Michael Bell preaches acquisition ecumenism

Michael Bell, a 40-year-old lawyer from Michigan is confident as hell about his ability to bring credit union cash to just about any purchase or acquisition you can imagine that doesn’t involve stock or a large deferred tax asset. And he’s clear about what adding a credit union to the bidding field will do to the selling price. “If a bank can pay 1.5 times book value and that’s the value, a credit union can pay 1.7 times book value.” [Continue]

Rising rates, digitization, and limited inventory affect mortgage biz

For much of the past five years, this housing boom has closely resembled that of the last housing boom. There is strong buying activity amid rising prices with pockets of bidding wars breaking out in some markets. The economy is on solid footing; unemployment rates are low. What could go wrong? [Continue]

Successful promotion doesn’t have to mean leading people

We have all been there: Overwhelmed with projects, direct reports and responsibilities. We look to our highest performers to step in or step up to take on managerial duties to relieve our work loads. We ask them if they are ready and willing to manage a small group of teammates and let them know how confident we are that they are going to knock it out of the park. [Continue]

Another day, another data breach: On the need to be vigilant

Whether criminals are attempting to trick their victim into providing information (personal, account, internal procedures), downloading malware, conducting fraudulent transactions, or allowing physical or cyber access into the bank, social engineering is often the foundation that leads to fraud and other security concerns. [Continue]

Bank Midwest engages team in Fierce Conversations

Bank Midwest adopted the Fierce program for its staff six years ago after Mary Kay Bates, president and CEO, was certified in the program. Bates, BankBeat’s 2019 Banker of the Year, views employee-customer communications as critical to the future success of the bank because people are less likely to interact face-to-face. [Continue]

Boldly going where no one has gone before…

Banks these days offer some payment transactions in real time, others in simulated real time, and still others in a day or two. But the pressure is on. In a culture where people “want it now,” faster payments is a resolute rallying cry for most financial services professionals. [Continue]

Bank Midwest leader is 2019 Banker of the Year

In 1995, Mary Kay Bates walked into the Okoboji, Iowa, branch of Bank Midwest with a portfolio full of “B” credits. She had been working as a mortgage lender with Stockdale Bank, one of the last in a strange breed of private banks that took uninsured deposits and originated mortgages for high-risk customers. Regulators weren’t pleased to have private banks operating outside the system, so on its way to extinction Stockdale Bank sold its deposits and mortgages to Bank Midwest, which was why Bates was in that day, fully prepared to explain every relevant detail to the portfolio’s new owners. [Continue]

Bank invests in initiative to fight opioid crisis

In the span of one February weekend in 2018, just days after a forum was convened at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn., to discuss the region’s opioid crisis, 10 additional overdoses occurred in the county, three of them fatal. [Continue]

New law offers banks a way to accelerate deposit growth

For a long time, it seemed as if the deck was stacked against community banks. But now, some of that imbalance has shifted in favor of community banks. In May 2018, President Trump signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. One of many bank-friendly aspects of the new law is a change in treatment of most reciprocal deposits. [Continue]