Features

Risk and Reward: Yankton’s First Dakota National is state powerhouse

In the mid-1980s, the majority of South Dakota’s 150 or so banks had assets of $50 million or fewer. One of those banks was the oldest bank in the state, First Dakota National Bank of Yankton, operated by Larry Ness, a former examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Ness was eager to make the most of his experience, which included stints managing two other banks in the state: the Mitchell National Bank and the First National Bank of Volga. Some 30 years later, Ness has grown the Yankton bank to $1.588 billion in assets. [Continue]

Bankers educate lawmakers on industry issues

Chuck Mueller could hardly fault his customers for pulling their deposits from his bank. If the president and CEO of Fidelity Bank, Edina, Minn., had been in their position, he quite possibly would have done the same thing.

Some of the largest depositors at Fidelity Bank were neither upset with its staff nor seeking better rates elsewhere. They had no qualm whatsoever with Mueller’s $435.9 million organization, aside from its state charter within Minnesota and the effect such had regarding residency factors issued by the Department of Revenue.

One of those 26 factors when considering residency status was the “location of any bank accounts, especially the location of the most active checking account.” If one of Mueller’s customers wanted to establish residency in tax-free Florida, for example, their account at Fidelity Bank could be used against them when Minnesota went looking for taxes.

“We had three or four customers walk in and move millions of dollars just because, although it wasn’t a de facto absolute, it was one of those things on the list,” Mueller said. “They just wanted to be really safe because the state is watching this.

“No amount of talking on my part could convince these people to retain those deposit relationships. … [Continue]

Public offering, acquisitions shape business at Byline Bank

Commenting to a business magazine on the future plans of Byline Bancorp Inc., chairman Roberto Herencia said, “We have a management team that is capable of running a much larger and more complex organization.”

That was in June, right as Byline launched the first Chicago area public offering of a bank stock in 15 years. Fast forward five months and Herencia’s words translated to action with its announced deal to purchase First Evanston Bancorp, Inc., in a stock and cash transaction deal valued at $169 million. [Continue]

SBA Lending Boom

The head of the Small Business Administration knows a thing or two about marketing. SBA Administrator Linda McMahon and her husband, Vince, transformed a small wrestling organization into a global entertainment venture now known as World Wrestling Entertainment. Television deals and merchandising were keys to the company’s promotional success; banks and borrowers are the instruments of visibility for the SBA.

Calling the SBA “the best kept secret in the government,” McMahon, appointed SBA Administrator earlier this year by President Donald Trump, said the agency will unveil a new branding strategy to elevate SBA’s profile. [Continue]

Women advised to be proactive to advance in industry

As she wends her way through Illinois calling on banks of many sizes, correspondent banker Marlene Luther, now 66, catalogs the ways the industry has changed for women since she started in banking. In the 1970s, pantyhose and closed-toe shoes were mandated attire and management was homogeneously male. Over time, she saw increasing numbers of women at meetings sponsored by state banking associations, yet many sat doe-eyed and silent. A few still do.

“In some ways the path to leadership for women is easier today, especially at the larger banks that recognize the value of diversity,” said Luther, vice president at Midwest Independent Bank, Jefferson City, Mo., and 2017 chair of the Illinois Bankers Association’s “Women in Banking” Conference, which was conducted in September. “But I still find bank presidents — both men and women — asking, ‘why do we need a Women in Banking conference?’”

This is an easier question to answer after one looks at the gains women have yet to make into C-suite positions in banking and beyond. [Continue]

Innovative and Intentional: Entrepreneurship steers socially-conscious Sunrise Banks toward new opportunities

When the FDIC launched its small-dollar loan pilot in 2008, one of its assumptions was that banks would be willing to forgo short-term profitability to pursue new banking relationships. Twenty-eight banks participated in the pilot. St. Paul, Minn.-based Sunrise Banks — a Community Development Financial Institution since 2001 with a long history of working with underrepresented communities — was not among the participants. When the FDIC pilot was completed two years later, regulators were no closer to solving how banks might profit from offering affordable small-dollar loans than before. Sunrise Banks, by contrast, was nearing the ability to ink a deal with a California startup that promised to revolutionize small-dollar lending by utilizing payroll services. [Continue]

Sunrise takes purposeful approach to positioning for the future

You can see Sunrise Banks’ newly-opened headquarters above the trees as you approach the I-94/MN 280 interchange near where Minneapolis and St. Paul rub shoulders. Unlike a couple of its offices, the nearly 60,000-square-foot building isn’t on University Avenue but situated a few blocks south — a five minute walk to the door if you ride the Light Rail Transit Green Line to the Westgate Station. [Continue]