Win young customers through reputation, better advertising

While younger generations happen to be primarily big-bank customers, it’s not necessarily because they like to. Big banks capture their attention by focusing their marketing efforts on their “superior” technology, which overshadows smaller community banks. The truth is consumers across all generations prefer the localized, personal service they receive from community institutions. [Continue]

Independent bankers have fighter at the wheel in Noah Wilcox

Noah Wilcox has had it up to his ears with the gloom-and-doom attitude that community bankers are unable to compete against the largest financial institutions. “I’ve heard it for a long time,” said Wilcox, chair, president and CEO of Grand Rapids State Bank, Grand Rapids, Minn., and chair/CEO of its sibling, Minnesota Lakes Bank, Delano. [Continue]

Attentive employees stop fraud

I had an experience recently where an eagle-eyed operations employee at Prime Security Bank in Eagan, Minn., prevented a series of fraudulent checks from going through when she noticed that the signature on the checks did not match the signatures on the signature card. [Continue]

Community banks operate against the tide of bad behavior

If you don’t believe we live in an angry, cynical world, wade on over to Twitter for a half an hour and drill down on the discourse. Yikes. A person who shares an innocuous opinion can, within minutes, find dozens have hacked their ideas into bloody chunks. [Continue]

Leadership provides deeper look into recent major deals

Comments from two bankers speaking at the annual Acquire or Be Acquired conference piqued my interest. Jim Ryan, CEO of the $20 billion Old National Bancorp, and Dave Provost, executive vice chairman of the $47 billion of TCF Financial Corporation, cast light on a couple of big industry deals. [Continue]

Digital giving succeeds through communication

Charitable giving in the United States amounts to about $400 billion each year. Three fourths of it is given in the traditional write-the-check, lick-the-envelope way. The consolidation of charitable giving and online banking is similar to what happened with online bill-paying 20 years ago. [Continue]

Facilitating philanthropy

Interest for Others is an online giving network for banks, with 100 percent of donations given to local charities. Bill Dolan, the founder of the initiative, had the idea in 2013 when he looked at the interest he had earned on one of his checking accounts — $3.43. [Continue]

Business advisor brings ‘mojo’ to board service

Highland Bank is still very much a family-owned bank. Rick Wall, president and CEO, sits next to his brother and sister on the board, and the patriarch is nearly completely settled in retirement. Recently, however, the $526 million bank has made an effort to bring in outside perspectives to expand the board’s purview. [Continue]

AI deployed as CRM tool for wealth managers

Practifi is a Chicago startup developing business management tools for financial institutions and wealth advisors. Adrian Johnstone and Glenn Elliott, Practifi’s co-founders, explain how customer relationship management tools might be applied to functions beyond the advisory realm. [Continue]

Wisconsin director makes every word count

During a typical board meeting at Nicolet National Bank, Green Bay, Wis., there are 16 people who meet for an hour and a half, and John Dykema might only open his mouth twice. “But people lean in and listen when he does,” said Bob Atwell, the bank’s chair and CEO. [Continue]