BB&T CEO says Apple Pay should be regulated as banks

“Apple Inc.’s new payment system and others like it should be subject to the same regulations as the biggest U.S. banks to head off attacks by terrorists and computer hackers, BB&T Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kelly King said,” Dakin Campbell reports for Bloomberg.

“Regulators should consider whether such firms qualify as systemically important financial institutions, King, 66, said at a panel discussion in New York at the Clearing House annual conference,” Campbell reports. “Such a designation could lead to tighter capital, leverage and liquidity rules like those faced by banks. While King said he favors healthy free-market competition between banks and nonbanks, industry regulations make that impossible, he said.”

Campbell reports, “‘We are headed toward a socialist system,’ he said, smiling and drawing laughs from the audience. ‘My hope is that going forward we will have a healthy shadow and regular banking system’ all subject to a similar regulatory regime, he said.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I have to presume that the BB&T CEO doesn’t have the foggiest idea what Apple Pay actually is for him to make such comments. Apple isn’t acting as a bank here, at most they are facilitating payment processing for Visa/MC and banks. Apple Pay just started and is absolutely puny when compared with SIFIs (systemically important financial institutions) – for this guy to say they are comparable in any way is beyond laughable. But if you happen to ignore all that and go along with the game…banks are leveraged 10:1 or more, Apple has relatively nominal debt. Banks require liquidity buffers that are fractions of their business, Apple has $160bn+ in CASH and still generates more liquidity than it can reasonably put to use. For Apple to adjust to bank capital and liquidity levels, it would have to substantially increase its leverage and substantially decrease its liquidity levels – just the opposite of what the BB&T CEO was implying as he suggested Apple be treated like a bank. Brilliant.

    1. Worse, he may not have the foggiest idea of what banks are SUPPOSED to do. The keys are 1 Apple never holds consumer deposits, 2 Apple isn’t making loans and 3 ApplePay doesn’t create money like bank loans do.

      1. Perhaps the BB&T CEO should be careful what he wishes for. It would cost Apple next to nothing to set itself up as s bank. From that point forward the provincial, short sighted, and abusive banking industry is in trouble.

      1. I closed my accounts at BB&T after finding out they spend millions supporting college programs that teach Ayn Rand. I’m not against Ayn Rand as literature, but these programs push her books as economics theory. In other words, BB&T supports actual fiction being taught as fact.

    2. This was my comment on Bloomberg, which was the first comment made:
      There are so many non sequiturs in Mr. King’s comments, his commentary is mind boggling. Mr King may be a CEO of a bank, but his ignorance of how ApplePay works is astounding. Did anyone bother to explain to Mr. King that Apple will not be holding anyone’s cash, make loans, make transfers, offer checking accounts, or even hold anyone’s private financial information, or do anything that is in anyway having to anything to do with banking? Did Mr. King bother to find out that Apple is not now, or ever planning to act as a bank, a financial institution, a credit/debit card service, or or even card clearing business? Apple is merely providing a way for its customers to hold their own credit/debit cards more securely and to facilitate the transaction by providing a one time token, a code, that represents that card to the merchant so that the transaction may be completed between that customer, the merchant, the merchant’s own credit/debit card service, and the customer’s credit/debit card issuer. At no time is Apple involved in this transaction. Only Apple’s hardware and software is involved.

    1. Most Credit Unions are owned by their members, not the institution that gives them their common bond. So an Apple Employees Credit Union would be maintained by Apple employees, separate from the company.

      Given that locations where Apple employees are concentrated, like Cupertino, are concentrations of very well paid Apple employees, I suspect the local financial institutions are aggressively pursuing the employees financial business. This would imply little need for an Apple Employee Credit Union.

  2. How many times have financial institutions been ‘attacked by terrorists and computer hackers’? All those regulations you talk about didn’t seem to help, huh? Clean your own house and stop being such a Grueber before I withdraw my money!

  3. In the morass of regulations, a few are likely to be relevant as financial regulations. But Apple Pay is not a bank, so the issues of liquidity etc are not applicable.

  4. “Socialist system”

    Yeah Kelly, Republican socialism, nationalize the risks, privatize the gains.

    “healthy free-market competition” – just lke an NFL game without referees. Yeah, that’s real healthy for our “system”

  5. I used to love the old BB&T CEO and hence I loved BB&T – he was a staunch Libertarian, I was seriously considering changing my banking to BB&T – now, not so much, this guy is a clueless orange-nosed, HUGE shoe wearing CLOWN of the worst order!

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