your understanding during this present situation that is out of our control. Source = Aerolineas Argentinaslast_img read more

first_imgVirgin Australia is expanding its regional arm, announcing that it will utilise its brand new ATR aircraft on new services between Brisbane, Gladstone and Port Macquarie.Commencing October 2011, the carrier under its regional alliance with Skywest, which is still awaiting regulatory approval, said it will also increase the number of services between Canberra and Sydney up to 60 per week.The carrier’s group executive of alliances Merren McArthur said the new routes to Gladstone and Port Macquarie were part of the airlines commitment to its regional network. “Gladstone is a booming city with a thriving economy that supports the resources, tourism and primary production sectors,” Ms McArthur explained.  “We have introduced a schedule to suit both the corporate and leisure traveller in this very important market.”She added that the new service would also allow travellers to Port Macquarie easy access without having to travel via Sydney. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

first_imgQantas Airways and American Airlines announced they have received regulatory approval to commence joint business between North America and Australia/New Zealand.Qantas Airways head of industry and corporate sales, Karen Tsolakis and American Airlines vice president Theo Panagiotoulias said the joint partnership will allow both airlines the ability to provide its customers with increased flight options and more connection opportunities within the U.S. and Australia New Zealand.“It will also provide access to a wider variety of fare levels,” the airlines said in a joint statement.The joint venture continues to grow with American Airlines code placed on Qantas flight between Dallas /Fort Worth and Sydney.Similarly, Qantas Airways has its code beyond Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth and New York JFK on American’s services.In addition, the carriers frequent flyer benefits remains entirely reciprocal.“We are working to align our sales policies and procedures particularly for premium customers and where possible, integrate our customer support,” the airlines said in a joint statement.Ms Tsolakis and Mr Panagiotoulias also thanked the travel industry for supporting them and as they implement the improvements of the partnership it will provide further information. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

first_imgSource = Bunnik Tours Bunnik Tours is excited to announce that they have won the Excellence in Customer Service at the 2012 BRW Private Business Awards.The BRW Private Business Awards are one of the most recognised and respected awards in the Australian private sector that formally recognise the outstanding achievements of Private Businesses and acknowledge the valuable contribution they make to the Australian economy.The award acknowledges Bunnik Tours ongoing customer commitment since the Egyptian Revolution. Bunnik Tours Managing Director, Dennis Bunnik, immediately flew to Cairo at the start of protests in Egypt in January 2011 and subsequently ensured that all Bunnik Tours clients returned safely to Australia when the revolution erupted.Dennis says, “As a family owned and operated company, our clients are like family and we felt it essential to have a senior manager on the ground to not only reassure our clients but to also help with the changes to their itineraries. We wanted to ensure our clients had the most up to date and accurate information available and as such the decision was made for me to travel to Cairo.”When Bunnik Tours recommenced tours to Egypt six weeks after the revolution Bunnik Tours founder Marion Bunnik was based in Cairo for 3 weeks to travel with and reassure passengers.“Our operation during the Egypt revolution period was a massive team effort which included rescheduling the travel arrangements for some 700 Bunnik Tours clients’, said Dennis Bunnik. ‘It was a massive team effort both in Australia and Egypt and this award is wonderful recognition for all our staff involved.”Since the revolution Bunnik Tours has been working to restore confidence in the Egyptian travel market. This continues today with company owners Sacha, Marion and Dennis Bunnik currently in Cairo for a series of planning meetings for the coming high season.“Egypt is an iconic travel destination that has captured the hearts of travellers for well over 1,000 years. The power of walking in the footsteps of the ancient pharaohs is an incredible experience,” said Dennis Bunnik.“The tourism industry is now starting to show strong signs of recovery with monthly increases in both visitor numbers and enquiries. Currently European visitors are leading the way with strong bookings for the coming high season. Enquiries and forward bookings from the USA have also increased significantly since the recent relaxing of the US Government’s travel advisory for Egypt.”“We are delighted to be in Egypt when this award was announced as we have been able to share it with our team in Cairo.”last_img read more

first_imgIn the Western world, Australia is the fastest growing tourism market for China and Aussies are spending up big, according to the China National Tourism Administration’s latest results. Half of the visitors were tourists, 18 percent were business travellers and the remainder included expats and those visiting family. China saw 770,000 Australians visit the country last year, up by 6.7 percent and estimated to have contributed around AU$1 billion towards the Chinese economy, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. “Compared with growth from other major western markets, such as the US increasing by 0.1 percent and the UK up by 3.8 percent, Australia is becoming one of China’s most valued sources of international visitors,” Beijing tourism commissioner Zhao Guangchao said. Source = ETB News: L.B. Australia is also a highly desirable tourist destination for Chinese travellers, with China currently the second largest inbound market after Australia’s neighbouring country, New Zealand. 719,200 Chinese travellers arrived in Australia in the last 12 months to October, a 17.3 percent increase, contributing AU$4.5 billion towards the economy, a figure Tourism Australia expects to grow to over AU$9 billion.last_img read more

first_imgWTTC statement following attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, SpainThe World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) strongly condemns the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain on 17/18 August 2017.Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “I am extremely saddened to hear about these callous attacks in Spain, my heart goes out to the victims, their friends, and families.Barcelona and Cambrils are two beautiful and strong tourist spots. The Travel & Tourism sector offers its full support to all those impacted – both destinations, Spain, and its people – as it is going through these difficult times.”Source = World Travel & Tourism Council – WTTClast_img read more

first_imgRethink the unpredictable risks of business travel New dataRethink the unpredictable risks of business travel New dataToday International SOS releases new travel risk mitigation insight titled ‘Rethink Unpredictable’, which pulled together the last three financial years of regional business travel medical, security and assistance case data and expert analysis to determine upcoming business travel trends that challenge the concept of volatile travel risks.Challenging this concept is important to our region as 7 in 10 (72 percent) Australasia based business travel health and security personnel say travel risks have increased over the past year1. Of those risks, 64 percent of Australia and New Zealand respondents think terrorism increased in 20162. Despite that perception, terrorism-related deaths around the world decreased both in 2016 and 2017, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s annual Global Terrorism Index3.Less than 1 percent of the security alerts sent out by International SOS in the 2016-17 fiscal year related to terrorist warnings and events. Security Director – Australasia for International SOS, Sally Napper, said, “Despite the increased coverage of terrorism in the news, travellers are far more likely to encounter road traffic accidents, petty crime, illness or other issues such as a lost passport or flight delays that disrupt travel and can impact business continuity.”Debunking the difference in perceived travel security threats versus real destination risks is an important travel security issue impacting Australasia-based businesses today. “The majority of travel security calls we take in our Assistance Centres focus on pre-travel advice and education aimed at helping travellers mitigate common threats they may face overseas,” said Napper. Other trending travel security concerns include understanding individual traveller risk profiles, protecting company data, and keeping up with the changing risk environment in different countries.Along with analysing security trends, Rethink Unpredictable also focuses on medical travel risks. A few of the emerging health preoccupations impacting regional businesses include stress and mental health issues, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the changing medico-legal environment, and the use of telehealth to optimise expert care whilst travelling.It would be easy to assume that the vast majority medical cases happen in high-risk countries; however, almost half (43 percent) of medical cases managed by the International SOS Sydney Assistance Centre between 2016 and 2017 occurred in low to medium risk countries. Less than 1 percent of all cases require a costly and disruptive evacuation, but case data shows the most common cause of medical evacuations (38 percent) in the corporate sector are due to cardiovascular diseases and almost half (44 percent) of all in-patient cases of clients in the education sector are related to injuries. This new data shows these risks are not as unpredictable as they seem.“While each medical case is unique, over the years we’ve found a common theme in the health risks travellers face, which is that most of them can be mitigated by systemic and comprehensive planning,” said Dr Nhlanhla Mpofu, Medical Director – Occupational Health at International SOS.From a minor medical condition to support during social unrest, it’s much less costly in human impact, time efficiency and hard cost terms to have appropriate support in place. Travel risk mitigation programs focus on prevention, risk mitigation, and risk avoidance while helping to prepare people before they travel and assisting managers to make better decisions about managing risk before anything happens.Fact Sheet80 percent of Assistance Centre calls are about pre-travel advice and education. 15 percent require outpatient visits, 4 percent require inpatient visits, and less than 1 percent involves evacuations and repatriations.The most prevalent medical issues faced by mobile workers vary based on their industry. For example:Corporate sector           38 percent of all evacuations are due to cardiovascular diseases           20 percent of in-patient medical centre visits are due to gastrointestinal issues           13 percent of out-patient visits are due to gastrointestinal issuesEducation sector          65 percent of all evacuations are due to injuries         44 percent of in-patient medical centre visits are due to injuries         17 percent of out-patient visits are due to gastrointestinal issuesExtracting sector          44 percent of all evacuations are due to injuries          19 percent of in-patient medical centres visits are due to muscle, bone, and join diseases          17 percent of out-patient visits are due to gastrointestinal issuesFor the results on the agribusiness, non-for-profit and financial services sector, along with other information on the top challenges businesses face in protecting their mobile workforce, visit www.rethinkunpredictable.com.au.Source = International SOSlast_img read more

first_imgThe first UFO Hotel in America will soon open which is a USD 30 million project in Baker, California. The project is being spearheaded by a charismatic visionary, Luis Ramallo, and will feature 31 rooms on two floors designed within a full-scale alien spacecraft where guests can spend the night in alien-themed rooms and dine in an alien-themed restaurant.“We are tremendously excited about developing the first authentic UFO Hotel in the world, not just in America,” Ramallo stated. “There are tens of millions of Sci-Fi and UFO fans in the world who have been dreaming of a venue just like this. They will finally have it.”The UFO Hotel, which is in pre-construction development, will have an alien-themed lobby, spa, nightclub and other attractions, such as Sci-Fi fanatics and guests getting married in alien costumes — on their favourite planet.“It will be out of this world. When you enter the hotel, you will feel as if you’ve been transported to an actual spaceship,” Ramallo added.Room rates at the UFO Hotel will be competitively priced, beginning at around USD 300 a night – “an incredible bargain for a one-of-a-kind experience,” Ramallo remarked.last_img read more

first_imgOTM Mumbai is the largest travel trade fair in India and Bangladesh has been participating for the last couple of years. The event is important for us since Mumbai is one of the important markets for Bangladesh and also since OTM provides the platform to connect with other foreign markets. We hope to continue our association with OTM in the coming years.last_img

first_img Share Alongside somewhat stable home prices, pending-home sales slid back over August with a few regions inching up over others, according to an index recently compiled by the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/ (NAR). Even so, the numbers reflect a better balance sheet for lenders and sellers, who bore the brunt of sales much worse for the wear over the same period last year.[IMAGE]Presenting the “”Pending Home Sales Index””:http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/09/phs_august, the NAR culled the information from a number of sources that listed sales that have not yet been closed.The trade group found the numbers for pending-home sales plunging by 1.2 percent to hit 88.6 percent in August, down from 89.7 percent over the month before, yet still a few notches above an 82.3-percent dearth in August last year.Regionally, pending-home sales in some states fell back a few notches on a month-over-month basis, nevertheless remaining higher than the same numbers seen in August 2010. With the Midwest falling 3.7 percent to smack into 76.2 percent over August, the South rose again by 2.6 percent to hit 96.9 percent over the same period.[COLUMN_BREAK] The West lost 2.4 percent, dipping to 108.1 percent over August, still 10.5 percent above numbers from the same time last year, while the Northeast suffered the most, dropping 5.8 percent to crest at 6.3 percent over August this year.””The biggest monthly decline was in the Northeast, which was significantly disrupted by Hurricane Irene in the closing weekend of August,”” “”Lawrence Yun””:http://www.realtor.org/research/chief_economist_bio, chief economist with NAR, said in a “”statement””:http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/09/phs_august. “”But broadly speaking, contract signing activity has been holding in a narrow range for many months.””Yun attributed underperforming markets to a demand bubble in household formation, largely thanks to a midlevel failure in contracts. He faulted a denial of credit for homebuyers as the principal reason.””Based on the improving fundamentals of population growth, some job additions, rent increases and higher stock market wealth, we should be seeing existing-home sales closer to 5.5 million, but are expecting just over 4.9 million this year,”” he said.The reason for the denial of credit: “”unnecessarily restrictive mortgage underwriting standards,”” which he describes as responsible for undermining the housing recovery and presenting more risk to the health of the economy at large.Yun also highlighted a dearth in consumer confidence as responsible for continuing problems, and tacked on worries about homebuyers who could “”face notably higher mortgage rates on jumbo loans because of a lack of competition in the banking industry.””The last index “”registered a 1.3-percent falloff””:https://themreport.com/articles/pending-home-sales-dip-by-13-in-july-2011-08-29 in July pending-home sales from 90.9 percent seen in June. Pending-Home Sales Dip by 1.2% Over August in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img Agents & Brokers Home Prices Home Sales Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates National Association of Realtors Pending-Home Prices Processing Service Providers 2011-09-29 Ryan Schuette September 29, 2011 457 Views last_img read more

first_img July 11, 2013 468 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing New,CohnReznick Welcomes New National Director of Governmental Affairs Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-07-11 Tory Barringer Robert C. Moss has joined “”CohnReznick LLP””:http://www.cohnreznick.com/, the 11th largest audit, tax, and advisory firm in the United States, as principal and national director of governmental affairs.[IMAGE]Moss has nearly three decades of affordable multifamily housing experience, including syndication, preservation and development, debt financing, tax credit applications, and property management. Most recently, he served as SVP and director of origination for affordable housing for Boston Capital.””I am very proud of the work we’ve done in my time at Boston Capital and look forward to being able to make a positive impact in protecting and expanding the affordable housing industry in my new role with CohnReznick,”” Moss said. “”The firm’s commitment to the industry and vision for its future shows true leadership and I am excited to be a part of it.””His extensive industry and government experience also includes a stint as chairman of the non-partisan Housing Advisory Group, which is active in preserving the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program in Congress. In addition, he served as the Federal Legislative Subcommittee chair for the Housing Credit Group of the National Association of Home Builders.””The demand for affordable rental housing in the U.S. has never been greater according to several recently completed studies. At the same time, the health of the affordable housing industry is particularly dependent on Federal government support,”” said Beth Mullen, CPA, partner and national director for CohnReznick’s Affordable Housing Industry practice. “”We are fortunate to have Bob’s exceptional experience with the industry and Congressional leaders as part of our team as CohnReznick.””last_img read more

first_imgReport: FHA to Seek Treasury Draw Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bailouts FHA Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Insurance Politics Service Providers 2013-09-26 Tory Barringer Share *_[Updated to include a statement from the Center for Responsible Lending.]_*Despite efforts to shore up its insurance fund, the “”Federal Housing Administration””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory (FHA) is “”likely”” to seek a Treasury draw of nearly $1 billion to help cover losses from bad loans.[IMAGE]””Sources familiar with the matter”” told “”_Reuters_””:http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/25/usa-housing-bailout-idUSL2N0HL23020130925 Wednesday the agency may need to take a bailout for the first time in its history. While no definitive numbers were given, the White House “”predicted in its budget””:https://themreport.com/articles/obama-administration-budget-includes-potential-fha-bailout-2013-04-10 earlier this year that FHA may need up to $943 million.A spokesperson for HUD did not immediately return a request for comment.FHA’s financial troubles came to light “”last year””:https://themreport.com/articles/drop-in-fha-insurance-fund-sparks-talk-of-treasury-draw-2012-11-16, when an actuarial report revealed that losses on vintage loans from 2005-2008–from the height of the bubble to about the time it burst–had brought the government insurer’s capital ratio to -1.44 percent, well below the required 2 percent ratio required for its insurance fund.[COLUMN_BREAK]Since then, HUD officials have worked to reform FHA’s practices and strengthen its financial standing, while policymakers in the Senate have “”done the same””:https://themreport.com/articles/senate-banking-committee-passes-fha-solvency-act-2013-07-31.Conservative lawmakers were quick to denounce the possible bailout, with “”Sen. David Vitter””:http://www.vitter.senate.gov/ (R-Louisiana) one of the most vocal.””I’m not one to say ‘I told you so,’ but geez. The FHA has been going down an irresponsible path for years, from their drastic lack of required capital to secret stress tests,”” Vitter said. “”Instead of making their funds responsibly, and making appropriate reforms, FHA prefers to lean on taxpayers to bail them out, and enough is enough.””Vitter went on to call for the Senate to take up measures to further reform the agency and protect taxpayers “”against [FHA’s] mismanagement.”” The senator’s suggested reforms include an early term delinquency review, a lifetime ban on additional FHA-backed loans for borrowers with two foreclosures, and a capital reserve requirement for its new multifamily program.On the other hand, FHA’s defenders lay the blame at the feet of the same lawmakers that criticized the agency.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£The proposed draw from the U.S. Treasury Department would not have been needed if Congress had not prevented FHA from clamping down on fraudulent seller-funded down payment loans, as it tried to do,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø the “”Center for Responsible Lending””:http://www.responsiblelending.org/ (CRL) said in a statement, noting that recent increases in pricing and tighter underwriting standards–ideas implemented by FHA itself–have ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£led recent loans to perform extremely well.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Øcenter_img September 26, 2013 469 Views in Governmentlast_img read more

first_img The housing market recovery is entering a new phase, according to the analysts at “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com. They say the rapid bounce in home prices seen over the last year, which was driven by investors and tight supply conditions, will soon start to moderate, and the next stage of the recovery will be characterized by strengthening activity among owner-occupants and mortgage-dependent buyers, as well as a much more moderate pace of house price inflation.[IMAGE]Overall economic growth, on the other hand, will accelerate in 2014, according to Capital Economics, from around 1.8 percent in 2013 to 2.5 percent this year. The firm notes in its outlook report that monthly employment gains have already climbed back to the 200,000 mark. As the economy’s fiscal drag fades, it should more than offset the impact of rising long-term interest rates, the company’s analysts contend. The “”Federal Reserve announced””:https://themreport.com/articles/fomc-votes-for-cuts-in-stimulus-2013-12-18 in mid-December that it will begin tapering its asset purchase program this month, but Capital Economics says any further increase in long-term interest rates that results will be “”modest.”” After all, the Fed is trimming its monthly buys of mortgage securities and Treasuries by just $10 billion. Officials strengthened the central bank’s forward guidance to emphasize rates are not likely to rise for at least another couple of years.””And even if mortgage interest rates edge a little higher, the recovery in housing market activity should also continue,”” Capital Economics said in its report. Higher mortgage interest rates have taken a toll on housing market activity already, but further rate increases will see the recovery slow rather than reverse, its analysts stressed. Sales activity initially dropped when rates spiked, but the latest data suggest this was a period of adjustment rather than the start of a weaker trend, which fits with the fact that housing remains very affordable, they explained. “”We envisage 30-year fixed mortgage rates ending 2014 at 5 percent and 2015 at 5.5 percent,”” they share in the report. There may ultimately be an upside to higher rates,[COLUMN_BREAK]according to Capital Economics’ analysts. This upside would come in the form of a quicker loosening in mortgage credit conditions now that lenders cannot rely on the refinancing boom to boost their profits, they suggested.The supply of homes for sale is now increasing, Capital Economics noted in its report. In addition, rising prices and a reduction in negative equity are bringing willing sellers back to the market. Alongside a reduction in the number of heavily-discounted distressed homes for sale, the firm says this will drive a seachange in the composition of supply and trigger a loosening in overall market conditions as buyer demand increases, according to Capital Economics. The rapid run up in house prices means that housing affordability has deteriorated over the past three months. But even though valuation and affordability metrics are becoming less favorable, the overall picture is still that housing is a good value and “”on the cheap side,”” the firm said in its report. The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) affordability index suggests that the typical U.S. household now has 166 percent of the income required to qualify for a mortgage on the typical home, down from 180 percent in Q3 2013. This deterioration in mortgage affordability means that average mortgage costs are once again above average rental costs, which may deter some households from leaving the rental market for homeownership, according to Capital Economics. Still, the firm notes that “”[o]ther than the past four years, at no point during the 40-year history of the NAR figures has housing been as affordable as it is now.””Similar conclusions hold in terms of housing valuations, Capital Economics explained, adding that the simplest valuation measure compares real house prices to their long-run trend level. On this basis, housing is 12 percent below fair value, according to the firm’s analysts. That figure is down from 21 percent below fair value two years ago, but the analysts say even now, prices still have room to increase before worries about overvaluation become pressing. A second method compares house prices to disposable incomes per capita, and it suggests that housing was 14 percent undervalued in Q3. A third valuation measure paints a slightly different picture–the house price-to-rent ratio. On this measure, housing is at the fair-value mark. As the firm’s analysts already noted, mortgage costs come in above average rental costs now. They say it looks like home prices will be up by 11 percent for 2013 as a whole. “”We expect this year to mark the peak for house price gains, and anticipate that price rises will slow to around 4 percent per annum in 2014 and thereafter,”” Capital Economics’ analysts predicted. Share Analysts: Market Shifts to Cause Scaleback in Recovery Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Federal Reserve Home Prices Investment Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Service Providers 2014-01-02 Carrie Baycenter_img January 2, 2014 437 Views in Datalast_img read more

first_img The House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit determined in a hearing on Wednesday that the CFPB’s proposed rule to ban arbitration clauses in business contracts will result in higher costs to consumers and less access to financial products.Witnesses at the hearing included Dong Hong, VP, Regulatory Counsel, Consumer Bankers Association; Jason Scott Johnston, Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation Professor, University of Virginia Law School; Andrew Pincus, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP, on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and F. Paul Bland Jr., Executive Director, Public Justice.The Subcommittee ultimately decided that consumers would be worse off if the ban on arbitration clauses is enacted because businesses would pass litigation costs onto consumers and divert resources away from new financial products and services.“For example, arbitration produces a significantly higher recovery for individual consumers and has a shorter resolution timeline for recovery. In testimony before this Committee, the agency has stated that banning the use of class action waivers in arbitration agreements, the main provision in the Bureau’s rule, would achieve a primary Bureau objective—‘to give consumers their day in court.’ Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Chairman of the Subcommittee. “I fear a single, unelected bureaucrat has directed agency action that is arbitrary and capricious. The Bureau has failed to articulate a rational connection between the facts found in its May 2015 study and the agency action before us today.”My friends on the other side of the aisle asked a trial lawyer to come speak in favor of CFPB’s Arbitration Rule. I rest my case.— Randy Neugebauer (@RandyNeugebauer) May 18, 2016The Subcommittee determined that a May 2015 study by the CFPB which showed more favorable outcomes for consumers who use arbitration as opposed to class action lawsuits is incomplete and ignores important information. The Subcommittee also pointed out that class action suits give little benefit to consumers while providing a windfall to trial lawyers. In the CFPB’s own study, the Subcommittee noted that 13 percent of class action lawsuits that actually benefited consumers had an average payout of just $32 while trial lawyers earn an average of $1 million per settled case—about 31,000 times the average payout.“The CFPB’s study tried to provide that businesses do not pass on cost savings from arbitration to consumers and employees, but that attempt was unpersuasive,” Pincus said. “As the academics who reviewed the CFPB’s study concluded, the CFPB’s findings on this point were plagued by ‘theoretical problems’ and ‘technical failures,’ and they fly in the face of ‘[b]asic economic theory,’ which ‘predicts that competition forces firms to pass on to consumers [or employees] at least a portion of any cost decrease.”Other determinations by the Subcommittee on Wednesday include: The Bureau’s own study found that consumers are more likely to obtain decisions based on the merits in arbitration as opposed to class actions, which almost always result in settlements before they can go to trial. Also, according to the CFPB’s study, arbitration is up to 12 times faster than litigation and costs about half as much.Dong Hong, a witness at the hearing, said, “Due in part to consumers paying little to nothing for arbitration proceedings, they recover significantly higher sums than they do through class actions—$5,389 vs. $32.35 average recovery. In contrast, litigation can be complicated, time-consuming and requires a lawyer to navigate the process. In addition, many consumer claims may be too small to attract contingency fee lawyers.”Neugebauer tweeted about the hearing on Wednesday, “My friends on the other side of the aisle asked a trial lawyer to come speak in favor of the CFPB’s Arbitration Rule. I rest my case.” May 18, 2016 585 Views Arbitration Clauses CFPB House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit 2016-05-18 Seth Welborn House Committee Questions Motive Behind Arbitration Proposalcenter_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, completed the second day of her semi-annual testimony to the Senate on Thursday, and fielded questions from Congress in regard to housing and banking, including her thoughts on proposed regulatory reform.Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), released a pre-prepared statement in the morning expressing expectations for the hearing, which set the stage for Yellen’s testimony.“Today we will receive testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen regarding the Fed’s semiannual report to Congress on monetary policy and the state of the economy. Since the last Humphrey-Hawkins hearing in February, there have been numerous developments that will impact economic growth legislation. Particular interest has been focused on finding bipartisan solutions to tailor regulations, change the SIFI threshold, exempt certain firms from stress testing, fix the Volcker Rule, and simplify small bank capital rules.”Yellen was indeed asked to convey her opinions on Dodd-Frank reforms and how she best thought to change the Volcker Rule. Some members of Congress, including Chairman Crapo, believe that what they see as arbitrary thresholds—most specifically, the $50 billion SIFI threshold—make it difficult for smaller banks to do business. The suggestion has been presented in the past to raise that threshold to an indexed $125 billion, or even remove a monetary threshold and concentrate on a business model based regulatory approach. In response, Yellen said:“We’ve already said that we would favor some increase if Congress sticks with a dollar threshold that we would support some increase in the threshold. An approach that is based on business model or factors is also a workable approach from our point of view, conceivably. Some of the enhanced standards should apply to more firms with lower levels of assets and others with higher levels. I think that either type of approach is something we could work with.”Yellen was also pressed about the Volcker rule, which prohibits banks to make certain types of speculative investments, and whether or not she thought it worked.“The [Volker rule’s] goal is [one] in which I agree, and to permit market making. The implementation of it has been very complex and burdensome. We’ve suggested that community banks be exempt from it entirely. I wouldn’t [completely] get rid of it. I believe the Treasury report suggests maintaining their restriction on proprietary trading and depository institutions. So, I wouldn’t get rid of it, but I would look for ways to simplify it.”Yellen did, however, agree with the committee’s assessment that housing plays an important role in economic health. July 13, 2017 562 Views Fed Chair Calls for Looser Regulationscenter_img Fed FOMC Janet Yellen Senate 2017-07-13 Joey Pizzolato Sharelast_img read more

first_img DocMagic HOUSING mortgage 2017-12-17 Nicole Casperson PathSoftware announced that Path, its highly-configurable, multi-channel, cloud-based mortgage loan origination software (LOS), is now fully integrated with DocMagic, the mortgage industry’s provider of document production, automated compliance, and comprehensive eMortgage services.The new web integration provides a direct, secure connection between users’ loan files and DocMagic’s family of products and services. This enables users to order, generate, manage, receive and deliver TRID-compliant documents, such as loan estimates, closing documents and disclosures, with just a few mouse clicks—virtually eliminating the chance of errors and exposure to security risks, while avoiding the time constraints of manually rekeying information.“Smart companies like PathSoftware know that TRID compliance, risk reduction and cost control are huge concerns for lenders, and they’re building value by offering solutions to those issues through their technology and that of their partners, like DocMagic,” said Dominic Iannitti, President and CEO of DocMagic. “We’ve had an excellent partnership with PathSoftware’s parent company for many years. We’re proud to continue supporting them as they introduce new and better solutions to their customers and the industry.” This integration also enables users to access DocMagic’s Total eClose platform, a comprehensive digital mortgage solution that contains all of the components needed to facilitate a completely paperless digital closing. In addition, the integration also accesses DocMagic’s eSign technology so borrowers can electronically sign all documents in a secure, compliant manner.“DocMagic has long been a leading provider of fully-compliant loan document preparation solutions, differentiating itself by the way it handles data and runs compliance checks,” said Doug Mitchell, Director of Sales and Support at PathSoftware. “Our integration with DocMagic will not only make ordering compliant documents significantly easier for our joint clients, it will also significantly reduce time and cost, and eliminate the need for data re-entry, which can inadvertently cause errors and lead to compliance issues.” in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Technology December 17, 2017 520 Views center_img PathSoftware Integrates with DocMagic Sharelast_img read more

first_img Share CFPB Consumers First Act Kraninger 2019-03-07 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Government, News Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing titled, “Putting Consumers First? A SemiAnnual Review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”While the first panel of this two-panel hearing included testimony by Kathy Kraninger, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the second panel focused on a discussion on the draft of legislation titled Consumers First Act that was introduced by Chairwoman Maxine Waters and co-sponsored by 28 members of the committee.The second panel included testimonies from Hilary Shelton, Director & SVP for Advocacy and Policy, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Linda Jun, Senior Policy Counsel, Americans for Financial Reform; Jennifer Davis, Government Relations Deputy Director, National Military Family Association; Seth Frontman, Executive Director, Student Borrower Protection Center; and Scott Weltman, Managing Shareholder, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A.In her opening statement during the hearing, Chairwoman Maxine Waters highlighted the committee’s concerns with the CFPB. She said that the committee expected “ Kathy Kraninger to answer for Mick Mulvaney” and that the current administration at the CFPB  had “stripped the office of its ability to enforce fair lending, giving lenders a free pass to abuse servicemembers.”She questioned Kraninger, about the agency’s commitment to addressing these concerns. “The Committee does not believe Kraninger is doing enough to foster transparency and accountability or to change issues raised during her predecessor, Mick Mulvaney’s 13-month tenure,” Waters said.Some of the key questions asked of Kraninger by the committee during the hearing focused on consumer complaints, supervision and enforcement of the bureau staff, fair lending enforcement, staff diversity, and spending.On being asked how her relations with the White House influenced her decisions at the bureau, Kraninger maintained her decisions were not influenced and nor had the administration attempted to influence the CFPB. During her recent three month tour, Kraninger said that she had spoken with lenders and consumers “on the ground” and had a strong argument in defense of her initiatives and the Bureau’s ability to protect consumers, stating, “the Bureau is stronger at this time, not weaker” and that it was on the right track. Kraninger defended claims that sufficient efforts were not being made to police predatory lending.During the second panel, Waters said that her legislation, the Consumers First Act, would direct the new CFPB leadership to reverse all “anti-consumer actions” taken under Mulvaney’s leadership, including by resuming the previously authorized supervision of financial firms for Military Lending Act compliance; restoring the supervisory and enforcement powers of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity; reestablishing a dedicated student loan office; requiring adequate agency staffing, including for supervision and enforcement; limiting the number of political appointees the CFPB may hire to address allegations that they suppressed the work of dedicated, professional staff; and reinstating the Consumer Advisory Board that was “effectively terminated by Mr. Mulvaney with protections to ensure consumer voices are well represented, and that diversity and inclusion is promoted on the agency’s advisory boards.” See a video of the hearing here.center_img CFPB’s Kraninger Addresses the Bureau’s Future Before Congress March 7, 2019 1,083 Views last_img read more

first_img U.S. blueberry industry could see dynamic processe … AUS: Govt to penalize welfare recipients who turn … NZ: ‘No evidence of breeding population’, says Fru … August 09 , 2019 The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has drafted two pest risk assessments – one of Brazilian Hass avocados and the other of Argentine kiwifruit.The drafts come in response to the Latin American countries’ requests to authorize the importation of the fresh fruits into the U.S. There, the products will be meant for consumption, says the USDA.Additionally, Brazil also aims to export its Hass avocados to other regions including Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.The pest risk assessments list potential pests likely to remain on the avocados and kiwifruit upon importation if receivers don’t apply mitigations.center_img As with all such assessments, APHIS shares draft pest risk assessments to determine whether stakeholders have feedback to share.Depending on the comments it receives, the service says it’s possible that it will revise the draft assessments. This way, the drafts could reflect any important information in its pest mitigations.From there, the APHIS will proceed with the commodity import approval process, it notes.The drafted pest risk assessments of the fruits will be available for review and comment for 30 days.To view the assessment or submit comments, go to https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/commodity-import-approval-process/stakeholder-consultation U.S.: Washington’s apple crop to rise by 18% … You might also be interested inlast_img read more

first_imgIt seems you can’t be a hotel marketer without understanding the magic of the pool crop! The Hayriye Hanim Konagi hotel in Istanbul shows a bird’s eye view of its pool and the expansive views and it looks like a great spot to relax.However, when oyster.com visited they found that the pool is tiny – usually the case when the photo is cropped to a slice of the pool – and as for those views? Well, let’s just say, you won’t be seeing them from the pool!Source: oyster.com Fakeout Fridaypool cropslast_img read more

first_imgA bush tucker experience is the newest experience on offer on the Larapinta Trail and World Expeditions walkers are embracing the chance to learn about – and taste – delicious bush tucker food. The bush tucker food is prepared by Raylene Brown, the co-founder and owner of an Alice Springs catering company, Kungkas Can Cook, which specialises in native foods collected straight from country.“Raylene developed her interest in bush food during her nomadic childhood, when she lived all over the Territory from Wave Hill to Katherine, Tennant Creek to Adelaide River,” says World Expeditions Operations Manager, Kirke Ranson. “Along the way she developed an appreciation for bush tucker, and she shares her passion with trekkers, who are really enjoying foods like wattle seed damper, kangaroo fillet, bush tomato relish and bush dukkuh.“World Expeditions clients also participate in a “Welcome to Country” at Angkerle Atwatye (Standley Chasm), where a member of the local traditional owners formally welcomes them.” These experiences are part of World Expeditions’ most popular trek, the 6 day Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort, during which walkers carry only a daypack and stay at the exclusive World Expeditions’ permanent campsites.Other itineraries include the 6 day Larapinta Challenger Trek, which takes in some of the toughest sections along the Larapinta, the 6 day Art Expedition Larapinta, the 6 day Women’s Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort and the 3 day Larapinta Experience in Comfort. bush tuckerindigenousLarapintaWorld Expeditionslast_img read more