Operations

Avoiding multiple NSF fee pitfalls

The March 2022 FDIC publication, “Supervisory Highlights,” included a warning to banks regarding recent lawsuits and examination findings wherein banks have charged more than one NSF fee for the same transaction. This was particularly happening on returned checks re-presented for payment. [Continue]

How to weather this economic storm — and the next

We’re in the midst of an economic downturn characterized by inflation and ballooning interest rates. Geopolitical instability is the new normal. In this challenging environment, community banks have an opportunity to prepare for any shocks and aftershocks on the horizon. In the process, they’ll come out stronger than ever before. [Continue]

Solving staff shortages by digitizing commercial lending

Financial institutions are facing increasing pressure to grow and improve while dealing with tighter margins and, as of late, being short staffed. As the Great Resignation and Great Retirement surge, attracting and retaining top talent has become even more difficult. Recruitment can be especially challenging for institutions in rural areas and for roles that require technical knowledge and skill. We keep asking how to attract more talent, but there are other ways to accomplish more even while short staffed. [Continue]

Community banks can leverage data to stay competitive

Community and midmarket banks have typically maintained competitive advantages over large national banks with personalized service and strong community relationships. Yet, let’s face it. We live in a digital world where consumers demand online and mobile app options for commercial transactions — including banking — and a more personalized experience. [Continue]

Consumerize your customer experience

With the significant amounts of ink and dollars being spilled on digital transformation, especially over the last two years, many banks still aren’t seeing the ROI promised to them. Many are asking: Is “digital” just a pipe dream to sell tech or can it actually deliver? The problem often comes down to a common mistake of repurposing business-to-business solutions for consumer-facing banking rather than offering a consumer-first experience. [Continue]

Banks need to strategize for rollout

Community banks can often face challenges internally when rolling out new products and services. This can include everything from the logistics of consistent training for employees across the branches and internal willingness to accept change. [Continue]

Mindset, people key to competing in era of exponential change

I was cleaning out a corner of my basement the other day and came upon a stack of newspapers among my late mother’s things. The papers were yellowed and fraying but their headlines still screamed of our shared national history: “Kennedy Assassinated; U.S. Puts 1st Men On Moon; Nixon Resigns.”  [Continue]

Spend some extra time with your borrowers’ financials this year

It’s that time of year. Soon your loan customers will be compiling their year-end financial statements and, if their loan agreements dictate, providing copies to your bank for review. This year, like last, might include some extra scrutiny. PPP money combined with a “not quite back to normal” may make for some financial statements that don’t align with your borrowers’ pre-pandemic financials. Are your credit analysts prepared to assess the borrowers’ financial health, given these considerations? [Continue]

Entrepreneurs create banking niche

Will 2022 be the year of the entrepreneur? The Wall Street Journal recently noted that the number of self-employed workers has risen by 500,000 since spring 2020, to about 9.44 million, a 6 percent increase, and 4.54 million new businesses received federal tax ID numbers in the first 10 months of 2021, up 56 percent from the previous year. Some banks will be able to affirm the rise of entrepreneurship by delivering products and services specifically tailored to this unique customer group. [Continue]