The ABA Banking Journal’s Top Hits of 2019

Once again, it’s been a busy and productive year at the ABA Banking Journal. Thanks to readers both loyal and brand new, in 2019 we’ve seen our unique pageviews grow by 12 percent and new website readers rise by 18 percent.

Earlier this year, we redesigned our site to make it cleaner and fresher, and we integrated the popular ABA Bank Marketing site into the Banking Journal site as a dedicated channel for marketers and retail banking professionals. We also added a brand-new channel — ABA Risk and Compliance — for our many readers in the increasingly convergent disciplines of compliance, risk management, security, BSA/AML and fraud. We’ve also seen continued growth this year in the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, now in its third season.

Presented here are the top 10 most-read features on the Banking Journal website this year. Thank you for reading in 2019 — and feel free to let us know how we can better serve you in 2020 by emailing [email protected].


  1. Bank City USA. This year’s most-read article was a deep dive into Tupelo, Mississippi, which with 40,000 residents is the smallest city home to two bank headquarters with $10 billion or more in assets. The story — and a twopart companion podcast documentary — by our editor-in-chief Evan Sparks explored the unique economic and social benefits that bank headquarters like those of BancorpSouth Bank and Renasant Bank provide to local communities in an era of bank consolidation. The article was even cited by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.
  2. Compliance in 2019: What to Expect and Where to FocusThe annual compliance outlook in ABA Bank Compliance magazine — this year by Treliant’s Carl G. Pry, CRCM — helped compliance officers strategize for the year ahead.
  3. California Updates Its Privacy Policy. The California Consumer Privacy Act, which takes effect on Jan. 1, has been described as “GDPR for California,” and it will have effects far beyond the state as it applies to companies that collect the personal information of California residents, wherever they are headquartered. In this article, attorneys from Husch Blackwell outline how the CCPA’s exemption for Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act-subject institutions works. (Another article from Nymity discussed the proliferation of competing state-based data privacy laws, which is why the American Bankers Association is advocating for a national standard to facilitate both consumer privacy and compliance.)
  4. How Generation Z Is Changing Financial Services. Move over, millennials. The next rising generation is here. ABA’s Tyler Mondres explores what the smartphone-toting, always-connected, optimistic Gen Z just now entering banking relationships and workforces means for financial institutions.
  5. How the Government Shutdown Is Affecting Mortgage Lending. We began 2019 with a brief Christmastime partial government shutdown, and this popular feature provided a handy rundown of key effects on mortgage origination and servicing.
  6. 10 Real Estate Finance Policy Issues to Watch in 2019. ABA’s mortgage lending team provided a look at 10 issues affecting real estate finance this year.
  7. How Banks Should Prepare for a Flood Insurance Lapse. A perennially timely topic, given multiple short-term, last-minute reauthorizations of the National Flood Insurance Program. (The program must be reauthorized again by September 2020, so keep this link handy.) This article, by ABA Senior Counsel Diana Banks, provided useful insights for bankers in advance of a potential lapse. (An ABA Bank Compliance cover story on private flood insurance was also widely read in 2019.)
  8. Branching Out. ABA Bank Marketing contributor Deb Stewart looked at branch revitalization trends at Fifth Third Bank, Regions Bank and recently rebranded VeraBank.
  9. How a North Carolina Startup Became the Nation’s Largest SBA Lender. The largest SBA 7(a) lender might surprise you: Live Oak Bank, a $3.6 billion (and growing) institution based in Wilmington, North Carolina. This feature — and podcast — digs into how it happened.
  10. Bank Liquidity and the Repo Market. ABA’s Alison Touhey and Jack McCabe authored an ABA Data Bank post to explain September’s surprise volatility in the repo market, potential causes from and effects on bank liquidity requirements and the Fed’s ongoing open market activities.