Losing sleep but not heart

Revenue related to mortgage refinance is likely to be less this year than it was last year. A decline in rates motivated homeowners to refinance in 2020, but there’s really no room for rates to drop more. Federal stimulus makes it difficult to assess true credit quality. Businesses, particularly small ones, that seem to be skating through the pandemic may actually be operationally stressed. [Continue]

Experts see economy taking flight with federal help

We can all be excused for feeling déjà vu — 2021 does feel a little like 2009, the last time a new administration came into the White House with the votes to move legislation through both the House and Senate. Both years represent periods of economic uncertainty, and a national health crisis, although the coronavirus pandemic is much more serious than the swine flu turned out to be.  [Continue]

Structured for Equity

The third round of PPP funding was released in December. In the first two rounds, “who got the short end of that stick? Women-led businesses, minority-led businesses. Hands down,” said Dionne Gumbs, CEO and founder of GenEQTY.  [Continue]

Community banks need cutting-edge tech to remain competitive

Episode Six is an Austin, Texas-based firm that develops software for financial services companies and others that use payment products. Chermaine Hu, CFO, talked to BankBeat about choosing tech that is adaptable for the long haul, but also stays in tune with the needs of commercial customers.  [Continue]

SDBA gets policy experience from new president

Karl Adam embraces the challenges that come with his new role as president of the South Dakota Bankers Association. And there are several, including the decision by voters in November to legalize both medicinal and recreational marijuana. “It’s a topic we need to get educated on,” he said. The association has been in the process of amassing resources on the subject for its members since the election. [Continue]

Fast cash, dirty money and the barriers that keep people out

In the COVID-19 era, the merchants I frequent or the coffee shops that dot my commute have gone all-in on cards and touchless payments. Cash is increasingly being rejected by stores for its “filth.” The other day, I placed a $20 bill on a counter to buy a $5 coffee. When the cashier saw the bill, he audibly sighed, slipped on a nitrile glove and picked the thing up like it was a dead mouse.  [Continue]

Addressing diversity at the root

In the backyard of her home, Cassandra Chandler has delicate white azaleas that decorate and punctuate a sea of green. On a hot day last summer, she noticed a hand of poison oak ivy grip one section of the garden. Horribly allergic, Chandler pulled out what she could, but the ivy still clenched at the roots. She cut on the outer edges to manicure an apparent solution, with no lasting avail. She never got to the root, so the weeds kept growing. [Continue]

Secure your core relationships to protect earnings

Despite the pandemic, banks are flush with deposits, and loan demand, including a Paycheck Protection Program, that has kept bankers busy. Liquidity isn’t a problem. But as conditions change as a result of the pandemic, bankers must ask themselves: How can I capitalize on what I already have? [Continue]

DEI initiative helps leaders converse, connect

One week after George Floyd’s death, St. Paul, Minn.-based Bremer Bank’s president and CEO Jeanne Crain released a public statement condemning racism in America’s history and culture, including in the banking industry. Several other bank CEOs did the same.  [Continue]