The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) are urging Barangaroo redevelopers to include a permanent helicopter base in the Sydney CBD, to better accommodate tourists and executives travelling to the airport. The tourism Group proposed the helicopter base be located in either the Headland Park or the centre of the site and insisted that its development would put Sydney in-line with other major cities including New York and London that already have established helicopter services, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.”TTF strongly supports the provision of a helicopter service that would provide a bird’s eye view of Sydney Harbour and a unique way for residents and visitors to view its major attractions,” the Group said in a submission to the Government.The Forum’s chief executive John Lee added that he had received responses from wealthier travellers who were forced to travel into Bankstown to hop onto a helicopter that then took them around the harbour for sightseeing.Upon return they were then forced to sit in traffic as they drove back into the city. ”If we are to be a truly global city it’s time to have the debate about whether we have one – they do it on the Barrier Reef, they do it on the Yarra; it’s a no-brainer to do it in Sydney,” Mr Lee said.According to the newspaper, the same argument was also presented in the early 1980s when the helicopter platform at Darling Harbour was removed for the reconstruction of rail lines. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Mercure Auckland Queen StreetNew Mercure Hotel for AucklandAccorHotels’ midscale hotel brand, Mecure has reached its 50th hotel milestone in the Pacific region with the announcement of four new hotels set to open in Australia and New Zealand within the next three years.The new hotels include Mercure Auckland Queen Street (2019), Mercure Canberra Belconnen (2019), Mercure Southport (2021) and Mercure Melbourne Doncaster (2021).Simon McGrath, AccorHotels Chief Operating Officer Pacific, said that the expansion of the Mercure brand in Australia and New Zealand will drive benefits for guests, loyalty members and the community.“We are thrilled to announce our 50th milestone for the Mercure brand and add four new Mercure hotels to AccorHotels’ Pacific network in dynamic locations including the Gold Coast, Canberra, Melbourne and Auckland.“Mercure is a leading global midscale brand with a strong reputation for delivering quality service and great guest experiences. Each of these hotels will have significant impacts locally, driving employment and tourism to each location. We look forward to working with the owners and further expanding our new-build Mercure network of hotels”.Mercure Auckland Queen Street – opening 2019Mercure Auckland Queen Street is a 96-room hotel spanning eight stories. The hotel will also feature a restaurant, conference room and fitness centre and will be located in the heart of Auckland’s CDB. The hotel is being created within an existing building, retrofitted as a hotel. AccorHotels is delighted to work with owners, BN Land Ltd.Mercure Canberra Belconnen – opening 2019AccorHotels is delighted to work with owners, Canberra Labor Club Limited, and is pleased to announce Mercure Canberra Belconnen will join its network in 2019. The new-build hotel will comprise 5 levels and 125 rooms and adjoin the Canberra Labor Club, which features event and conferencing facilities. The hotel will be located in the heart of Belconnen, close to Westfield Belconnen, key government offices and just 20 minutes’ drive from Canberra Airport.Mercure Southport – opening 2021Mercure Southport is a new-build hotel on the Gold Coast, incorporating 130 rooms. Along with quality midscale accommodation, the hotel will feature a restaurant, bar, fitness centre and pool. Mercure Southport will also provide events and meeting space for local business and community groups through two conference rooms and an additional meeting room. The hotel will be located in the heart of Southport, close to the waterfront and Australia Fair Shopping Centre. The hotel forms part of a larger precinct featuring additional elements including residential accommodation and retail space. AccorHotels is delighted to work with owners, Stay Centro Pty Ltd.Mercure Melbourne Doncaster – opening 2021A new-build mixed-use Mercure hotel will be built in the heart of Melbourne’s Doncaster business and shopping district. Featuring 190-rooms over six floors including two levels of retail, the hotel will also house a restaurant and bar, fitness centre, function room and car parking. The hotel is located in prime position on Doncaster road adjacent to Westfield Shopping Centre with views across Melbourne. AccorHotels is proud to partner with Accord Property Group on their first hotel development.The addition of these four new hotels take the total number of Mercure properties across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji to 55.Mercure Sydney Bankstown – opening 2020Announced in 2016, a 5-storey, 120 room Mercure Sydney Bankstown is under development by the Bankstown RSL Community Club as part of a $60 million staged redevelopment of the RSL. The Mercure hotel is being developed on the second level above the podium floor of the Bankstown RSL Community Club’s facilities and will have a dedicated street entrance leading to a reception and public areas. Located on Marion Street Bankstown, the hotel will have a restaurant and bar, two meeting spaces and a gymnasium. The hotel is expected to open in 2020.For more information about Mercure and AccorHotels, visit www.accorhotels.com.ABOUT MERCUREWith Mercure, AccorHotels offers hotels that are all different and locally inspired.Mercure is the only midscale hotel brand that combines the strength of an international network with a strong quality commitment and the warm experience of hotels that are rooted in their local community. Mercure hotels are managed by enthusiastic hoteliers and welcome business and leisure travellers across the world. Mercure has over 770 hotels in 61 countries. They are ideally located in city centres, by the sea or in the mountains.AccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,300 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe.ABOUT ACCORHOTELSAccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,300 hotels, resorts and residences across 100 different countries.With an unrivaled portfolio of internationally renowned hotel brands encompassing the entire range from luxury to economy, from upscale to lifestyle and midscale brands, AccorHotels has been providing savoir-faire and expertise for more than 50 years. In addition to its core hospitality business, AccorHotels has successfully expanded its range of services, becoming the world leader in luxury private residence rental with more than 10,000 stunning properties around the world. The Group is also active in the fields of concierge services, co-working, dining, events management and digital solutions.Relying on its global team of more than 250,000 dedicated staff, AccorHotels is committed to fulfilling its primary mission: to make every guest Feel Welcome. Guests have access to one of the world’s most attractive hotel loyalty programs – Le Club AccorHotels. AccorHotels plays an active role in its local communities and is committed to promoting sustainable development and solidarity through PLANET 21 Acting Here, a comprehensive program that brings together employees, guests and partners to drive sustainable growth.From 2008, the AccorHotels Solidarity Endowment Fund has acted as a natural extension of the Group’s activities and values, helping to combat the social and financial exclusion experienced by the most disadvantaged members of society.Accor SA is publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACRFY) in the United States. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit accorhotels.group or accorhotels.com. Or join and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.Source = AccorHotels
Kajal Somaiya has been appointed as the India Representative for Namale Resort & Spa, Fiji. Kajal has over 10 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry, having worked as Tourism Fiji’s India Representative, as Media Manager for the Italian Tourism Board in India and as Assistant Marketing Manager for the French Tourism Board in India.“Fiji is very special and close to my heart and I feel privileged to have been part of the team responsible for marketing the destination here in India. I’m very excited about my new position with Namale Resort and Spa as their India Representative and look forward to promoting it among the Indian travel fraternity,” stated Somaiya.
Greece welcomed a record number of overseas visitors totalling to approx 17.2 million in 2016 that is also without including cruise passenger visitors.Crete, which is the most popular destination in Greece for the UK and had 19.4% of the market share according to GFK, saw a 13% increase in passenger numbers, while Rhodes, which has a 17.9% share of the market, saw a 12% growth in UK passenger numbers.Zante with a 16.7% of the market share saw a six percent increase, while Corfu, which has a 15% share of the market, saw an eight percent growth in UK passenger numbers.As per the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), the number of cruise passengers in Greece between January and August 2016 was approximately 723,310 registering a 17.42% increase compared to the same period in 2015.Christina Kalogera, Director of the Greek National Tourism Organisation UK & Ireland Office, said, “2016 has seen the third consecutive year of growth in tourism to Greece from the UK. Financial and political stability have contributed to this growth, but continuing investment in the tourism product has resulted in a dynamic choice for discerning visitors.”Based on figures supplied by Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority, international flight arrivals to Greece grew by almost seven percent between January and August 2016, while provisional data for September also reported an increase of arrivals by approximately eight percent.
Widely recognised as India’s leading travel trade show, OTM is all set to be the meeting place of the largest ever number of global sellers and buyers of tourism industry.OTM 2017 will be held in Mumbai, the largest source market for leisure and MICE travel in the country, from 21–23 February, at the Bombay Exhibition Centre.More than a 1000 sellers from 60 countries are likely to exhibit at the OTM 2017. These include National and State Tourism Organisations, Hotels, Airlines, Destination Marketing Companies and other suppliers serving leisure as well as MICE markets.5447 qualified buyers and travel trade visitors have already registered for visiting OTM 2017. There are 814 fully and partly hosted buyer registrations, which is the largest number of hosted buyers in any travel trade show in India. The hosted buyers will be matched with the sellers and appointments will be scheduled in advance for face to face meetings during the show.The total number of visitors is likely to cross 10,000, as in previous years.According to data published by India’s Ministry of Tourism, 20.38 million Indians took foreign trips out of India in 2015 (11.1% higher than 2014). The number of domestic trips within India was a whopping 1432 million (11.6% higher than in 2014). In contrast, the number of foreign tourist arrival was 8.03 million (4.05% higher than in 2014). OTM caters to all of these markets.According to UNWTO, the number of Indian outbound travellers will grow to approximately 50 million in 2020, contributing $28 billion in expenditure.Mumbai is the biggest source market for the outbound and domestic tourists in India. Together with its hinterland markets in the West & South India, it commands 60% of the total outbound tourists from India. It is also the strongest market of Business, Luxury and MICE travel for international as well as domestic segments.Countries at OTM 2017 include Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Dubai, Egypt, Fiji, Fujairah, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Ras Al Khaimah, Romania, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sharjah, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and country representations from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Tanzania, United Kingdom, USA.Indian destinations are equally aggressive as their international counterparts. Tourism departments along with private operators from Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and state representations from Daman & Diu, Delhi, Goa, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana are participating in the show in a big way.OTM 2017 shall be co-located with the Mumbai edition of BLTM – India’s definitive show on Business Travel, Luxury and MICE segments, where qualified hosted buyers meet the sellers by appointments.Fairfest was the first mover in India in the space of travel marts. It was established in 1989. Its OTM is now India’s largest travel trade show on the basis of number sellers as well as buyers.OTM is supported by Incredible India, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA), IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI), Maharashtra Tour Operators Association (MTOA), Travel Agents Association of Pune (TAAP), Travel Agents Association of Nashik (TAAN), South Gujarat Association of Travel Agents (SATA).In addition to buying and selling opportunities on the show floor, exhibitors from various countries and states will also make colourful cultural presentations. There will be an equally interesting line up of panel discussions conducted on the sidelines of the mart. Eminent experts and leaders from the industry will deliberate on the latest issues and prospects related to Domestic, Inbound, Outbound, MICE, Niche Tourism.Films play an important role in promoting tourism. Mumbai being one of the biggest global hubs of film production, OTM is partnering with Film and TV Producers Guild of India to organise an exclusive event on the opening day of OTM focused on promoting tourism through films shoots, which will be attended by international and state tourism boards and leading film production companies.Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media Ltd (organiser of OTM and Publisher of Travel News Digest): “Tourism industry in India will show off as the next big thing at OTM 2017, with the largest ever gathering of buyers and sellers, from around the world. We are especially excited because OTM has emerged as the largest travel trade show in India in terms of exhibit area, number of sellers and buyers.”For more information on OTM 2017, visit http://otm.co.in/Quotes:Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI: “OTOAI is proud of its association with OTM right since the inception of OTOAI. The quality of suppliers that OTM brings along with new products attracts OTOAI to bring in quality buyers who have demonstrated quality and quantity in outbound tourism industry.”Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO: “Every year the travel trade fraternity looks forward to OTM because it has an exceptional ability to bind the tourism industry under one roof. As the national apex body of the tourism industry, IATO will continue its support to OTM in the years to come.”P P Khanna, President, ADTOI: “ADTOI supports OTM as Partner Association as it gives impetus to domestic tourism. OTM is one of the sought after travel marts where buyer-seller meets take place and generate good business for the industry players.”Gajesh Girdhar, National Coordinator, NIMA: “OTM is the largest ever show being organised in India for the travel fraternity. Moreover the exhibitors are increasing every year which is making OTM more popular event for travel agents. OTM provides a big opportunity for agents doing MICE business.”H.E. Mohammed Al Mheiri, Undersecretary, Minister Advisor– Tourism Affairs: “OTM is the most effective platform to market to the Indian travel industry catering to over 20 million outbound travelers spending over $10 billion and growing over 10% per year. It is really important for us to showcase UAE as a tourism destination in which Indian visitors can enjoy a wide variety of unique products and tourism services.”Gülara Alkaçır, Culture & Tourism Officer, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism: “We have been attending OTM for seven years. Every year we are expecting more tourists from India. We are planning to arrange special area for wedding tourism in Turkey and promote the other popular destinations like Istanbul and Cappadocia.”Soraya Homchuen, Director, TAT Mumbai: “We are delighted at the prospect of being associated with OTM, which is one the biggest B2B trade fairs in the tourism industry. Like every year, we are anticipating OTM to be a successful affair considering India is one of the fastest growing outbound markets for Thailand.”Dimitrios Tryfonopoulos, Secretary General, Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO): Having GNTO taking part in OTM 2017 signifies the dynamic perspectives of cooperation between Greece and India in the tourism field. GNTO is focused on promoting all thematic forms of tourism that are appealing to our visitors from India.”Shelly Chandhok, Country Manager, Visit Indonesia Tourism Office: “OTM will be a unique opportunity for Indonesian travel industry partners to meet, network a good number of prospective travel professionals from different segments of the travel industry pan India.”Ismail A Hamid, Egyptian Tourism Counsellor, Egyptian Tourism Office: “OTM is one of the most prominent travel trade events in India. Yearly, Egypt participates in the show and this year I can see even more interest from the Egyptian private sector to participate at the show.”Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary- Tourism & Culture, Government of Maharashtra: “The objective of participation at OTM is to promote Maharashtra as the world-class tourist destination and offer opportunity to travel and tour operators to interact with foreign buyers, retail buyers, exhibitors, policy makers, investors and many more.”Shailesh Bagauli, Secretary, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board: “OTM plays a very important role for the State Tourism Boards like UTDB and other private stakeholders to gather under one roof to promote their products and get business.”Farooq A Shah, Secretary Tourism, Government of Jammu & Kashmir: “Mumbai and the Western Region are the biggest source markets for J&K, which is why our participation in OTM is the biggest of any travel show in India, with a large number of private stakeholders.”Navjot P S Randhawa, Director, Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board: “We had previously participated in OTM and have found it to be a great platform to meet the best and most promising travel agents and tour operators. Thus, we are looking forward to another great year at OTM 2017.”Shikha Mishra, PR & Media Manager, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation: “OTM is a key industry exhibition and we are regular participants in this exhibition. It gives MMPRC and its industry partners a chance to come on board and meet all the major tour operators of India as well as network with the industry players.”Noel Saxena, Country Head, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, India: “Our main aim to participate in OTM is to make more and more Indians aware of Taiwan and to increase our sales. Taiwan Tourism Bureau has been actively taking part in B2B meetings and roadshows and has got tremendous response each time. We are expecting the same from OTM as well.”Chiranjib Biswas, Destination Manager, Kenya Tourism Board: “OTM is one of the oldest shows in the market. We are expecting world-class ambience and decision makers from top agencies as well as pan-India presence of tour operating companies, travel agencies and MICE planners.”Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, CEO, Bangladesh Tourism Board: “OTM is the largest travel trade show in India and for the last couple of years, Bangladesh has been participating regularly. OTM provides a proper platform that helps us to connect with other foreign markets.”Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Director, Tourism Malaysia, Mumbai: “AT OTM, we look forward to interacting with corporate houses and MICE specialists and familiarising them with the latest developments in terms of infrastructure and facilities and the various promotional schemes for the year.”Belise Kariza, Chief Tourism Officer, Rwanda Development Board: “The Rwanda Development Board is delighted to be a part of OTM 2017 for the second consecutive year. Representatives from the Rwandan tourism industry, including tour and travel operators and hotels are representing Rwanda’s tourism offerings.”SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism- Marketing Office, India: “We hope that OTM will prove to be a good platform to meet new buyers. India being an important source market for Philippines Tourism, participation in such esteemed conventions and also our first of 2017, will provide an excellent platform to showcase the destination’s products and services.”Damcho Rinzin, Head- Tourism Promotion Division, Tourism Council of Bhutan: “We have participated in OTM for more than five years now. When we participate in OTM every year means OTM is proving to be a very good platform for us to promote Bhutan and generate business to Bhutan.”Vaijayanthi Kari, India Representative, Tourism Fiji: “OTM is one of India’s high value travel trade events. As a result of our participation from the previous years, we understand that people we meet at OTM always reach out to us when they need any information or support from us. This encourages us to participate in the event every year.”
To mark Earth Day 2019, Air Canada announced its partnership with environmental organisation 4ocean, a company dedicated to actively removing plastic waste and trash from the ocean and coastlines while inspiring individuals to work together for cleaner oceans. As the exclusive Canadian airline to sponsor 4ocean, this partnership marks an important milestone in Air Canada’s plastic reduction strategy and creates opportunities for Air Canada employees to participate in coastal North America clean-ups in 2019.“A key target of Air Canada’s corporate waste strategy is our Single-Use Plastics Reduction programme. Our partnership with 4ocean as the exclusive Canadian airline is a great fit with this journey and we are especially delighted to have the opportunity to engage our employees in our communities. There are many Air Canada employees who care deeply about sustainability and the environment and are keen to make a difference by actively helping to reduce ocean plastic pollution,” said Teresa Ehman, Senior Director of Environmental Affairs at Air Canada.“We are ecstatic to partner with Air Canada in an initiative to eliminate single-use plastic. We believe Air Canada’s Sustainability programme is a giant leap forward in this initiative. 4ocean is looking forward to removing thousands of pounds of plastic and waste with Air Canada,” said Tony Chvala, Chief Operating Officer at 4ocean.To date, 4ocean has removed more than four million pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines. Drawing from their years of experience, 4ocean will also participate with the Air Canada team to develop educational resources on ocean conservation for employees to draw from and further enhance the company as an environmental steward.Air Canada’s ongoing plastic reduction efforts include researching and rethinking important decisions made at various stages of the supply chain. The 35 million plastic stir sticks used on aircraft and in lounges will be the first single-use plastic to be eliminated at the beginning of summer 2019.Starting in Fall 2019, Air Canada will additionally be removing the outer plastic bag from approximately 1.8 million Business Class and Premium Economy Class amenity kits, bringing its total single-use plastic items removed from onboard to 36.8 million. The company is supporting this work in partnership with the University of Toronto graduate students in their final year of their Master of Science in Sustainability Management programme. The students are working with Air Canada to identify alternatives to plastic use onboard the aircraft.
in Origination July 25, 2013 421 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-07-25 Andy Miller Share In a company release, Tommy Duncan, CEO of “”Quality Mortgage Services””:http://www.qualitymortgageservices.com/index.html (QMS) and Certified Mortgage Technologist, exposed and explained the top three compliance issues concerning problematic mortgage origination applications. [IMAGE]According to Duncan, “”[t] he number one compliance problem in the origination and retail side takes place during the initial 1003 Application.””””We continue to notice incomplete borrower information, liabilities not lining up properly against the credit report, no HMDA [Home Mortgage Disclosure Act] data, and missing signatures,”” Duncan states. He went on, “”Although there was some improvement from 2011’s 22.29 percent to 2012’s 18.19 percent, mortgage loan officers should exercise more thoroughness in the completion and accuracy of this document.””The second highest compliance problem, he said, is in initial disclosures of the Truth in Lending and Good Faith Estimate. QMS recorded a 16.25 percent error rate in 2012–though that was an improvement from 19.53 percent in 2011.The third largest compliance problem, according to Duncan, regards missing or improperly prepared by the Federal Housing Administration.””This is worsening as more and more originations are moving to the purchase market and first time homebuyers,”” he said. “”As the refinance market reduces and the purchase market returns, more government lending programs will be used, and likewise, as the initial 1003 and Truth in Lending defects improved from 2011 to 2012, disclosures required by FHA got worse in the same period.”” These defects increased from 10.87% in 2011 to 12.82% in 2012, and although regulatory compliance improved from the origination and retail side for mortgage banking, the amount of errors still grossly outnumber the mistakes made in the credit risk and valuation end of mortgage banking. Duncan predicts that, “”Once mortgage lenders push aggressive pre-funding compliance programs down to the mortgage loan originators, the compliance numbers will continue to be high.”” QMS CEO Notes Top Three Compliance Problems in Loan Applications
Coalition Launches to Protect Fannie, Freddie Shareholders April 7, 2014 470 Views A new group has launched on the side of shareholders in the ongoing debate for the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Calling itself the “Coalition for Mortgage Security,” the group describes itself as a bipartisan, grassroots organization with the goal of reforming housing finance “in a way that benefits and fairly treats current and future homeowners, taxpayers, and investors across the country.”“Our mission is to ensure that the federal government enacts legislation that responsibly winds down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and sets up a new system funded by private capital with a limited government role and strong regulatory oversight,” the group says on its website.The coalition’s launch comes as the Senate Banking Committee prepares to go over a recently introduced bill that would wind the two enterprises down and create a limited government backstop in the form of an FDIC-like federal mortgage corporation.Lawmakers aren’t the only group focusing on the two companies now that they’ve finished paying back their bailouts. Investors, prompted by a change to Fannie and Freddie’s bailout terms that require them to pay all profits to the U.S. Treasury, have stepped forward to get their cut, filing lawsuits against the government and urging the companies’ boards to return to their normal courses of business.The coalition also voiced its disapproval of the government’s move, listing as one of its three principles: “The rule of law is the basis for American Capitalism and must be acknowledged and respected in order for properly functioning capital markets. … The rules of the game cannot be changed in the middle of an inning.”According to the group, its other two driving principles are the replacement of the GSEs with private companies funded by private capital and the continued availability of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, “which is the main engine of the housing market and the primary avenue for sustainable homeownership.”While the Coalition for Mortgage Security revealed little else about itself immediately following its launch—including its funding sources—Reuters reports it is directed by Ken Blackwell, a senior U.S. housing official under President H.W. Bush. in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Market Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Investors Reform Senate Banking Committee 2014-04-07 Tory Barringer Share
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a new rule Monday prohibiting companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses to keep consumers from filing class-action lawsuits. In doing so, the CFPB is giving consumers another potential remedy. Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News July 10, 2017 612 Views CFPB: You Have the Right To File CFPB 2017-07-10 Brianna Gilpin
CFPB OCC Wells Fargo 2018-04-19 Radhika Ojha On Friday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) announced a fine of $1 billion on Wells Fargo. The bank had charged over 570,000 consumers for car insurance they didn’t need and in October, it revealed that some of its mortgage loan borrowers had been inappropriately charged for missing a deadline to lock in promised interest rates, though that wasn’t their fault.According to the CFPB’s consent orders, apart from paying the fine, Wells Fargo will remediate harmed consumers and undertake certain activities related to its risk management and compliance management.“I am especially pleased that we were able to work closely and effectively with our colleagues at the OCC, and I appreciate the key role they played in the negotiations,” said Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director at CFPB. “As to the terms of the settlement: we have said all along that we will enforce the law. That is what we did here.”The bank while announcing its first-quarter results last week had said that the net income reported in the first quarter was subject to the resolutions of the CFPB/OCC matter and that its earnings performance included continued strong credit performance, liquidity, and capital levels. The bank reported a net income of $5.9 billion, which was up from $5.6 billion in the first quarter of 2017. While the bank’s revenue was down to $21.9 billion from $22.3 billion, it reported an increase in earnings per share of $1.12 compared with $1.03 in the same period last year.Confirming the order, Wells Fargo said that the company would adjust its first quarter 2018 preliminary financial results by an additional accrual of $800 million, which is not tax deductible. “The accrual reduces reported first-quarter 2018 net income by $800 million, or $0.16 cents per diluted common share, to $4.7 billion, or 96 cents per diluted common share,” Wells Fargo said in a statement.“For more than a year and a half, we have made progress on strengthening operational processes, internal controls, compliance and oversight, and delivering on our promise to review all of our practices and make things right for our customers,” said Timothy J. Sloan, President, and CEO of Wells Fargo. “While we have more work to do, these orders affirm that we share the same priorities with our regulators and that we are committed to working with them as we deliver our commitments with focus, accountability, and transparency. Our customers deserve only the best from Wells Fargo, and we are committed to delivering that.”Applauding CFPB and OCC’s move, Jeb Hensarling, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee said that the best form of consumer protection remained competitive and transparent markets that were vigorously policed for fraud and deception. “It is not enough to hold a bank accountable; the actual individuals responsible for the wrongful deeds must be held responsible as well,” he said. “I know that Wells Fargo has many dedicated employees who do serve their customers well and had nothing to do with the wrongful acts. We all look forward to the current management concluding all necessary reviews and restructuring so that Wells Fargo can once again regain the trust and respect it once had.”Calling for steeper penalties, Maxine Waters, a Democrat Representative from California and a Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services said that more action was required to make banks more responsible. “It is disappointing that the OCC is today loosening the restrictions they put on the bank in 2016 and has not taken the kinds of tougher supervisory actions I have long called for, such as holding culpable executives accountable or revoking the bank’s charter,” she said. “I have been clear in the past that fines are not sufficient in addressing the pattern of illegal behavior by Wells Fargo, and this action still does not put the bank’s past behavior to rest. Steeper penalties are still necessary.” Share How CFPB’s Fine Impacts Wells Fargo’s Q1 Earnings in Daily Dose, Featured, News April 19, 2018 573 Views
Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News HOUSING Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Trump 2018-09-13 Radhika Ojha September 13, 2018 610 Views The Lingering Effect of Hurricane Maria On Thursday, President Trump denied the recently reported heavy fatalities from Hurricane Maria, in Puerto Rico. In a tweet, the President said, “3,000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the island AFTER the storm had hit they had anywhere from six to 18 deaths.”Rejecting the findings of the independent study that was commissioned by Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rossello following public pressure to more accurately determine the number of fatalities following the hurricane, President Trump said that the reported large numbers was done by the Democrats, “in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising billions of dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico.”The study was conducted by George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health. In its findings that were published in August, Carlos Santos-Burgoa, Epidemiologist and the study’s Principal Investigator had said that the results of the study suggested that “tragically, Hurricane Maria led to a large number of excess deaths throughout the island.”The Category 5 hurricane also led to the loss of property and infrastructure. In late July, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved the disaster recovery plan to rebuild Puerto Rico’s housing and infrastructure. Of the $1.5 billion that was approved, $1 billion will go towards restoring the island’s severely damaged housing stock. As part of the plan, Puerto Rico intends to provide up to $120,000 to rebuild destroyed homes for each qualified homeowner and up to $48,000 to repair each eligible damaged property. Additional housing investments include funding for rental assistance ($10,000,000), specifically for properties serving the elderly and other vulnerable households. Puerto Rico has also proposed a $36 million Home Emergency Resilience Program that provides up to $6,000 per household for individual solar appliances to help families.The latest debate over Hurricane Maria comes as Hurricane Florence starts its assault on the Carolinas with high winds. According to a report by NPR, the hurricane’s heavy rains and tropical storm-force winds reached North Carolina’s outer banks on Thursday morning. The two states are likely to bear the brunt of the huge storm surge expected from the storm that grew larger despite weakening a bit over the past 24 hours. The hurricane is likely to damage nearly 795,000 homes with a reconstruction cost value of $170.2 billion.On November 14-16, Five Star will host the PR18 Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico to focus on rebuilding efforts and the current state of the island following Hurricane Maria. Housing industry executives from banks, servicers, and suppliers, as well as key stakeholders in the affected regions, local officials, and representatives from related governmental agencies will be in attendance to collaborate and discuss Puerto Rico’s affairs and brainstorm long-term solutions to the housing crisis on the island.Click below for more information and to register for this event.
Florida continues to be a high-risk state for mortgage frauds according to the latest data from CoreLogic’s quarterly analysis of mortgage fraud risks across the country. The CoreLogic National Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index held steady for the fourth quarter of 2018 at 151 compared to the previous quarter. However, the index rose 10 percent compared to the same period in 2017.The report said that while purchase applications accounted for 72 percent of all transactions in the last three quarters, origination volumes continued to decrease due to higher interest rates and seasonality in the fourth quarter.Among the core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) covered by the report, eight of the 10 highest-risk cities were in Florida. The report noted that Miami especially had shown a “notable increase of 29 percent” in mortgage fraud risk during the quarter. In fact, the city has topped the list for three consecutive quarters. The New York-Newark-Jersey City area and Los Angeles were the only other CBSAs among the 10 most at-risk cities from mortgage fraud.The report indicated that one of the factors that were influencing the rising mortgage fraud risk was the increase in loan application activity in “areas with relatively high delinquency.” It said that such areas could be “more prone to mortgage fraud schemes such as illegal flips, bailouts, and straw buyers.”Looking at Miami specifically, the reported said that the city was showing a trend towards higher levels of purchase transactions “with layered risk factors such as LLC sellers, flips, unusual levels of property appreciation, and occupancy red flags.” In fact, in some instances, the properties were being sold multiple times for cash between non-individuals with significant price increases each time before being sold to an individual and financed, the report said.Cape Coral, Lakeland, Orlando, Tampa, North Port, and Jacksonville, were the other cities that were at a high-risk from mortgage fraud in the Sunshine State. in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination January 18, 2019 1,569 Views Share Where Is Mortgage Fraud Risk Rising? CoreLogic Fraud loans mortgage Purchase Loans Risk 2019-01-18 Radhika Ojha
in Headlines, journal, News New York-based Berkadia today announced the addition of three new members to its mortgage banking team: Managing Directors Carolyn Whatley and Laura Beaton, as well as Senior Director George Spadier. Berkadia’s mortgage banking team employs more than 135 advisers in 31 offices across the country. In 2018, Berkadia’s loan origination volume was over $26 billion, with 1,388 loans closed and over $18 billion in combined agency loan volume.“2018 was a great year for our mortgage banking team and we’re optimistic as 2019 gets underway. Economic fundamentals remain strong and multifamily demand is solid, but more than that, we’re energized by the incredible talent we’re continuing to attract to Berkadia,” said Hilary Provinse, EVP and Head of Mortgage Banking.“Bringing Carolyn, Laura and George onboard enhances our regional and product expertise and is another step in our ongoing effort to cultivate best-in-class talent in every major market across the company,” continued Provinse. “We continue to broaden and diversify our offering—our recent approvals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac small balance loan programs being one example—while we’re simultaneously adding strategic expertise and experience to our team. As our industry, and our organization, increases its focus on technology and product innovation, we remain cognizant that people—our teams and our clients—are the cornerstone of our business and that nurturing and supporting our deep client relationships is what will truly propel us forward.”Whatley brings more than 30 years of multifamily commercial real estate experience to Berkadia’s HUD team. She will report to Steve Ervin, SVP and Head of HUD and will help to expand Berkadia’s work with HUD, particularly in the Southeast. Prior to Berkadia, she was a Director and SVP at Capital One Multifamily Finance, where she was responsible for the origination and analysis of loan requests for multifamily and healthcare properties nationwide with a focus on FHA/HUD programs. In 2018, she completed more than $130 million in financing.Beaton joins Berkadia’s Boston office from Walker & Dunlop, where she served as VP and focused on providing debt solutions for commercial property owners, specializing in multifamily including market rate, affordable, and seniors housing and closing over $2 billion in agency loans. She will be growing Berkadia’s footprint in the Northeast region, working alongside the Boston team and reporting to Senior Managing Director Ryan Nelson.Spadier will be based out of Berkadia’s Los Angeles office, which completed more than $2.2 billion in financing in 2018. He will report to Senior Managing Director Ed Zimbler and work closely with the existing team to deepen client relationships and expand Berkadia’s reach in the competitive Southern California market. He joins Berkadia from Sunrise Mortgage & Investment Co., where he served as VP and was responsible for arranging financing for multifamily, industrial, self-storage, retail, and office properties throughout the United States. Share Berkadia Expands Mortgage Banking Team March 29, 2019 672 Views Berkadia Company News 2019-03-29 David Wharton
cruiseWorldwide Cruise Centres Worldwide Cruise Centres is offering two fly/cruise/stay packages.The 38 night Royals & Rainforests departs 12 October 2017 and includes flights from Australia to Manchester UK and a two-night stay in Liverpool before boarding Fred Olsen’s Boudicca. The cross-continent cruise visits Cadiz, Palma, Valletta, Iraklion, and then transits the Suez Canal to reach Sharm el-Sheikh, Salalah, Zanzibar, Mozambique Island, Tamatave, Reunion Island and ends with an overnight stay in Port Louis, Mauritius. Spend two more nights in a hotel before flying back to Australia, arriving 19 November. Prices start at AU$7,559 per person twin share and include an inside cabin on the 33–night cruise, all shipboard meals, return economy airfares, and 4-star accommodation in Liverpool and Port Louis.Colours of Cuba departs Australia 10 January 2018 and takes in the diversity of Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica and New York. The 12-night package includes flights, four-star hotels and a seven-night cruise, flying first from Australia to Cancun for a two-night stay before a domestic flight to Havana to board Voyages to Antiquity’s Aegean Odyssey. The spacious, 350-passenger ship docks overnight in Havana and then visits Cienfuegos, Casilda (Trinidad City) and Santiago, ending in Montego Bay. After disembarking, fly to New York and spend the next day on a sightseeing cruise, plus one more day and night at leisure. Arriving back in Australia on 24 January 2018, this trip is priced from $7,099 per person twin share including accommodation, flights, transfers and the Best of NYC Cruise. While on the Cuban cruise, onboard gratuities, shore excursions, wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner are also included.
Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are being treated to a multi-million dollar ‘re-imagining’ in what the cruise line is calling ‘the Evolution of Crystal Luxury’.“Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are the foundation of Crystal and continue to embody the cornerstones of the celebrated Crystal Experience,” said Crystal CEO and president Edie Rodriguez.“These ships have earned us not only acclaim from the world’s most eminent entities and publications for more than two decades, but more importantly, the loyalty of the world’s most discerning travellers and travel partners. We are committed to continuing their reign as the most luxurious ships at sea by investing in changes and updates that will far exceed our guests’ wishes.”While the two ships’ refurbishments are scheduled almost a year apart in 2017 and 2018, plans for both are predominantly streamlined, offering guests a consistently superlative experience on board whichever Crystal ship they choose to sail. As part of the extensive redesign, several staterooms will be converted into brand new luxurious penthouse categories to take the place of smaller staterooms; imaginative new dining options will be revealed; ships will be loaded with high-tech perks; and modern, elegant décor updates will be made in many public spaces.Both ships will also gain more of the spacious, butler-serviced Penthouses and Penthouse Suites. The Crystal Dining Room, the ships’ centrally located main dining venue, will become Waterside, the Lido Café will become the Marketplace by day and Churrascaria by night, and both ships will gain Silk, with a modern chinese menu.Crystal Symphony’s redesign is set for 19 September – 21 October 2017; Crystal Serenity’s for 14 October – 10 November 2018. cruiseCrystal
London has the famed West End and New York City has bedazzling, buoyant Broadway … if you’ve visited either or both cities and jagged a seat at an award-winning live show, you will appreciate the incredible contribution that a vibrant and world-renowned theatre district makes to a city.First time visitors to NYC have plenty of bucket-list attractions on their must-see lists, and Broadway is among them; frequent visitors will insist that tickets to a Broadway show are a mandatory holiday inclusion, booked well in advance of departure from OZ!The great news for Aussie travellers, and agents, is that Broadway Inbound is committed to facilitating those experiences in the best possible way – Rebecca George, Broadway Inbound Trade Sales Manager, Australia and New Zealand and Courtney Rule, Broadway Inbound PR Director, travelled to New York last week for training, meetings and unique Broadway experiences. In recognising the increase in global demand for its unique product, Broadway Inbound organised the trip in order to help the Aussie sales and PR teams further educate and service the Australian market. “It’s always wonderful for Broadway shows to make their way to Australia, but there really is nothing like seeing it first on Broadway in New York City,” said George.While in New York, the team was delighted to meet Randy Adams, the Tony-award winning Producer and founding partner of Junkyard Dog Productions (JYD). JYD is currently represented on Broadway with Come From Away, which is set to open in Melbourne in July 2019.Come From Away takes audiences to the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 passengers who were stranded during 9/11, and the small town in Newfoundland, Canada that welcomed them. While the show begins on 9/11, it focuses on the story of the days that follow, showing how frustration and uneasiness can turn into trust, gratitude and enduring connections.“No matter whether they see Come From Away in New York or in Australia, Australian audiences will be taken to a place they don’t want to leave and will want to see the show again and again,” George added.For more information on performances and bookings, visit Broadway Inbound. Broadway Inbound recommends booking in advance through a travel provider to secure the best seats to preferred shows at a great price.IMAGE: L-R: Randy Adams, Producer of Come From Away; Bonnie Earle Harris, one of the Newfoundland residents that opened her doors to the stranded passengers and whose story is depicted in Come From Away; Rebecca George, Broadway Inbound Trade Sales Manager; Courtney Rule, Broadway Inbound PR Director; Diane Davis, another Newfoundland resident whose story is depicted in Come From Away. BroadwayNew Yorkshowstheatre
airportsEtihad AirwayslondonLondon HeathrowloungesThe House Etihad Airways has launched a contemporary airport lounge brand in partnership with No1 Lounges, to be known as ‘The House’ and beginning at London Heathrow, where Etihad Airways’ lounge will be rebranded ‘The House’. The choice of UK-based No1 Lounges for this project follows a study of leading global lounge service providers and an extensive RFP process by the airline. No1 Lounges’ proven expertise and experience will see a number of enhancements to the lounge experience for Etihad Airways’ customers, building on the airline’s reputation for service excellence, and providing more choice and quality. This collaboration will also allow better utilisation of the lounge and make the experience accessible to a wider market.Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways Vice President Guest Experience and Delivery, said: “This is an innovative development for Etihad’s international lounge offering. No1 Lounges stood out for their operational skill and expertise, and for their creative approach to Etihad’s lounge needs.“This new venture will enable the airline to maintain its brand presence, and at the same time enhance and improve the overall lounge experience for our premium guests. It will also provide an opportunity for our Economy guests to upgrade their pre-flight experience.”Complimentary entry will continue to be offered to Etihad Airways Business Class and First Class customers, and to those travelling in The Residence. Gold and Platinum members of the airline’s Etihad Guest frequent flyer programme and Business Class and First Class travellers ticketed on codeshare partner services operated by Etihad Airways will also eligible for access.The airline will also offer paid-for access to The House for its Economy Class travellers. The lounge will also continue to be used by the premium passengers of a small number of other airlines and, subject to availability, will be available for purchase by passengers of other airlines.From launch, guests will enjoy a new, white-linen dining experience and a more extensive bar service, including freshly squeezed juices and smoothies, world coffees and a more sophisticated wine list. Over the next year, the lounge will be reconfigured to include new lounge areas, bar, dining room, and reading room, as well as upgraded showers and prayer rooms. The new bar will also offer a comprehensive cocktail and mocktail list.
bookingspartnershipRezdySeaLink SeaLink Travel Group has announced a global partnership with independent online booking system, Rezdy, to connect SeaLink’s suite of products to distribution partners globally, delivering a seamless booking process.“our teams have worked tirelessly to bring innovation, flexibility and last seat availability to help grow our sales through our trade and distribution partners,” said Jeff Ellison, Chief Executive and Managing Director of SeaLink Travel Group.‘We are delighted to be work with Rezdy and their team to provide a streamline booking process to our customers and partners and to increase the choices and brilliant experiences that our destinations are famous for.“Over the next few weeks our key trade partners will be able to gain access to this facility to grow our sales together.” Mr Ellison.IMAGE: L-R – Michael Kelly – Rezdy, Richard Doyle and Jeff Ellison (both SeaLink), Kevin Lu and Andria Zachariou (both Rezdy)
Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim had talked about the team looking to add extra draft picks, and they did exactly that early Friday.Cards traded 38th to SD for Chargers 2nd (45th) and 4th (110th) #CardsDraft— MarkDalton (@CardsMarkD) April 26, 2013 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories The Chargers used the pick to draft Manti Te’o from Notre Dame. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling A DEFT TOUCH – When you can list Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck as success stories on your resume, you’ve established you can coach quarterbacks. For Cardinal fans, only three years have passed since Kurt Warner was the franchise quarterback, but since every replacement has been a dog it’s felt like 21 years. Arians plus Carson Palmer may not equal Warner, but improvement seems inevitable.PLAYER’S COACH – Word is, Arians was let go in Pittsburgh because he was too soft with Ben Roethlisberger. Arians has made it no secret, he is a player’s coach. And in my experience, player’s coaches have shorter shelf-lives than disciplinarians. For a while, players seem to respond well to being treated like men. Then, gradually, they begin to take advantage of their freedoms and the good nature of the coach who took them off the leash. WHIZ OR GET OFF THE POT – Ken Whisenhunt had a good run with the Cardinals. The fact that he guided the franchise to its first and only Super Bowl appearance chisels Whiz’s face onto a rather sad Mount Rushmore of Cardinal coaches. But it was time for him to go. In the end, Whisenhunt gave his own coaching abilities too much credit. He behaved as if he could plug any quarterback into his system and it would succeed. It didn’t succeed. Whether Bruce Arians was the right or wrong call, the team needed a new direction.THE KANGOL – Few people have been able to pull off the Kangol hat successfully. Why, you can count them on one hand. Rerun from What’s Happening?, Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch, umm…. OK, there are two. Two famous people have been able to pull off the Kangol. Two! Arians would have a better chance bringing back the stovepipe hat or the Carmen Miranda fruitbasket-on-the-head-thing than he would trying to match fashion with the great Fred Berry. We can only pray that Arians won’t wear his lid of choice during a game. AGGRESSION – The Cardinals are going to throw the ball downfield. Patrick Peterson is going to play some offense. The team won’t even dress a fullback. Bruce Arians may be a grandfather, but he doesn’t run your grandfather’s offense. When Arians was in Pittsburgh, the Steelers became the first team to have a 4,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in the same season. Last year, rookie Andrew Luck threw the ball 40 times per game for the NFL Coach of the Year. The Cardinals may not win more than they lose this season, but it won’t be because they don’t take chances.HORTON HEARS A SNUB – I wouldn’t have hired Ray Horton as the team’s new head coach, but it couldn’t have been easy for Cardinal fans to see him leave. The defense was outstanding under Horton last season, and in a perfect world, the organization could have hired a new head coach and kept the dreadlocked defensive rockstar. That wasn’t going to happen. Horton is in Cleveland now and Todd Bowles gets the crack at being Arians’ defensive coordinator. I’m not saying Bowles won’t work out, but you hate to mess with something that was working so well. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories “WINNER” – I can neither confirm nor deny that Bruce Arians has tiger’s blood, but, in the unforgettable words of Charlie Sheen, Arians is a “winner!” The Cards’ new head coach has spent 20 years in the NFL. In 15 of his 20 seasons, he’s been part of a winning football team. The only bump in his winning road occurred in Cleveland, and even that stint can be considered a success story, at least by the Browns’ standards. Since the franchise returned to the league in 1999, the Browns have finished .500 or better three times. Arians was there for two of them.AGE – Eighteen months ago, Bruce Arians was considering retirement. At age 60 and having just been fired at Pittsburgh, he was certain his dream of being an NFL head coach just wasn’t going to happen. Chuck Pagano resurrected Arians’ career. And when Pagano had health problems, Arians proved he can run a successful NFL locker room. However, there must be a reason why Arians was never taken seriously as a head coaching candidate. This year, we’ll find out why he was overlooked or ask how he could have possibly slipped through the cracks. The 2013 Arizona Cardinals season kicks off this week.Finally, Carson Palmer will play a real game as a Cardinal. Rashard Mendenhall will start. And rookie Tyrann Mathieu makes his professional debut.I’ve managed to mention six of the many Cardinal newcomers in my “New Faces” series this preseason. Time for a seventh and final breakdown. Let’s put new head coach Bruce Arians on the scales. Comments Share PROSCONS The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact