Our take on the latest trending events:

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The peer-to-peer lending market recently benefited from a move by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to revise existing regulations, as this decision gave smaller companies greater ability to raise money and investors more flexibility to participate in this particular industry. 
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PacWest Bancorp recently announced an agreement to purchase Square 1 Financial, Inc., a lender that focuses primarily on the technology industry. Pursuant to this deal, Square 1 bank, owned by Square 1 Financial, will merge into Pacific Western Bank, a Los Angeles subsidiary of PacWest Bancorp.
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Pinnacle Bank recently purchased a minority stake in an online health care lender, and this strategic move should provide the Nashville-based bank with numerous benefits. Pinnacle Bank, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc., made this move at a time when traditional banks are facing numerous headwinds and online lending has been experiencing impressive growth. Garnet Capital believes this is a positive trend and is helping other banks and lenders create partnerships.
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While small business lending fell sharply after the financial crisis, there are signs this crucial activity is gaining steam. This development presents banks with new opportunity, but they should know the market has changed significantly, and many non-bank lenders have sprung up to fill the higher demand for small business loans, according to American Banker. 
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While lending activity has grown more conservative since the financial crisis, there is reason to believe this sector is once again running into trouble. More specifically, both auto and student loan debt saw their delinquencies track higher in the fourth quarter, and during the same time, household debt increased.
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America's millennials could potentially represent a huge market for alternative banking, according to the results of the most recent FICO survey. Financial institutions looking to stay abreast of the latest shifts in the rapidly changing banking industry might benefit substantially from gathering further detail on these customer preferences. 
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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray took a minute to delve into some of the agency's current concerns, as well as the disagreements its staff are having. 
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Community banks need to either innovate or face extinction in the current environment, according to several industry participants who spoke at the American Bankers Association's National Conference for Community Bankers. 
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Regulators shut down Doral Bank on Friday, Feb. 27, after the financial institution faced a string of challenges including a dispute surrounding a tax refund, government investigations and sharp declines in stock prices. The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions of Puerto Rico announced in a statement Friday that it had appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation receiver. 
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