A hat tip to the family-owned bank

While it is difficult to nail down exact numbers, it is safe to say that the number of banks owned by one or two families is declining. The family-owned bank is a venerable niche of the community bank arena. Family-owned institutions experience pressures other banks avoid. As the family group grows with generations, fewer of the shareholders retain direct bank involvement. More of the shareholders in these families see their shares as solely an investment. As they weigh the value of their shares against other investment options, they may press the other members of the family to sell.  [Continue]

Three things lawmakers should consider for tax laws

When a new party comes into the White House, with control of Congress, it raises or lowers federal taxes according to its priorities. President Biden has laid out ambitious spending plans and expects to pay for a portion of it with increased tax revenues. Income taxes and capital gains taxes are obvious targets, although the President has pledged not to raise income taxes for people earning less than $400,000 per year.  [Continue]

Change is real

Fourteen months after the coronavirus paralyzed the country, it seems we are returning to pre-pandemic normalcy. Most of the people I talk to are looking forward to a summer when we can meet in person again, attend live events, and socialize without fear. But what is “normal” and will we ever be able to get back to the way things were? Some of the changes of the last year do not seem to be retractable. Consider: Customers, employees and cash. [Continue]

Ohnward in eastern Iowa

Despite the boom-bust cycles of the ag economy, a Walmart-driven retail migration from Main Street to the edge of town, factory closings and a devastating fire in the dead of winter, Maquoketa and DeWitt remain vibrant towns in eastern Iowa, largely due to engaged community leadership, including the bankers at Ohnward Bancshares. Leveraging local expertise and resources, the 11,000-some area residents sustain a hopeful future. [Continue]

Expected tax law changes will impact banks

Banks may get pulled into an effort to collect more of the taxes the federal government says it is owed. Mel Schwarz, director of legislative affairs for Eide Bailly, told bankers that Form 1099 reporting may be expanded so that banks have to report deposits and withdrawals of wealthy customers. This would include individual taxpayers and pass-through business entities. [Continue]

Rocky start needn’t be the final say

If you are my age and cut your grass as a child with a power lawn mower, it likely had a Clinton engine, manufactured in eastern Iowa. In the middle 1960s, Clinton Engines dominated the small engines market, producing tens of thousands of motors sold throughout the United States and exported to 90 countries. The company employed more than 5,000 people, many of whom worked in Maquoketa. One would think it would be a great place to open a bank.  [Continue]

The balance of state, federal laws

One of the benefits of living in a country made up of several states is that progress can be made at the state level on important issues when it seems progress is unlikely at the federal level. In banking, there is recent progress on parity for banks with non-taxed competitors in a few states even if the issue is stalled in Congress. [Continue]

#QuickTakes: Noah Wilcox

Noah Wilcox, 2020-2021 chair of the Independent Community Bankers of America, reflects on his year at the helm of ICBA, including the pandemic’s impact, what the Paycheck Protection Program could mean for the future, and how community bankers worked past partisanship to accomplish political goals during his tenure. [Continue]

New York state banker named ICBA Chair

Robert Fisher was elevated to chair of the Independent Community Bankers of America today in a virtual event; the association’s annual convention originally was planned to take place in Hawaii. Fisher, a fifth generation banker, is president and CEO of Tioga Bank in Spencer, N.Y. [Continue]

PPP may indicate expanded community bank business model

Community bankers played a leading role in delivering Paycheck Protection Program loans during the last 12 months, and Noah Wilcox said he believes banks like his Grand Rapids State Bank and Minnesota Lakes Bank will be increasingly called on to partner with the federal government on crucial stimulus programs.  [Continue]