The University of Florida Nepalese Student Association is coordinating a fundraising drive to help victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday.

Members have sent about $3,000 from their personal savings via Help Nepal Network and are working with Student Government to set up an account where people can donate in the days to come, said Saroj Parajuli, association president.

The road to recovery will be long and arduous; however, our perseverance and the kindness of our friends and neighbors will get us through. Anything you can give now will go towards saving lives and taking care of the injured, Parajuli said.

Beginning today and continuing through Friday, the association will table at Turlington Plaza and the Reitz Union North Lawn to raise money. Members will be at those locations from 10 am to 5 pm each day.

In addition, a candlelight vigil to honor earthquake victims is scheduled for 7:30 pm Monday at Turlington Plaza.

On social media, the association has created #GatorsHelpNepal and the Twitter handle @GatorsHelpNepal.

Parajuli suggests anyone wishing to donate to the relief effort also consider the following options:

Help Nepal Network

It is a local organization that is helping out on ground. All donations are tax deductible.

American Red Cross

$10.00 is the minimum online donation. All donations are tax deductible.

ANMF: American Nepal Medical Foundation

Click on Please Donate here to be redirected to indiegogo website.

(Focusing on coordinating efforts to link medical professionals from around the world to on-the-ground teams to maximize the impact)

Brothers Brother Foundation

Please designate to Nepal Earthquake Relief

(Pittsburgh-based non-profit partnered with Himalayan HealthCare)

Oxfam America

Nepal Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund

(Preparing for rapid response to ensure food and water reaches those in need)

World Vision

Nepal Earthquake Relief

(Focusing on immediate needs including providing first aid kits, sleeping mats, blankets and jerry cans; temporary shelter; and protection for children)

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, more than half of small business owners who apply for loans fail to obtain them.The primary reasons: poor business and personal credit scores, or the fact that owners have been mismatched with lenders.

Related:Do You Know Whats In Your Business Credit File?

I talk to hundreds of small business owners each month --from tech entrepreneurs to pizza shop owners. Turns out, most people have a good understanding aboutpersonal credit, but few know how business credit works, or even that itexists. The credit-knowledge gap is preventing too many smart, hard-working business owners from accessing the funds they need to thrive.

Many of these folks turnto friends, family and personal loans to fund their business. You may have taken this route yourself,and I understand why. If youre deeply passionate about your business idea, youve got to be willing to risk everything --even relationships --to see it through.Unfortunately, people exploringthis option do notrealize that there are simple and proven ways to get what they need for their business.

By taking steps to build a credit profile for your company, separate from your personal credit history, you may be able to access 10 to 100 times more credit than you could as a consumer. And you need this extra capacity. On average, a business owner uses at least 10 times as much credit as a consumer. Its nearly impossible to run, let alone scale, a business using personal credit alone. Whats more, building business credit iseasy to do, but too few business owners realize its importance.

Besides the additional capital you can borrow,there are other reasons for separating your credit profiles:

  • With a business lender, youre contractually required to pay the loan back, whether through collateral or business profits. The clear expectations and deadlines set down forceyou to use the money wisely.
  • If you dont separate the two and your business fails,you risk losing your personal savings or indebting yourself to someone youre close to.
  • If the business is ever sued, your personal assets could be at risk.
  • Separate business credit makes it easier to identify business expense deductions for tax purposes.
  • Separate business credit protects your personal credit scores. Many business owners who rely on personal credit to run their business wind up maxing-out their credit lines --a big mistake.

So, you get it:Keep your business and personal credit separate. But how do you get started?

1. Establish your business as a separate legal entity.

This could be as a sole proprietor, LLC or S-Corp. Sit down with your tax advisor or financial planner to determine which legal entity fits your business and financial situation. Sites like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer can take care of the legwork. You just complete an online questionnaire and pay a small fee. The websites fill out the documents and file them with your state. You can receive your official formation documents in about seven to 10 days.

2. Set up a business checking account.

This keeps your business financials more organized and allows you to get a clear picture of where your money is going. It usually takes just 30 minutes to set up an account at your local bank.

Related:Why Small Businesses Are Turning to Online Lenders

Use the business account for all business-related expenses. When paying yourself, deposit the money into your personal checking account.Your business checking account alsoallows your business to use employee payments as tax deductions from income, while letting you show personal income for the purpose of loans, credit and taxes. Business lenders will want to see your bank statements to get a true picture of how youre performing.

3. Build a business credit history.

Start by opening a business credit card and always paying on time. The business credit bureaus will add this positive payment history to the credit file dedicated just to your company. Unlike personal cards, you may be able to deduct interest from business credit cards. When applying for a business card, just be sure to verify that the card provider reports to business credit bureaus and not to personal ones.

One of the biggest mistakes new businesses owners make is relying on personal credit cards to fund operations.Not only do you take on liability, you can damage your personal credit. If you have a personal score of 800 and max out your cards, your score will drop below 700. A 100-point drop will definitely cause your odds of getting credit to tank. Its that severe.

Along with getting a business credit card, you should also open credit lines with your vendors and suppliers. This is known as trade credit. It gives you extra time (net 15, 30, or 60days) to pay for your supplies and services. Depending on what type of industry youre in, you can open accounts with businesses like Office Depot, Staples, UPS, Home Depot, etc. These companies are usually willing to establish a small credit line for your business without reporting or checking on your personal credit information.

As you establish a consistent history of on-time or early payments with these suppliers, your business credit scores will improve. This will allowyou to access even more credit with even better payment terms. Its a snowball effect.

4. Monitor your business credit regularly.

After establishing healthy business credit, youll want to stay on top of it. According to the US Small Business Administration, the credit score of 33 percent of businesses may declineover just a three-month period. Thats why your lenders and creditors reassess your companys creditworthiness on an ongoing basis. If your credit deteriorates, terms can be adjusted or stopped altogether. Without notice, you could be forced to pay cash on delivery for your supplies in place of your normal 30 days payment cycle. Regular monitoring helps avoid these nasty surprises.

As a small business owner, you may feel like the odds are stacked against you. Building a strong business credit profile separate from your personal credit is an easy way to level the playing field. By taking a few simple --and proven -- steps, youll access more financingfrom more sources, and at better rates. This is when things get fun. Your credit actually starts to open doors rather than causing them to slamin your face.

Credit issomething youve got to stay on top of, but the payoff is huge:growing your business dream into a reality.

Related:Applying for a Short Term Business Loan Online? These 4 Steps Can Protect Your Startup

By Steve Slater

LONDON (Reuters) - Deutsche Banks plan to jettison much of its German retail bank and withdraw from one in ten countries sees it join a growing list of banks choosing to shrink and simplify to survive.

The benefits of size and reach, for years considered the holy grail of global banking, are now viewed as being outweighed by the cost and complexity of running businesses across dozens of countries.

Many bank bosses have given up on trying to offer everything to everyone. But as unwinding years of expansion proves difficult, pressure for action has intensified, from politicians who show little patience with institutions they consider too big and complex and investors wanting more return on equity (RoE).

The underlying economics for banks ... means being all things to all people is too big a burden to sustain, said Bill Michael, head of financial services in Europe at consultancy KPMG. He cited low RoEs, high operational risk and hefty potential costs from regulation.

After missing financial targets and racking up a string of regulatory fines and problems, Deutsche Bank said on Monday that it would sell retail arm Postbank, take a knife to its investment bank and exit seven of the 70 countries in which it operates.

On Friday HSBCs bosses responded to investor criticism over misconduct scandals and weak profitability by emphasising how far they have shrunk and streamlined the bank in the past four years. HSBC has already sold or shut 77 businesses and could yet dispose of big operations in Brazil or Turkey.

Credit Suisses incoming CEO Tidjane Thiam is expected to cut trading operations drastically and pull back from other areas, while Barclays chairman John McFarlane signaled on his first day on Thursday that he will also wield the knife.

The message is clear: bold action is on the cards to create leaner and simpler models, even after big cuts in recent years at Barclays, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland.


Pressure for banks to downsize has intensified since the global financial crisis, which was preceded by a frenzy of mergers and acquisitions of the kind that briefly made RBS one of the worlds biggest banks.

The Bank of Englands chief economist, Andy Haldane, said in 2009 that there is not a scrap of evidence of economies of scale or scope in banking -- of bigger or broader being better.

Politicians worry that large and complex banks can miss problems, struggle to instill a common culture and are too hard to manage.

Efforts by some national regulators to limit capital outflows have also encouraged lenders to quit countries in which they lack scale.

Investors, too, are questioning the benefits of size as they lose patience with promises that returns will recover, with valuations reflecting their preference for simpler companies.

Wells Fargo, which focuses mainly on US retail and commercial banking, is now the worlds biggest bank by market value. Its shares trade at 1.6 times book value, compared with an average for US banks of close to book value.

Lloyds focus on UK retail and commercial lending has helped its shares trade at a big premium to rivals, while Deutsche Bank trades at only 0.6 times book value.


The main challenge for bosses is how far to go.

Most banks want to continue offering a range of services -- from personal savings accounts to takeover advice for companies and wealth management for rich clients -- but to fewer customers.

Some bankers argue that simplification reverses two decades of globalization that have benefited trade and finance, and could leave only three truly global banks: HSBC, JPMorgan and Citigroup.

JPMorgan has rejected calls for its break-up, saying scale has always defined the winner in banking. It says not having to duplicate audit functions or cyber security for the thousands of clients that use more than one part of the bank saves it $18 billion a year.

But demands that 30 systemically important banks hold more capital, and the more intense regulatory scrutiny they face, also throw into question the benefits of scale.

The list of banks and their capital requirements are judged annually on five criteria, including size, international reach and complexity.

Lloyds is not on the list and Wells Fargos capital surcharge is 1 percent of risk-weighted assets, well below the 2.5 percent HSBC and JPMorgan must hoard in case of losses -- in both cases an extra $30 billion or more of capital.

One carrot from regulators is that surcharges can be reduced if banks simplify, as happened with UBS and Credit Agricole last year.

(Editing by Catherine Evans and David Goodman)

Visa (NYSE:V) is scheduled to report earnings for the first quarter of 2015 on Thursday, April 30. During the quarter ended December 31, the company reported net income of $1.6 billion, an 11% year-over-year increase and net operating revenue of $3.4 billion, a 9% year-over-year increase on a constant dollar basis. The increase in revenue was primarily driven by growth in payment volume, transactions processed and cross border transactions. Visa reported a volume growth rate of 11% and processed transaction growth of 10% for the December quarter. The continued strengthening of the US dollar slowed growth in the Asia Pacific, Canadian and Latin American region in the last quarter.

Visa's continued efforts to tap into the mobile payment space, accompanied by the gradual improvement of the US economy, is likely to drive growth for the first quarter of 2015. However, revenues earned from the international market may take a hit due to the strengthening US dollar.

We have a price estimate of $68 for Visa's stock, which is in line with the current market price.

See Our Full Analysis for Visa

US Economy To Drive Consumer Spending

Visa derives around 56% of its operating revenues from operations within the US According to a research by MasterCard, cash penetration in the US is around 54% of Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), indicating that around 46% of consumer spending is non-cash, while regions such as Latin America, Asia and Europe have cash penetration levels of around 92%, 93% and 77% percent, respectively. This also suggests that Visas future growth in the US is more likely to come from improving consumer sentiment rather than increased non-cash penetration. [1] Consumer sentiment is largely affected by macroeconomic factors, which have seen improvement over the past year.

The unemployment rate in March declined to 5.5%, [2] while Real Disposable Personal Income increased by 0.2% in February compared to a 0.9% increase in January, and personal savings as a percentage of disposable personal income was 5.8% in February compared to 5.5% in January 2015. [3] While there have been some setbacks in the last few months, we expect the overall trajectory of the US economy to spur spending in the first quarter.

International Penetration, FX Headwinds To Slow Growth

Visa derives around 44% of its operating revenues from operations outside of the US (excluding Europe). For Visa, international transaction revenues are primarily earned through cross border transactions and currency conversion. Accordingly, these revenues are vulnerable to foreign exchange volatility. The continued strengthening of the US dollar against major currencies such as the Yen and Australian Dollar in the last quarter hampered the companys revenue growth in the Asia Pacific region. During the December quarter, Visa reported a 10.6% increase in Asia-Pacific payment volume on a constant dollar basis, but the nominal growth was 5.7%.

The number of Visa cards issued in the Asia Pacific region has been growing at a faster rate than cards issued in the US Both the US and Asia Pacific had about 720 million cards at the end of 2013. However, as of September 2014, Visa had around 770 million cards in Asia-Pacific, and the US had about 750 million cards. Despite the increase in the number of Visa cards in Asia Pacific, the average number of transactions per card is just five per quarter, as opposed to 16 for the US With the company continuously making efforts to expand its footprint in the international market, we expect the number of transactions per card to increase steadily in the near term as consumers adapt to electronic and mobile payment media. The last quarter saw Visa making consistent efforts to continue gaining market share within the mobile payment space. In March 2015, Visa and Airtel entered into an agreement to bring mobile payments to 7 countries in Africa. They already rolled out their services in Kenya with 6 other countries to follow.

However, we expect that currency fluctuations will continue to impact earnings in the first half of 2015.

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  1. MasterCard Incorporated 2014 Investment Community Meeting, Press Release []
  2. Employment Situation Summary, Bureau of Labor Statistics []
  3. Personal Income and Outlays, Bureau of Economic Analysis []