Project struggles are real, and can be overcome

I am leading up a SharePoint project that includes several department heads within the bank. Most on the team work very well together and are hitting their deadlines but I am struggling with one department head. He consistently misses meetings and has not met one deadline. How do I handle this when he doesn’t report to me?  [Continue]

Fed sets a table for bankers looking for CRA funding opportunities

Partnerships with community organizations are critical for banks to meet their CRA responsibilities. Working on their own, banks can spend days just vetting organizations for CRA-eligible funds, and community groups often struggle to get banks to bite. Through a program called Investment Connection, eight Federal Reserve Banks are taking  a “shark tank,” or speed-dating approach to the set-up, assembling a neighborhood of options. [Continue]

Carranza gets a big start at the SBA

September 30 marked the close of the 2020 fiscal year for the country; what an enormous year it turned out to be for the U.S. Small Business Administration. When Jovita Carranza was confirmed SBA Administrator in January, there was no way for her to know the agency was on the cusp of its biggest mission since the SBA was created in 1953: Help the country and its small businesses navigate a pandemic-induced recession.  [Continue]

Let’s stop being so doggedly predictable

I have a friend named Steve with whom I share a monthly dinner out with our respective spouses. Steve is a predictable sort with simple tastes. He likes pizza, chow mein, or a well-done(!) steak, but will set aside any of these options whenever he spies fish-and-chips on a menu. If I gently tease that he’s missing an opportunity to try something new by always ordering the same food, he shrugs his shoulders and says: “I know what I like.” I would like to tell Steve he has it backward. He doesn’t “know what he likes.” He “likes what he knows,” choosing it again and again and again. [Continue]

The 2 percent solution: An argument for reparative investment

There are about 4,700 banks in America. Only 21 are Black-owned and they have less than $5 billion in assets. The total amount of assets in U.S. commercial banks is $20 trillion. So if you think about structural racism and access to capital — and 70 percent of African American communities don’t even have a branch bank of any type in those communities — we said, “Why don’t we think about how to address it?” [Continue]

Top performer in Wyoming a community pillar as well

Wyoming Bank & Trust has been one of the state’s top performers for a while, but its stellar credentials don’t only come from its business performance. Cheyenne-based WB&T has harnessed the power of a real estate brokerage to complement its lending portfolio in ag and mortgages. With rates so low, the bank’s mortgage department is humming with activity, while its ag customers have largely done well this year. [Continue]

Kansas bank buoyed by agriculture

Landmark National Bank in Manhattan, Kan., posted a record $5.1 million earned in the second quarter, compared to $2.1 million the same period last year, based largely on the influx of PPP loans. [Continue]

Snapshot of Wisconsin student debt offers broad insights

Nationally, it’s widely reported that there are 45 million students who owe approximately $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. In Wisconsin, we have more than $24 billion in outstanding student loan debt, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Making matters worse is the fact that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority reports 53 percent of Wisconsinites live paycheck-to-paycheck each month. [Continue]

Michigan bank group holding steady

Southern Michigan Bancorp, Coldwater, which operates three slightly different “Southern Michigan Bank” brands, earned $1.8 million in the second quarter. [Continue]