#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]

March is for recognizing directors

My hat’s off to all directors, especially outside directors — the folks who bring experience and knowledge from other industries to the enterprise of banking. For the fifth year in a row, we are devoting our March edition to recognition of outside directors. Our Amazing Outside Directors program, this year sponsored by CLA,  features four accomplished business leaders. [Continue]

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]

Unite around hope for 2021

If you made a business plan for 2020 that was shelved by the middle of March, you might think about dusting it off for 2021. With vaccines becoming available, one can reasonably hope for a return to normal activity later this year.  [Continue]

Economy strengthening but rates likely to remain low next three years, Evans says

Although the economy is likely to improve in 2021, inflationary pressures are expected to be minimal which means interest rates are not expected to rise anytime soon. That is how Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago since 2007, summarized the economic outlook in an event jointly held by the Indiana Bankers Association and the Wisconsin Bankers Association. [Continue]

A year that put us to the test

2020 reminds me a little of the George W. Bush presidency. It was progressing rather undistinguishedly, and then 9-11 happened. That changed the tone of the rest of his presidency. This year started out unremarkably, continuing a gradual economic expansion that had started more than a decade ago. Then COVID-19 hit and, all of a sudden, it’s like we entered a different world.  [Continue]

The anatomy of a senior scam

Scams aimed at senior citizens are on the rise; bankers are often witnesses, which can put them in a quandary. On the one hand, they are obligated to execute legal transactions initiated by customers, including withdrawals; on the other hand, they can sometimes spot unusual customer behavior which may be an indication of fraud. [Continue]