Ag, C&I loans drop in 2Q 2021

Agriculture and commercial and industrial loans saw significant year-over-year decreases across the Upper Midwest in 2Q 2021, a trend one Federal Reserve researcher attributes to an influx of government pandemic relief and increased income from rising commodity prices.  [Continue]

Fed’s debit networking plan draws industry ire, support

More than half a dozen financial trade organizations are criticizing the Federal Reserve’s proposal to make at least two unaffiliated debit networks available on every debit card issued in the United States, including for card-not-present transactions. [Continue]

Black-owned bank to open Twin Cities branch

Detroit-based First Independence Bank, a Black-owned bank, plans to open a Twin Cities branch in early November, pending FDIC approval. The bank filed its branch application on August 19. Currently, the Twin Cities does not have a Black-owned bank.   [Continue]

SBA: Outreach during pandemic sparked economy, community banks

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said her organization has strengthened its  relationship with community banks by increasing its number of preferred lenders and helping bankers navigate a sometimes complicated lending process. Guzman’s Aug. 16 comments came during a roundtable in downtown St. Paul as part of a nationwide tour intended to highlight the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic and emphasize the importance of vaccinations to ensure further growth. [Continue]

Community bank protocols remain same as Covid-19 variant spreads

Community bank leaders say Covid-19 protocols have not drastically changed following the onset of the delta variant. However, as some smaller banks say they are considering shifting back to remote work, larger financial institutions are already delaying the return of employees and instituting staff vaccination mandates. [Continue]

Community banks seek balance on overdraft charges as political pressure builds

As political pushback builds against bank overdraft fees, community bankers are attempting to balance the fees with appropriate customer protections. James Johannes, a University of Wisconsin-Madison finance professor, recently told the Wisconsin Bankers Association that financial institutions “are rethinking how to generate fees in a more politically acceptable manner.”  [Continue]