Regional Meetings

Hiring challenges perplex community bankers 

The old adage that credit quality is king is as true as ever. And while fewer banks these days are failing (three failed in the United States in 2017) and fewer turn up on regulators’ lists of troubled banks, there has been a slight uptick in the issuance of MOUs and board resolutions. That’s according to David Kemp, president of Atlanta-based Bankers Management Inc.  [Continue]

Shazam touts advocacy, new services in marketing Forum

The rules that govern the use and cost of a bank’s debit card program are written by a small group companies and these rules set the terms for cardholder access as well as the costs borne by a financial institution. In its effort to support its customers and re-balance the power wielded by the largest players in the arena, Johnston, Iowa-based Shazam made a strategic decision to engage in advocacy on this and other issues.  [Continue]

Card skimming, cloning on the rise and hurting banks

One day before Mike Burke, a robbery and crisis management consultant with Shazam, spoke to bankers in Des Moines about card skimming and card cloning, two men with handguns robbed the Maxwell State Bank, in nearby Ames. No customers were in the bank at the time of the robbery and no one was injured. By the time Burke launched into his presentation about financial crimes, the men still hadn’t been apprehended. And while card skimming and card cloning aren’t as trauma inducing as staring down the barrel of a gun, they are crimes on the rise in the Midwest, and they have the potential to become a huge problem for financial institutions. [Continue]

Appropriate supervision can lighten regulatory burden, Fed chief says

If the Federal Reserve continues its emphasis on regulatory reform, community bankers may not find much in the exam process to complain about. They already largely welcome the exams and regulators themselves, finding fault with only the redundant and cumbersome natures of some of the compliance requirements, according to a national survey of 611 community bankers conducted by regulators from the Fed and state regulatory agencies.

The survey was released at the fifth annual 21st Century Research and Policy Conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, conducted Oct. 4-5 at the St. Louis Fed. [Continue]

Patience, outreach, lead M&A strategies discussed at BHCA Seminar

Most of the many merger and acquisition strategies discussed during the Bank Holding Company Association’s Fall Seminar, “Buy, Sell or Hold: Strategies for Success,” sounded familiar to Lynn Fuller.

The president and CEO of Heartland Financial, Dubuque, Iowa, has made acquisitions a habit for more than three decades. Fuller described Heartland’s growth from less than $200 million in assets to $8.2 billion during one of the general session presentations at the seminar held at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Bloomington, Minn., Oct. 2-3.

“I said to my father, ‘We better giddy up or get out,’” Fuller said. “Our goal back then was to get into the top 100 banks. Today, we’re somewhere between 90 and 80, depending on how our positions go. … Starting from less than $200 million, you can imagine that was a long haul.”

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago gave Fuller the push he needed to pursue acquisitions when it predicted massive consolidation coming. [Continue]

UBB event offers info on payments, trademarks and more

Michael Bilske, CEO of North American Banking Company, Roseville, Minn., demonstrated his bank’s new person-to-person payments app at the Grand Event hosted by United Bankers’ Bank on Oct. 20 in Bloomington, Minn. Bilski, whose bank is very active in ACH payments processing, said the app allows individuals to exchange money via their cell phone, much the same way Venmo does. He actually transferred $20 into the bank account of a banker in the audience to demonstrate the app. The app, which is called “ExCheQ,” utilizes the existing ACH payments system. [Continue]