BID Daily Newsletter Archives
Time-off requests have plunged 25% as vacation plans were dashed and uncertainty remains around the coronavirus. Last year in July, there were just over 70.3K vacation requests from employees at 3,000 companies. This year that number fell to around 52.7K. Not only has the pandemic pulled many away from their vacations, but it has also pulled financial institutions away from their post-LIBOR plans. Many bankers may hope or expect that regulators will still push the LIBOR deadline. Yet, regulators on both sides of the pond have been clear that their December 2021 deadline to transition away from LIBOR is a...
Various sources report that the raccoon is the mascot for 2020 -- it wears a mask, compulsively washes its hands and if you leave out one "c", its letters rearranged spell "corona." As you chuckle at this idea, we bring your attention to one specific area affected by the coronavirus, employee onboarding.Physical distancing and remote working don't seem to be going away anytime soon due to COVID-19. So, as community financial institutions resume and step up their hiring, they need to accommodate these situations. This can be challenging as you need to not only onboard through remote channels, but also...
Thai Airways has grounded flights due to the coronavirus and is awaiting bankruptcy protection approval. In the meantime, trying to make lemonade out of lemons, the airline - known for its high-quality cuisine - decided to open a theme-based pop-up restaurant that serves 2,000 meals a day! Similarly, customer complaints are no one's idea of fun, but, you can make lemonade out of lemons here too. These may provide warning signs of problems with your institution's compliance and risk management. A strong complaint-management program can validate inherent risk, ensure control effectiveness, identify compliance and operational weaknesses, and help your institution...
As far as we know, the first drive-up window teller was at Grand National Bank in MO in 1930. Fast forward 90Ys and we are seeing a resurgence of this banking channel. For some time, experts have been telling bankers that branches are undergoing profound changes and that the old ways of transacting business need to be reimagined. Yet, the experts never expected COVID-19, which has brought back one of the previous staples of branch banking: the drive-through teller.The Revival of the Drive-Through Teller During COVID-19Across the country, drive-through tellers are making a comeback. Customers are responding strongly to...
While it is hard to pinpoint the exact temperature of the earth's core, it is somewhere between 7,952 degrees Fahrenheit and 10,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Either way, it is hot in there!Another core that has been a hot topic lately is core providers. As most financial institutions (FIs) implemented more technology amid the pandemic, a growing number are looking outside their core provider for these services. More and more FIs have been casting a wider net for technology services in recent years, which Bank Director's annual technology survey illustrates. Only 41% of respondents said they depend on their core...
In Colombia, dried ants are the typical movie theater snack, not popcorn, and they cost a whole lot less. When you are managing your liquidity, that is important. Liquidity management is always important for bankers, but especially during times like these. In addition to that, the government stimulus has created a situation where financial institutions are suddenly flush with liquidity. Yet, this is likely only for the short term, as circumstances start to change. As such, it is imperative to stress test your liquidity risk. You may be comfortable with liquidity risk, but it could still be helpful to...
Antarctica has hurricane-force winds every three days! Yes, it is considered the windiest place on earth! Luckily, most of us don't have to deal with those conditions. But still, disasters seem more prevalent in our neck of the woods these days. Wildfires in the West. Tornadoes in the Midwest. Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast. Natural disasters seem more frequent and community financial institutions (CFIs) seem to find themselves on the frontlines of disaster response more often. Now might be the time to review your plans. As you prepare, we bring you some timely reminders. Fine-tune...
Interesting fact: not only can people be allergic to cats but cats can be allergic to people. This is not often the case since our bathing habits are usually more rigorous than those of most cats.Another area covered more rigorously these days is expenses. Bankers are looking for all ways to tighten the belt including contemplating job cuts. When the pandemic and economic slump first prompted widespread job losses, banks were among those most likely to maintain employment levels. Indeed, a number of banks and financial, institutions, including Citi, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, pledged not to...
Did you know that a bottle of wine consists of around 700 grapes? Think of all the fruit you are drinking the next time you have a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir! Just as wine has a lot of grapes, Google Play Store and iTunes have a lot of apps and they are increasing every day. According to Statista, about 40% of community banks had a mobile app in 2018. Since this was 2Ys ago and pre-COVID-19, we believe this number is a bit higher today. So how do you stand out amongst the thousands of banking apps out...
John Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright's son, invented the toy, Lincoln Logs. Remember those? While new inventions can increase your profitability, so can cutting costs.These days, many community financial institutions (CFIs) are finding that staying profitable involves cutting costs. To that end, bankers are looking at potential places to trim expenses. We cover two big areas that can help.Digital banking. The pandemic has made some potential cost-savers clearer than others. Some CFIs were already shedding branches, but an uptick in digital banking, plus a mostly successful move to remote working for some, may push some CFIs...
Coca-Cola was the first soft drink consumed in space. Pepsi came eight hours later. Still, Coke's performance looks better in this case. While not up in space, we definitely are experiencing a new set of circumstances. How are your employees performing through it all?We are now six months into remote working, and it is unlikely that is going to change anytime soon. This type of work practice has now become the "new normal" and businesses, including community financial institutions (CFIs), may need to review and adapt the way they assess their employees' performance under these conditions. Not only that but,...
Did you know one of the differences between alligators and crocodiles is that crocodiles can't stick out their tongues? Strange and fascinating. But, we wonder what methods were used to test this fact! Before you dig too deep into that, we bring up Regulatory Technology (RegTech) as a method used by some bankers these days to stay compliant. With ongoing regulatory demands and faster payments, financial institutions (FIs) have become more focused on efficient and effective regulatory compliance methods. For this reason, it's little surprise that RegTech has become one of the most popular subsets of FinTech development. FIs know...
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 530k crashes are caused by improper lane changing and merging. Just as improper traffic merging can have its consequences, bank mergers without the right elements can quickly sour these days.The pandemic has been tough on bank M&A activity, particularly for the megadeals that headlined banking news last year. Through the first seven months of 2020, the number of bank deals dropped by almost two-thirds, while the total value plunged by more than 80%. The first seven months of 2019 saw 150 announced deals worth $43B. But just 56 deals were announced...
Do you know why the average house cat sleeps about 16-20 hours a day? We found out from PetMD that even house cats are "hardwired like big cats" so they need to rest up in case they need to go "on the hunt." In today's Inquiry & Insight issue, we have some banking-related questions to answer from some of our readers, which we thought you might appreciate. Q: The pandemic is forcing financial institutions to rethink their security plans. What are some different approaches we could consider to mitigate threats?A: With more staffers working remotely, financial institutions (FIs) have...
The word "toxic storm" may conjure up images of hazardous materials, negligent compliance, and bad weather. Luckily, that doesn't seem to happen often. But, when a member of the Federal Reserve uses the phrase "toxic storm", our ears perk up.A policy analyst at the St. Louis Fed used those words to describe the precarious financial situation millennials are facing. Today, we share some relevant data on this group as well as some strategies to help your millennial customers survive and even thrive. The St. Louis Fed laid out three reasons why COVID-19 could prove a more difficult setback...
Experts believe there could be as many as 760MM mobile contactless payment users worldwide by the end of this year. Faster payments are a big deal and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently made a move in this area. The OCC is set to introduce a special purpose payments charter for nonbank payment processors and fintechs -- a move that bank and credit union trade groups strongly oppose.Payments Charter 1.0, slated to launch this fall, would be akin to a national money transmitter license that preempts state licenses, according to Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks. About...
The New York Times reported that the movie "b" will feature the "first fully autonomous artificially intelligent actor," Erica. She was created by a Japanese roboticist and she is practicing lines with local actors, awaiting production to start. Artificial intelligence (AI) is not only being utilized by Hollywood, but also becoming more widely used in the financial industry too. Fraud detection and online customer engagement are a few ways. Some are also using it to help make better credit decisions and to reduce racial and gender bias. While the use of machine-learning algorithms within AI decision-making systems may not completely...
A mature leafy tree makes as much oxygen seasonally as 10 people inhale in a year. With as many as 6MM trees on average planted in the US each year, that is a lot of oxygen! Trees sure are useful. Another tree many companies use is a decision tree. Today we discuss how these decision trees can help your customers.Many banks construct decision trees to help their employees solve customer problems. If the problem is A, do this. For a problem in category B, do that. You reward them when they help a customer quickly. But by doing this, are
Did you know that baby porcupines were called porcupettes? Even as babies, they can be prickly. Another area that could be prickly is PPP follow-up, including forgiveness and extensions. As of August 8th, the SBA reported that over 5.2MM loans have been made through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). While bankers have worked hard to meet their customers' needs with these loans, more hard work is still ahead of them.Somewhat lost in the chaos of the current COVID-19 pandemic is the fact that many lenders are also looking at renewals, extensions, and new loan requests from their borrowers. The
The longest skateboard trip was over 7.5K miles, according to the Guinness World Records. Before you think of dusting off your own skateboard and giving it a whirl, we discuss another kind of board -- digital account onboarding.There has definitely been an increase in digital account openings during the coronavirus. Some customers need new accounts for their stimulus checks while others may be trying to build up their "rainy day" fund since it has been pouring lately. Digital bank, Chime, reported having record account openings during the first couple of months, and as the crisis keeps going, online account activity
During his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting for the equivalent of about $109. Not only that, but it took 20Ys after his death to be recognized as a gifted painter and get the credit he was due. These days, bankers everywhere are grappling with another kind of credit -- helping their customers through the current crisis.For the week ending August 9th, 3.6MM homeowners were in forbearance with the total number of loans in this category dipping to 7.21%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. While this number has decreased, the pain for some may not
The film "All the Money in the World" depicts the real-life kidnapping of one-time-richest-man in-the-world J. Paul Getty's grandson -- and his controversial refusal to pay the ransom. In the 50 years since this iconic story came to light, the issue of whether paying extortion is a good or bad idea has been hotly contested. Nowadays, extortion has moved to the digital realm. More hackers see ransomware schemes as a quick way to make cash, by gaining access to and locking up businesses' important data and systems, which they will release only when a ransom is paid. Ransomware has been
Google was founded in 1998 and 4Ys later, it was used as a verb on a popular TV show. In 2006, it was officially introduced in the Oxford English Dictionary. Now, Google is making headlines again with banking partnerships. The tech giant plans to offer digital bank accounts through Google Pay, offering budgeting tools via an FDIC or NCUA-insured account. Recently, partners include community banks, marking an expansion of earlier agreements with a large multinational bank and a credit union. On the one hand, it's another example of tech giants honing in on traditional bank territory. Apple recently introduced a
Many young adults want independence. But, it is especially hard these days. TD Ameritrade recently surveyed young millennials (24-29Ys old) where 57% say that the coronavirus has largely affected their financial independence.Similarly, many community financial institutions (CFIs) are trying to hold onto their independence. While some may be turning to mergers to increase stakeholder value, others still want to remain independent. It may be tough during a pandemic, but it can be done successfully. Having the right strategies in place can increase the strategic importance of independence for your shareholders, customers, and community. Here are some key strategies to start.
As of this month, 3.5B people worldwide use smartphones. That equates to 44.85% of the global population. It is no wonder that technology advancements are demanded these days, which keeps financial institutions (FIs) busy investing in technology. According to research conducted by AT&T and IDG, 81% of FIs have made technology changes at the corporate and/or branch level in recent years. Now, 5G will likely be a part of that technology upgrade. Telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon have already begun rolling out new high-speed 5G network technology in some parts of the country -- and this will affect financial
Did you know that pinball and dancing used to be illegal in some states? Sometimes, crimes can be re-evaluated for their effects on society. Similarly, the FDIC recently decided that certain individuals who committed trivial crimes in the past should have the opportunity to work at financial institutions (FIs). This change Could expand the pool of eligible banking employees, and that could be particularly helpful for community financial institutions (CFIs). The recently finalized change means that individuals who were convicted of small crimes in the past won't be automatically blocked from job openings at FIs, or be forced to go
While bears and tigers often top the list as the most dangerous animals, so do human beings. It is not surprising then that bankers need to take extra precautions these days trying to ensure bank security.A financial institution's first retail delivery channel has always been the branch. Even though digital banking has surged lately, the branch remains in many ways the best way for bankers to connect with customers. But keeping branches secure has become a bit more challenging, with some of the effects of COVID-19, such as face coverings and physical distancing.Here are a few tips for how CFIs
According to a Harvard study, 55% of Americans were more stressed in May than in January. COVID-19 has really stressed us out...even bankers, as they work on their stress testing. All bankers are busy stress testing their loan portfolios, to find out the potential effects of COVID-19. Getting a quick assessment is invaluable to see how loan losses will affect capital. In addition to loan portfolio stress testing, liquidity stress testing is also imperative. Combining liquidity and credit stress testing provides a more complete picture around your institution's resiliency.Liquidity depletion. Most bankers have experienced a rise in liquidity given the
According to Bobby Flay, the ideal grilling time for a medium-rare burger is four minutes on one side and 5 on the other. We know that there are a lot of burgers being grilled this summer. But, there are other fun things to do even with the limitations of COVID-19. So, today we thought we would offer some creative ways to help de-stress customers and employees during these unprecedented times. Drive-in movies. One idea is to host drive-in events for community members, making sure of course, to comply with applicate state and local laws. Consider, Walmart's announcement that it would
In a study by the Fetzer Institute, 62% of Americans reported that they needed more forgiveness in their personal lives. Small business customers also want forgiveness -- of their PPP loans. Recent changes to the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will help more small businesses get their loans forgiven -- but it also leaves community financial institutions (CFIs) on the hook for longer, meaning extra costs and a growing administrative burden. Are CFIs better off keeping the loans and associated work in-house, selling the loans now and letting someone else deal with the hassles, or hiring a vendor
Pandemics are not new. There have actually been five in the past 100Ys, the Spanish Flu, Asian Flu (H2N2), Avian Flu (H3N2), H1N1, and now COVID-19. Still, this one has caused a lot of suffering, physically, emotionally, and financially. One group that is especially vulnerable financially is the unbanked.COVID-19 has encouraged more online purchasing, a catalyst for more cashless payments. Many stores have become cashless too, to keep their employees and customers safe by eliminating currency as a possible transmission source. Yet, the unbanked mainly use currency for purchases and so this shift has limited their purchasing opportunities.According to the
The first online review site, Epinions, started in 1999 and was bought by DealTime (shopping.com) in 2003. Since then, sites such as Yelp, Angie's List, and Google have added customer reviews to their sites.Due to COVID-19, customer review sites have expanded the information provided, from product quality and customer service, to include sanitation and safety efforts taken by businesses. Community financial institutions (CFIs) can use these sites too, to capture the steps they are taking in their branches and communicate with their customers.Given consumers' heightened interest in the risks associated with venturing into publicly accessible spaces, Yelp has expanded the
According to the Washington Post, there are 3,134 Main Streets in the US. That number has been declining, but the Fed's Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) may help.GDP recorded a record slide in the second quarter, shrinking at a 32.9% annual rate. As the economy continues to struggle, small businesses continue to grasp for help. While many bankers have helped businesses get funds through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), one government program that hasn't gotten as much attention is the MSLP. But, that may be changing.Both programs are aimed at helping small- and medium-sized businesses obtain financing. Yet a key
Something we found surprising is that Queen Elizabeth is a trained mechanic. While you ponder that strange fact, we hope you don't find the transition from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) surprising.LIBOR's days are numbered, as the clock continues to tick towards its December 31, 2021 expiration. Though COVID-19 has turned the focus to a myriad of new challenges, there has yet to be an announcement delaying the transition. If community financial institutions (CFIs) want to ensure they are aware of their total LIBOR exposures, they need to continue moving forward with their transition plans. COVID-19 has definitely changed
La Paz, Bolivia is the capital city at the highest altitude worldwide -- 11,942 feet. While you likely aren't planning any South American trips in the near future, we thought this was interesting trivia. But, now we bring you back to the US to review findings of a new report by Deloitte. This report projects US commercial banks' balance sheet and profitability over the next 5Ys. These findings and our insight could prove helpful as you begin the strategic planning season. In Deloitte's baseline scenario, to which the firm attaches a 70% probability, recovery won't kick-start until mid-2021.
The most popular desserts in the US are: chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, cheesecake, pecan pie, carrot cake, and ice cream. It is likely that at least one of these dessert offerings is making your mouth water. So, while you ponder your next sweet treat, we provide you with some information on setting up another type of offering: Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS).BaaS is an end-to-end process that allows financial institutions to provide more services through application programming interfaces (APIs) with third-parties seamlessly. BaaS not only provides customers with value-added services, but could also create a new revenue source for your institution. One
Does anyone remember the days when a phone call at a phone booth cost only a dime? Well, today -- if you can find a phone booth -- that call would cost 50-75 cents. Not only has the cost gone up, but coins are hard to find too.It's not that all the coins have vanished. The US has around $48B worth of coins in circulation. In a normal year, the US Mint might make as many as 12B new coins. But then, things changed due to COVID-19. Between January and May 2020, the Mint made about $4B in new coins,
Q: Which is the most curious letter? A: Y? Ok, so that joke was a little goofy, but we wanted to get you into the mood for our latest Inquiry & Insight issue. This monthly issue allows us to address questions from our readers and provide you with some possible points of discussion as you begin your day.Q: We're considering a new compliance management system. What are some of the considerations?A: A good first step is to understand how much you're spending on compliance. To help in this effort, banks could consider a tool developed by ABA to
There are several definitions for a gig. One is a light two-wheeled carriage pulled by one horse; another is the short form of gigabyte (data). But, today, we talk about the gig that means a job, especially one that offers flexible hours and income potential. Gig work (independent contracting and freelancing) is definitely here to stay. The number of gig workers has grown significantly over the past few years. Also, as COVID-19 expedited the shift to remote work and more job layoffs, there was more competition to fill gig jobs. As such, the "gig" customer may now be one that
We found out that fish cough. Even though we don't know why fish cough, we do know that many men and women infected with COVID-19 are coughing, and have other serious symptoms too. Men and women may have an equal chance of contracting COVID-19, but when it comes to the financial impact of the virus, it is a different story. Many of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic are those where women comprise the majority of employees -- areas such as hospitality, retail, education, administrative support, and personal services. Women have also been affected more deeply with schools closing
A group of kittens is called a kindle. Yet today, the word kindle has a strong association with the Amazon e-reader, that has integrated into the fabric of our lives. Another technology that seems to be integrating into the lives of some bankers and their customers is know-your-customer (KYC) video authentication.Several banks in the UK, Europe, and India are beginning to utilize KYC video authentication that connects customers to agents in real-time to verify their identity for mobile account openings and remote services. With the COVID-19 pandemic and mandatory physical distancing continuing, this may be something that American financial institutions
The founder of Wendy's, Dave Thomas, didn't graduate from high school. But, he got his GED in 1993 and his GED class voted him "Most Likely to Succeed." This goes to show that even when the future may not look bright, things can change all of that. Similarly, some bankers right now may be looking at mergers as "the things" that could change the outlook for their financial institution. The economic downturn has been tough for many community financial institutions (CFIs). For some, a lifeline may be to merge with a stronger bank. A merger could not only help resolve
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana is considered the longest continuous bridge over water in the world. Pretty impressive! Bankers are also acting as a bridge for their international customers to their overseas suppliers and customers in a way that mitigates their risk.International trade affects many companies, even those that aren't obviously engaging in overseas business. A firm might buy its materials in the US and sell its products to Americans -- but the machinery used to make its materials comes from overseas. Even the most local businesses could have international links in their supply chains.International commerce
According to American Express, the typical American tells 15 people after they have had a bad customer service experience. We know you are more tuned into your customers than most, but it is important to stay tuned in, including your digital banking services.With so many Americans staying at home, the use of online and mobile services has increased across multiple industries, including banking. For some community financial institutions (CFIs), it has been hard to keep up with the growing demand. But, what if the secret to digital banking isn't technology? That may be music to your ears. When looking at
Interestingly, it is believed that our ancient ancestors started enjoying wine before the wheel was invented. Supposedly, fruit that fell to the ground and fermented was the first taste of "wine." Many of us are enjoying a slightly different variation of virtual "wine" these days.Physical distancing was bearable for the first few weeks or so perhaps. But now, more than four months in, it is beginning to take a toll. According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, two-thirds of respondents had symptoms of depression at times, under COVID-19's
Did you know Duncan Hines was a real person? He was a restaurant critic from Kentucky, but we know the name as a box of cake mix. People may not always be who we think they are, and these days bankers need to be especially aware of that as unemployment fraudsters are hard at work.It's tough to steal money from people who don't have any. But a government program to help the unemployed? Unfortunately, that looks a lot like a well-stocked fishing hole for fraudsters. Unemployment benefit fraud is making the rounds, reaching into bank accounts to make off with
There are objects that people used to think protected them from poisons, including opals, emeralds, and sharks' teeth. Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy to protect against fraud?It's an unfortunate reality that fraudsters remain relentless in times of crisis. It's imperative for community financial institutions (CFIs) to be on alert for possible warning signs because, oftentimes, customers will be targeted directly. With this in mind, we direct your attention to a recent advisory by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) about pandemic-related impostor scams and money mule schemes. Here are some red flags
Interestingly, the Vatican's bank is the only one that gives ATM customers the option to use Latin for their transactions. We think options are good. So, today, we bring up the idea of divestment as an option.As the banking industry struggles with the impact of COVID-19, with soaring unemployment numbers expecting to lead to major defaults, many financial institutions are looking at their own operations for divestments. Just as the 2008 credit crisis drove financial institutions to divest business lines and loan portfolios, the fallout from the coronavirus has many of them gearing up for divestments within the next 2Ys,
If you want to boost your focus, you may want to look at pictures of cute animals. At least, this is what a Japanese study found. We aren't asking you to look at pictures of bunnies today, but we do want to get you to focus -- on banking apps.The message from customers is clear: they want a way to reach your bank virtually, at any hour, to conduct both routine and new business. In other words, they want an app. According to a recent Citi poll, 91% of bank customers prefer using an app to visiting a branch. While
The Great Sphinx of 2500 BC is still one of the largest statues today, standing larger and taller than a six-story building. Clearly, it was built for stability. Another kind of stability involves stress testing, bankers, and the Fed.The Fed has given its thumbs-up regarding the stability of the banking industry's largest players -- at least for now. But, financial institutions should not let their guard down; the coronavirus has proven more long-lasting than first anticipated. After running Dodd-Frank stress tests, along with additional testing directly related to the impact of COVID-19, on the nation's 34 largest banks, the Fed
Before the coronavirus, the average number of times that people checked their phones daily was 58. If you figure a 12-hr day, that would be more than once every 15 minutes. These days, that number has surely gone up and with that, certain technologies are being used more too.Physical distancing due to COVID-19 hastened the use of technologies that make it easier for customers to interact with their community financial institutions (CFIs). With residual uncertainty in opening up some branches to full capacity, we give you a rundown of three key technologies used more frequently by financial institutions to stay
We thought it interesting that the only animals found blushing are humans. Try making your pet blush and see if we are right! In the meantime, we want to pivot to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and how you may get additional customers due to their frustration with the process.PPP promised to be a lifeline to small businesses struggling in the pandemic-related economic crisis. But indeed, many small businesses became so frustrated with how their financial institutions handled PPP loan applications that they are now ready to switch to another financial institution. This is good news for community
Before he was president, Abraham Lincoln was the wrestling champion in his county in IL. Of the 300 matches, he lost only one. Fraud is something that bankers are always wrestling with, but these days, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has given rise to a greater fraud opportunity.The PPP has radically increased the amount of lending to small and mid-sized businesses with 4.9MM loans made as of July 6th. But the complexity of the application process and the goal of doling out money quickly have made it a prime target for fraud. Even before the crisis, the results of an
Since summer is here. We thought we would remind you how to treat sunburn pain. According to the American Academy of Dermatology: 1) cool baths/showers; 2) aloe vera; 3) ibuprofen; 4) drink extra water; and 5) keep skin protected until it heals. While you consider all that, we wanted to update you on why having a partnership with a fintech may not burn you as much these days as previously.There is no doubt that the ongoing pandemic and its effects have underscored the importance of digital banking channels. With this continued demand, community financial institutions (CFIs) that work with financial
The tomato is believed to come from Central or South America originally. There are 7,500 varieties, of which the heirloom variety is quite popular. Depending on the soil, water, and sun, you will get a different resulting crop. Similarly, businesses are finding the challenges of COVID-19 are affecting their result in different ways. Even as businesses reopen, things are still in flux. Some businesses may shift to more online sales, need to reduce face-to-face interactions, and face unique credit challenges through this transition period. As businesses reopen and change gears, it may be time for community financial institutions (CFIs) to
It seems that the largest wave on record to have been surfed is a whopping 100ft by British surfer, Tom Butler. That must have been quite daunting, as could be the case for bankers too, potentially facing another wave of coronavirus cases.Just as some community financial institutions (CFIs) and their customers were starting to think about a return to a measure of normalcy, the number of cases started rising significantly in certain areas of the country. Now, there's renewed concern of a second wave. Given these unfortunate happenings, we may need to continue working remotely and have reduced branch services.
Tracing can be interesting, family tree tracing, for example. Intriguingly, Confucius has the longest traced family tree in the world covering 80 generations. While you consider some of your own family tree tracings, we jump into another kind of tracing -- contact tracing.Yesterday, we touched on contact tracing in one of our Inquiry & Insight discussions. Since it is likely to grow as a topic of interest as businesses start reopening during the pandemic, we thought we would take a deeper dive into it today.As businesses are reopening, many are doing so cautiously and looking to implement contact tracing as
There are interesting jobs that many of us have never heard of, such as "chicken nugget taste-tester" (self-explanatory), Netflix "tagger" (they binge-watch then tag shows), and "Snoozetern" (they get paid to sleep on mattresses). As bankers get back to their job at the branch, there are questions to answer. We answer a few of them for you today.Q: How do I make sure our customers feel comfortable about coming back to the branch, especially our seniors?A: Like many grocery stores have done, financial institutions should consider offering hours when only seniors are allowed to bank. Stock up on pens so
You may not have thought about it, but 4 is the only number with the same number of letters as the meaning of its name. As we bankers know, numbers are pretty cool, but wouldn't it be nice if more kids thought this way too?Many children around the country are stuck at home this summer, as scores of camps have closed and summer plans have been canceled. With so many parents anxiously searching for enrichment activities for their children, what better time for banks to introduce fun financial literacy programs designed to teach children about financial matters.Certainly, there's a need
There is evidence that Viking men wore makeup. While we're not exactly sure why, it may have helped them with their warring duties in some way, shape, or form. Many banks have been working hard on their duties too -- counseling customers, doling out PPP loans, and working hard to ensure employees' safety. Amid these efforts, it's easy for a bank to feel like an island unto itself. In reality, we're all in this situation together. Bank Director's 2020 Compensation Survey helps to illustrate that; so, today we wanted to share some of the numbers so you could
Risks are everywhere, even during a celebration like the Fourth of July. On average, 180 people need emergency room treatment every day during the month of July, due to firecracker injuries.There are innumerable risks with COVID-19 too of course. Some even expect its impact to lead to a deep recession, thereby increasing the likelihood that there will be more bank failures on the forefront. In light of this reality, community financial institutions (CFIs) should take the time to revisit their risk management plans. Even before the pandemic, the number of bank failures was already inching up, with 25 community banks
The top 3 most stressful events in life are: 1) death of a loved one; 2) divorce and 3) moving. Of course, many of us would add stress testing your loan portfolios during COVID-19 to that list.Last Friday, the Fed announced the results of its annual stress test. While testing the big banks, the Fed came to the conclusion that they are strong enough to weather the continuing coronavirus crisis. Yet, loan losses could add up to $700B for them, so they clearly need to watch their capital levels. Although losses would not be that high for community financial institutions
Babies learn to smile before they can speak, so smiling must be important. We know that these times are not exactly smiling times, but, hopefully we can give you something to smile about (or at least make you feel less stressed) in regards to your margin.While some community financial institutions (CFIs) may already have been preparing for a possible recession before COVID-19, the speed with which the current economic crisis arrived caught everyone by surprise. The Fed's interest rate drops (combined with aggressive bond-buying) have helped backstop the economic fallout from the coronavirus, yet the interest rate squeeze on CFIs
As the well-known leadership guru Peter Drucker noted, "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." As we transition from crisis to recovery mode, communicating effectively is definitely one of the right things. Three months ago, we covered leading during a crisis. Here we are going to delve deeper into what is needed to reassure everyone during this transition, which will continue to be a time of uncertainty and angst for many staff members. As you are working through the logistical and practical details of the recovery process, keep in mind these facets of good
At the end of last year, a parking space in Hong Kong sold for almost $1MM. Costs definitely vary, depending on where you live.Businesses are thinking about this too, lately. As remote work proved to be a viable option for many businesses over the last few months, several of them are contemplating making this practice more permanent for at least some of their staff. This could change some of their staffing costs. Is this an idea you have been contemplating too?One big company is making a dramatic shift on this front. Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that
A few years back, a math class did an experiment and found out that Double Stuf Oreos are only 1.86x greater than regular Oreos. Crunching the numbers is not only important to Oreo-loving math students, but also to bankers.Bankers have been crunching the numbers a lot lately, especially with the new Paycheck Protection Program. We know many of you have been working with your small business customers with these PPP loans and will need to help some of them with loan forgiveness too. So, we wanted to provide you with six pointers to help shepherd those borrowers through the loan
In the 1800s in Ireland, people used turnips to carve jack-o-lanterns instead of pumpkins. I am guessing that turnips were a bit larger than they are today, as things change over time. Society can change over time too, as is evident with the recent shift in public sentiment. Over the past year, the values of tolerance and equality have increased in importance for the US population in general. According to consumer intelligence firm Resonate, 53.7% of the population deemed equality as an important value as of June 2, while 52.3% deemed tolerance as an important value. Equality rose 10 points
In an average lifetime, the human heart beats about 2.5B times. In these times, it may be beating faster than usual, but small businesses may have a reason to bring it back down to normal. Bankruptcy has just gotten easier for small businesses. A new Subchapter V bankruptcy code took effect in February of this year and is available to small businesses that fall within lower financial thresholds. While it falls under Chapter 11, Subchapter V is more streamlined, simpler, and less costly than Chapter 11. Subchapter V could help small businesses with loans from community financial institutions
Opossums don't officially "play dead" as rumored. They actually faint due to overexcitement. Since some branches have been temporarily closed or operating at a reduced level, bankers may be overexcited to reopen their branches and resume full-service levels too. But, things will be different as they do.What this means will differ by region and institution. So, today we provide a couple of examples along with a short checklist to get you started. We found that one Midwestern FI has reportedly begun to repopulate its offices, starting with 9% of its remote workers. The institution has had to work
We were amused to find out that a newborn giant panda is only as big as a stick of butter. Boy, what amazing growth! Voice search devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home have also had amazing growth. When they first came on the scene a few years ago, they were novelties, but today they are widely used by consumers. Not only are they using voice searches to gather information, but also to make purchases and even execute banking transactions. Furthermore, the adoption is poised to increase, especially with the surge of all things digital due to COVID-19. Given
It has been reported that coyotes outrun roadrunners by 23 mph. Similarly, community financial institutions (CFIs) seem to have outpaced both regional and big banks when it comes to PPP loans. Though the deadline for the PPP approaches and demand has slowed, great opportunities still exist. Today we discuss where to locate more demand, possible new legislation, and looking beyond the PPP eligibility period.The latest SBA PPP report shows $130B is still available, after over 4.5MM loan approvals. With an estimated 30MM+ small businesses in the US, more businesses may still be in need and qualify. The SBA shows 56K
The oldest customer complaint, which was carved into a clay tablet, actually dates back 4000Ys to Mesopotamia. While we don't expect you to get many (if any) of these complaints, with more digital banking users these days, you have surely provided additional customer service. COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing forced many people who had previously resisted mobile banking -- particularly seniors -- to adopt online banking, mobile apps, and even cashless payments. But as branches reopen, community financial institutions (CFIs) will need to be proactive if they want to keep seniors engaged with digital banking. Out of
The summer months usually include lots of ice cream. So, we thought it was interesting to learn that sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia is the medical term for brain freeze or ice cream headaches. All of us have likely experienced this strange sensation. But, bankers will likely be experiencing sensations of another kind -- relief -- if the transition to SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate) is pushed out due to COVID-19.The end of LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Overnight Rate) as the common benchmark index for loans and other transactions was supposed to be in phase-out mode this year. Then the coronavirus hit. Financial institutions
Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of NC have the Guinness World's Record for the longest marriage -- 86Ys. They both have since passed, but what a successful union! Another type of union, bank M&As, was expected to flourish in 2020, until COVID-19 occurred.Bank M&A activity ground to a halt as the coronavirus crisis arrived. The economic upheaval may be a short-term damper though. A recent report by Deloitte suggests that the urge to merge is still there and financial institutions (FIs) that are ready to grow may find opportunities later this year as weaker institutions look for lifelines. Indeed,
A recent study from the University of Copenhagen shows that after exercise, a body automatically cleans up its muscles so they stay healthy. While staying healthy physically is important, lenders know that it is also important to stay healthy financially.With this in mind, in this issue of Insight & Inquiry, we share some questions from lenders nationwide and provide you with our insight. Q: When are lenders going to start charging off loans? A: The St. Louis FRED database provides charge-off rates on Commercial and Industrial ("C&I") and Commercial Real Estate ("CRE") loans for "banks not among the
Did you hear that a buried treasure worth millions was actually found in the Rocky Mountains? We didn't think things like that happened. While the latest technology is not exactly buried, it is a treasure that many bankers realize they need more than ever. The COVID-19 global pandemic has expedited the banking industry's reliance on and utilization of a multitude of technologies -- from security measures to amplified digital banking capabilities. In a matter of days, community financial institutions (CFIs) had to equip employees to work from home securely, and satisfy a surge in digital banking demand. This confluence of
According to a recent poll by Gallup, 55% of Americans say they own stock. This has been pretty consistent over the last decade too. Just as not every American owns stock, not every community financial institution (CFI) counts wealth management services among its offerings. However, for those that do, now may be the right time to review your wealth management plans, as fee income becomes more important.While the wealth management industry uses a variety of compensation models, charging a percentage of assets under management (AUM) might be the most common. According to Simon-Kucher research, average AUM fees have declined from
There is a 40-pg Guinness World Records document explaining the definition of a waffle for waffle competitors. We know that bankers have enough documents to read these days, especially with the PPP, but, we found it interesting nonetheless.Community financial institutions (CFIs) have done great work so far with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Entrepreneur magazine reports that many borrowers have had better luck in accessing some of the nearly $700B set aside for small businesses by working with smaller financial institutions (FIs). In fact, the SBA reports that 44% of all PPP loans were provided by institutions with assets under
Since 2012, Boring, OR and Dull, Scotland have been sister cities. Yet, negative rates are anything but boring and dull.The pandemic has weighed profoundly on the global economy and several central banks are starting to think of Plan B, including negative interest rates, in case the economic recovery falters. Since we don't often hear about negative interest rates in the US, today we dig into this topic to try to answer the question: Will negative interest rates happen in the US?Negative interest rates are generally used when governments fear deflation, and they have exhausted other options. The idea is that
We were surprised to find out that newborn babies have almost 100 more bones than full-grown adults. This allows babies to curl up in the womb and then be more flexible during delivery.These days, it seems bankers need to be more flexible too. With COVID-19, many colleges are already weighing the possibility of switching to all virtual classes in the fall. With virtual college life, community financial institutions (CFIs) will need to rethink their approach to recruiting college graduates. In the same way that many jobs across the country quickly morphed into remote positions in response to the global pandemic,
In the ruins of Pompeii, ancient versions of takeout restaurants were excavated. Apparently, the Italians were way ahead of us in the convenience provided by their restaurants. As restaurants, along with other businesses, are starting to open up, we are all waiting with bated breath. How will they adapt? Can they modify as needed, even as they open and more information becomes available on safety practices? Will employees feel comfortable coming back? There are many questions to answer. While we can't answer these questions, we wanted to provide you with some interesting stats on the CRE market in May along
The Oscar Statue costs $400 to make, but it must be offered to the Academy for $1 before reselling it elsewhere. Not a great resale value, but the benefits in receiving one go beyond that $1. Similarly, community financial institutions (CFIs) may not be making much money by administrating small business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, many are motivated by the chance to help small businesses survive -- while reaping other potential long-term benefits.Long-Term Relationships. Problems with the PPP launch underlined the value of personal banking relationships. Certain business customers missed out on the first round of
There are lots of different types of clouds: cumulus; stratus; stratocumulus; and nimbostratus, among others. But, the clouds getting all of the attention these days are cloud services. It is a different time, to be sure. With businesses pushed to work remotely, cloud services have increased dramatically. In fact, Microsoft noticed a 775% increase in demand for its cloud services during the crisis. Like many businesses, community financial institutions (CFIs) may have turned to cloud service providers to streamline some of their workflow processes as they manage business off-site too. Cloud Strategy. To start, it is important to have a