Top 10 ABA Banking Journal Hits in 2018

It’s been a busy year at the ABA Banking Journal. Thanks to readers both loyal and brand new, in 2018 we’ve seen our unique pageviews grow by 30 percent and new website readers rise by 35 percent. We’ve seen sustained growth this year in the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, now in its second season, and we have more exciting developments planned for 2019. Presented here are the top 10 most-read features on the Banking Journal website this year. Thanks for reading in 2018 — and feel free to let us know how we can better serve you in 2019 by emailing [email protected].


  1. What You May Not Know About the Beneficial Ownership Rule. With complex new requirements for documenting the beneficial owners of accounts for know-your-customer purposes taking effect in 2018, bankers were eager to understand how to comply. This cover story from our sister publication, ABA Bank Compliance, written by Arvest Bank’s Chris Simpkins, was by far the most popular item published on our site. (A separate Banking Journal feature on this topic also made our top 10.)
  2. Top Bank Risks in 2018Our annual risk outlook — written this year by frequent contributor Julie Knudson — is always a popular feature.
  3. From Libor to SOFR. With Libor — the benchmark underpinning $200 trillion of dollar-denominated financial instruments — not guaranteed to be sustained past 2021, ABA has been active in supporting the transition process to the Alternative Reference Rates Committee’s preferred alternative. This article helped explain the background of the issue so bankers can begin preparing.
  4. Avoiding a Smartphone Surprise. In an era where a single poor customer service interaction can become a viral video and public relations nightmare, how can banks prepare their employees to navigate smartphone videos in the branch? This article from ABA summer intern Hoa Nguyen was its own kind of viral hit, offering insights on training, branch management and security dynamics of customers taking video.
  5. GDPR: These Four Letters Could Spell a Compliance Headache for Smaller Banks. You’ll remember all those “we’ve updated our privacy policy” emails back in May, when a major European Union data security regulation took effect. It’s still unclear the extent to which this rule affects U.S. banks, but Deputy Editor Monica C. Meinert’s popular feature outlined why banks might want to make it part of their risk assessments.
  6. The 2018 Midterms and Their Impact on BankingABA’s government relations and political engagement teams provided their popular biennial insights on the 2018 midterms.
  7. How to Prepare for a Lapse in the NFIP. An unfortunately timely topic, with multiple short-term reauthorizations of the National Flood Insurance Program. This article, by ABA Senior Counsel Diana Banks, provided useful insights for bankers in advance of a potential lapse.
  8. Compliance and the Cannabis Conundrum. In a year that continued to see marijuana legalized in various forms at the state level — but with no change in federal law or regulation banning the drug — ABA VP Rob Rowe provided a widely read analysis of the challenges facing bankers in an ABA Bank Compliance cover story.
  9. Top Five Fraud Risks for Banks. Julie Knudson outlined five key trends — business email compromise, phishing evolution, vulnerable populations, synthetic ID fraud and card compromise — shaping the fraud environment for bankers.
  10. CECL Implementation: Where Banks Are Now and Where They Need to Be. With the new loan loss accounting standard bearing down, this feature from two experts at Porter Keadle Moore explored where things stand and what bankers need to know.