Features

Boutique core providers carve niche with customization, responsiveness

The realities of the core processing industry are stark: The industry’s Big Three — Fiserv, Jack Henry and FIS — account for the vast majority of the market. The remaining wedge is divided among a range of smaller shops. At its heart, the pitch from smaller core providers mirrors the one community bankers give those considering them over their largest competitors: They offer a high-touch, focused service model with real people responding to inquiries, problem-solvers able to understand and react to swiftly or at least explain their limitations without sounding like automatons. [Continue]

Structured for Equity

The third round of PPP funding was released in December. In the first two rounds, “who got the short end of that stick? Women-led businesses, minority-led businesses. Hands down,” said Dionne Gumbs, CEO and founder of GenEQTY.  [Continue]

Addressing diversity at the root

In the backyard of her home, Cassandra Chandler has delicate white azaleas that decorate and punctuate a sea of green. On a hot day last summer, she noticed a hand of poison oak ivy grip one section of the garden. Horribly allergic, Chandler pulled out what she could, but the ivy still clenched at the roots. She cut on the outer edges to manicure an apparent solution, with no lasting avail. She never got to the root, so the weeds kept growing. [Continue]

DEI initiative helps leaders converse, connect

One week after George Floyd’s death, St. Paul, Minn.-based Bremer Bank’s president and CEO Jeanne Crain released a public statement condemning racism in America’s history and culture, including in the banking industry. Several other bank CEOs did the same.  [Continue]

The anatomy of a senior scam

Scams aimed at senior citizens are on the rise; bankers are often witnesses, which can put them in a quandary. On the one hand, they are obligated to execute legal transactions initiated by customers, including withdrawals; on the other hand, they can sometimes spot unusual customer behavior which may be an indication of fraud. [Continue]

Will 2021 deliver catastrophe for commercial real estate?

When the coronavirus struck, people across industries were sent home to work and once-bustling office spaces turned ghostly quiet. Months later, many offices remain empty. And, as the pandemic rages on (and on), and businesses delay asking people to return, one must question the future of the office. Will employers need less space (or more) to bring its people back? Do businesses need people back? [Continue]

Webb and team build a people-first village

What does it mean to be family built and community strong? That’s the question Aleesha Webb asked herself as she rejoined Village Bank in 2018. She’d begun her career at the Minnesota bank led by her father, but had taken time to work in other financial institutions. As newly minted president and vice chair, she took stock of the situation and what needed to be tweaked.
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Minnesota non-profit redirects deposits to help community banks

Medica, the largest non-profit health insurer in Minnesota, has traditionally had most of its operations accounts in larger banks. After visiting with a neighborhood bank in Edina, Minn., however, John Naylor, the president of Medica, wondered whether the company’s cash would benefit the community more if it was placed in a community bank.  [Continue]

Indiana banker values words, community

Almost every Friday morning for the past 10 years, Kathy Schoettlin’s voice is heard on the local radio. Fueled by fruit and coffee and likely without much sleep, she presents $100 to a local charity in exchange for airtime. Born at the border of Kentucky, she speaks with a slight southern twang, and with careful consideration. Choosing her words, she said, is as important a task as caring for her community. [Continue]