- The federal government expects banks to get a lot more serious about cybersecurity. For the first time in history, the US Treasury Secretary has criticized the nation’s safeguards to protect against cybersecurity attacks on our financial infrastructure. In response, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) took three initial steps to increase awareness in the US banking system.
- On July 21, 2014, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued Financial Institution Letter FIL-40-2014. The guidance clarifies how the FDIC will evaluate requests by S-Corporation banks to make shareholder dividend payments to cover taxes on their pass-through share of the bank's earnings. Without FDIC approval, these dividends would not be permitted under the capital conservation buffer requirements in the Basel III rule.
- On May 9, 2014, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel issued a memorandum discussing the tax treatment for payments that auto dealerships receive from manufacturers from facility image upgrade programs.
- Thanks to the Internet, today’s car buyers are far more informed when they walk through the door than they once were. More preparatory online research has resulted in fewer dealership visits — while greater knowledge of a given car, including the cost to the dealership, creates reduced negotiating leverage for the dealer, who may find it harder to maintain the same profit levels as in the past. This article notes that adapting to these changes may result in changes to sales tactics, compensation models and marketing strategies. A sidebar offers a few statistics about today’s car buyer.
- With gross profits on new automobile sales declining for the first time in five years, many dealerships are looking for ways to recapture some of these lost profits. The service department is one of the first places to look. The technological sophistication of today’s new vehicles gives dealerships an added advantage in the service area, since many independent mechanics lack the skills or diagnostic equipment to work on them. But the department must run smoothly. This article offers seven ways to boost service department efficiency and profits.
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