Wisconsin partners navigate M.O.E. hurdles

n ambitious merger of equals is underway in south central Wisconsin, bringing together two Madison-area organizations. The merger involves SBCP Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for the $1.6 billion State Bank of Cross Plains, and Monona Bankshares, Inc., the holding company for $1.17 billion Monona Bank. [Continue]

Customer experience at 40,000 feet

If your business model depends on great service, you have undoubtedly spent time considering the customer experience. With money essentially a commodity, it is the customer experience that separates your bank from others.  [Continue]

Outstanding Women 2022: Jan Mills

When Jan Mills was in grade school, she used to visit her grandfather, who would write down names and places for Jan to explore. Intellectually curious at even a young age, she would do the research and return with pages full of notes. Grandpa was so impressed he rewarded her with dollar bills. Flash forward to present day, and the fruit of the decades-ago exercise is a banker who respects the opportunity to learn and work with family, as well as a bank that supports education by offering cash to excelling students. [Continue]

Borrowing experience varies across lenders

Through my professional and personal endeavors, I have accounts with 10 community banks, two of the nation’s largest banks, and one sizable fintech. Each account comes with advantages and disadvantages. [Continue]

Don’t throw away the key!

Safe deposit boxes are falling out of favor, but I want to encourage bankers reading this to continue to offer them. I read there are some 25 million safe deposit boxes across the country, but increasingly banks are discontinuing them, declining to rent boxes to new customers and phasing them out as they reduce their branch count or remodel their offices. [Continue]

A celebration of holding companies

The Bank Holding Company Association was formed in fall of 1981, four years prior to the start of my career as a banking industry journalist. I remember covering some of those BHCA seminars in the 1980s when the farm crisis and the S&L mess were raging. [Continue]

Wage payment in transformation

During the pandemic, we saw a surge in app-based services that offered grocery delivery, food and retail products delivery, and services such as dog walking and even child care. Now that the pandemic has mostly dissipated, we are seeing a return to pre-pandemic usage levels of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. [Continue]

Holding onto tradition

Data on the FDIC website shows that 2,469 insured institutions were chartered in 1922 or earlier. These centenarians and other long established banks generally have a rich tradition. If you work in one of these banks, I think this is your moment. [Continue]

What employees want

We have heard a lot about the Great Resignation; well, I just learned that all those people who are quitting their jobs are not necessarily happy with their decisions. Johnny Taylor, the president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, declared recently that 72 percent of those folks regret their decision. For those looking to attract or keep employees, he also offered insight into workforce desires. [Continue]

CRA reform proposal spurs debate on lending issues

Advocates who follow lending issues are divided about the likely impact of the proposed revisions to the Community Reinvestment Act. Some who see its potential to expand credit to currently underserved groups are calling the proposal an opportunity of a lifetime; others, who say the proposal fails to promote racial equity, characterize it as a missed opportunity. The current reform proposal, which is soliciting public comments until August 5, will look more closely at the income of borrowers, consider small business lending with a special focus on loans to very small businesses, compare exam findings with so-called “section 1071” data collected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and take steps to increase credit availability to areas currently considered credit deserts. [Continue]