Our take on the latest trending events:

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Banks are striving to generate loan growth amid stiff competition and low interest rates. At the same time, analysts and shareholders are pressuring these financial institutions to reign in their expenses where possible, according to American Banker.
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Many banks have been reporting falling interest income in the current environment of low rates and tight competition.
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Banks have had a hard time generating satisfactory earnings growth lately, and this difficulty could easily continue in 2015. Banks both large and small have suffered these challenges, as the major financial institutions and the regional ones have been reporting lackluster earnings so far this year. Legal costs and compressed loan margins are the major drags for the larger banks.  Community banks are also feeling the pinch in generating good quality assets.
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U.S. economic conditions continue to improve at a time when the nation is benefiting from increased growth, falling energy costs and sustained job creation.
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently proposed a system that would help academic institutions enjoy greater visibility into the products and services that banks are offering students, according to a statement released Jan. 14. 
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U.S. economic conditions have been steadily improving, and this development has helped bolster the performance of major banks such as Wells Fargo, whose executives have been rather vocal about how much faith they have in the nation's recovery. 
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The Swiss National Bank eliminated its cap on the euro-franc exchange rate Jan. 15, at a time when the global currency markets are experiencing sharp volatility and central banks across the world are using increasingly divergent monetary policy.
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While many U.S. consumers have been benefiting significantly from sharply dropping oil prices, they may find they have even more money in their pockets after the Federal Housing Administration's recent decision to reduce its annual premiums. 
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Fintech startup Larky has been taking an innovative approach with its mobile applications, marketing them directly to banks so they can be used to provide consumers with discounts and offers from local stores.
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been quite active in recent years, and there is no sign that this trend will stop in 2015.
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Non-bank lender Progreso Financiero recently announced plans to change its name to Oportun - based on the Spanish word for opportunity - to reflect the value it provides to underserved Hispanic borrowers.
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