As employees return to in-person work, banks seek new normal

During shutdowns, some wondered if banks would be left with a surplus of space in their buildings if remote work became the new norm. As Covid-19 vaccines rolled out and bank employees trickled back to their offices, those worries have so far been unfulfilled. Still, with more employees working from home and consumers embracing remote banking, some institutions have reduced their space needs — possibly forever. [Continue]

CRE looks strong in 2022 despite challenges

As commercial real estate spaces emptied following the onset of the pandemic, industry experts questioned when — if ever — the CRE market would recover. Less than two years later, CRE has returned to a strong level and is expected to grow even more over the next 12 months as the growth of e-commerce continues to fuel the need for industrial CRE. However, inflation and ongoing supply chain shortages could throw a wrench into the long-term CRE economy as businesses finalize where their employees work in a post-pandemic economy. [Continue]

Bank On demand, use grew in 2020

“This report helps quantify the national impact of Bank On and how consumers are opening and using safe, affordable transaction accounts,” said Daniel Paul Davis, vice president of community development and the community affairs officer at the St. Louis Fed. “The use of these accounts demonstrates the market for Bank On-certified accounts.”  [Continue]

Fare thee well, 2021

The year 2021 was unlike any other for community banks. Even as Covid-19 variants blanketed parts of the country with illnesses and deaths, creating uncomfortable reminders of 2020, more Americans became inoculated against the virus. The economy strengthened, and many bank employees returned to their offices, easing previous fears of an influx of available commercial space.  Still, more familiar challenges roared back: President Joe Biden’s administration, inaugurated in January, has already proposed tightening policies relating to overdrafts, reporting requirements and M&A, three issues that could have significant impacts on community bankers in the coming years. With a toast to 2021, has compiled the five stories that especially captivated the industry during the previous 12 months: [Continue]

Fintech insiders tout community bank partnerships

Digital engagement with bank services — enrollment in online portals or mobile apps, and opt-in rates for electronic statements or billpay — has grown exponentially during the pandemic. Megabanks and super regionals spend big on technology, and continue to gain market share. In order to compete, community banks face pressure to invest in their technology offerings. [Continue]

CU-bank deals continue, despite stigma

The tax-free status of credit unions and that industry’s continuing expansion promise to be on the minds of community bankers for the foreseeable future. The tension between banks and credit unions also continues to be debated at state capitols and among federal policymakers. And yet, in small pockets of the financial services landscape, banks and credit unions are finding ways to come together. [Continue]