How much do you pay your tellers?

by. Henry Meier

Don’t be surprised if someone asks you that question in the coming days. The Washington Post reports that the Berkeley Labor Center will release a study today critical of the wages paid to bank tellers. According to the report, nearly a third of the country’s half million bank tellers rely on some kind of financial assistance to get by to the tune of nearly $900 million a year in public benefits including food stamps, the earned income tax credit and Medicaid/Child Health Insurance Program. The report is going to have particular prominence here in New York where it will be used by labor groups pushing for higher wages.

The minimum wage is getting a lot of attention lately. For instance, our good friends on the opposite coast in Seattle are actually arguing for a $15 minimum wage. Economists have spent years debating what effect, if any, increases in the minimum wage have on the economy and the debate won’t end any time soon. But the simplest solutions are rarely the best ones. No matter what the economists argue, it is foolishly simplistic to think that the key to helping people make a living is to have government determine a living wage. There are just too many moving pieces when it comes to figuring out how much people need to make ends meet.

Did I ever mention that Jocoby Ellsbury was my favorite Red Sox player?

Here’s one for your hard-core compliance people: Yesterday, FinCEN released regulations finalizing the definitions of transmittal of funds and fund transfers in the Bank Secrecy Act. The regulations were required by amendments to the Electronic Funds Transfer Act related to protections for consumers who send remittance transfers. The final regulations clarify that the new remittance transfer requirements do not require expanded record keeping requirements under the BSA.

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