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The Discipline of Growth
Wednesday, December 06, 2017 (84 reads)

Creating operating leverage or growing revenue faster than expenses is the essence of business. With compressed margins the new normal, lifting or accelerating the growth trajectory is an economic necessity. In a thin margin business, stimulating top line revenue growth is a priority for every financial institution.

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Millennials Opt for Personal Loans at Higher Rates than Previous Generations
Friday, December 01, 2017 (121 reads)

The explosion of fintech has credit cards declining and personal loans trending.
That’s according to a recent study published by the credit information company TransUnion that looked at credit origination trends between Millennials and Generation X.
The study analyzed the borrowing trends of both generations when they were between the ages of 21 and 34 – Gen X credit trends were examined in 2001 and Millennials in 2015.
The findings from the study show that Millennials on average carry two fewer bank cards and private label cards than Gen X, but take out higher interest rate, no-collateral personal loans at nearly double the rate of the preceding generation.

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Cultivating a Well-Functioning Team
Friday, December 01, 2017 (104 reads)

As a financial executive, you probably find yourself pulled in multiple directions all day long. To achieve what needs to get done, you have to rely heavily on your team to execute on both the long and short-term objectives. Given this, it is vital that your team is strong and well-functioning, and agile enough to keep pace with constant organizational change. But highly functional teams don’t just “happen” – they require intentional focus and attention on a regular basis from the leader – and while this may seem like another daunting task to add to your list, the payback is worth it. In fact, some research indicates that well-functioning teams are up to 30 percent more productive than average teams.

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In Finance, Girls are Worth the Investment
Friday, December 01, 2017 (76 reads)

When she was chief investment officer for the New York City Retirement Systems, Seema Hingorani always had the same question for the many asset management companies she met with: “Where are all the women on your investment team?”

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To Control or Not to Control – Or What to Control, Why and How?
Friday, December 01, 2017 (87 reads)

Imagine your executive office gets a call from the New York Times for comment on a highly controversial social media post made by your employee. The reporter wants to know if this provocative view is representative of your organization and if it is consistent with how you do business. Soon after clients began calling, fuming over the comments. And finally a board member and a regulator call, looking for an explanation.

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Banking on Savings and Security
Friday, December 01, 2017 (75 reads)

Ask any bank branch manager to define “banker’s hours” in 2017, and you’ll most likely hear a description of branches which stay open until 6 p.m., are open on weekends and have a 24/7 component for ATM/online banking. What a world of difference between today and several decades ago when “bankers’ hours” defined a cushy job, where the branch rarely stayed open past 3 p.m.

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New Compensation Model for HELOC Origination Would Benefit Banks
Friday, December 01, 2017 (71 reads)

A different method of compensation for HELOC originations might give some banks a strong advantage over non-depository institutions. So why aren’t any institutions trying this?
Let’s start with some observations:
First, depository institutions are losing ground to specialized non-depository mortgage and consumer lending companies. Mortgage lenders are making greater strides in customer service, closing speeds, efficiencies, technologies and market shares than their depository peers. (Generally speaking, of course.) Why is this happening? Well, I suppose we could debate that forever. Maybe the increasingly complex mortgage/consumer lending industries just require more focused attention. Perhaps regulatory burdens are hitting depository institutions harder. Maybe conservative boards of directors are stifling innovation and limiting competitiveness.

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Recap of the Annual Convention, IBANYS Progress
Friday, December 01, 2017 (82 reads)

It has been a busy autumn for New York community banks and the Independent Bankers Association of New York State on a number of fronts. 2017 was a very good year for IBANYS: Our membership continued to grow, as the number of community banks, associate members and preferred providers all increased. We revamped and enhanced our internal telephone and computer systems and upgraded and improved our website. As we prepare for the new year, I thought I’d give a brief summary of the fourth quarter of 2017.

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Governor Signs IBANYS’ Priority Legislation Into Law
Friday, December 01, 2017 (80 reads)

IBANYS and New York community banks realized a significant victory in late October when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law S. 3758-A, Hamilton (same as A. 8129-A, Zebrowski). It is now Chapter 380 of the Laws of 2017. This initiative was a major component of IBANYS state legislative program. It permits the state superintendent of the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to extend the bank examination interval from 12 to 18 months for banks with assets of under $1 billion, up from the previous $250 million threshold.

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Getting a Slice of the $86B P2P Pie
Friday, December 01, 2017 (80 reads)

Business Insider estimates that P2P mobile payments could represent $86 billion in 2018, but as I speak with community bankers from across the country, the common refrain I hear when I broach the topic of P2P is, “Why does my bank need a P2P solution when there is already an abundance of P2P solutions in the marketplace?”

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Advisen Conference Covers Cyber Risks
Friday, December 01, 2017 (64 reads)

The cyber world, along with all of its potential complications and setbacks, was the focus at a recent Advisen conference held at the Hyatt in New York City.
For the first time in seven years, the results of an Advisen survey – released at the event by Zurich Insurance – showed a decline in how seriously C-suite staff views cyber risk.
• Sixty percent of the risk professionals surveyed said executive management views cyber risk as a significant threat to their organization. This is down from 85 percent in 2016.
• Only 53 percent of respondents knew of any changes to their companies’ cybersecurity systems in response to the high-profile attacks that took place in early 2017.
• Growth in the pu rchase of cyber insurance has gone stagnant after a steady six-year increase from 35 to 65 percent.

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Social Marketing 101: Meet the Future Now
Friday, April 04, 2008 (5803 reads)

Today's preteens and teens are tomorrow's customers. How do you reach the kids who grew up with the Internet – the iPhone, YouTube and Facebook generation? Youth culture has been ratcheted up to light speed, but the banking industry is slow to adopt new marketing strategies.
One reason is risk. While early adopters gain a head start against competitors in customer retention and acquisition, the return on investment must be evaluated versus waiting for the technology to mature and become commonplace.
“The financial service industry is up against a ‘commodification’ of products and services,” said Michael Seaton, vice president of Digital Marketing at Thornley Fallis Communications, an agency integrating social media with public relations. “New media – meaning social media tools and platforms – provides a range of choices to directly reach out and humanize the banking experience. Transparency and authenticity are front and center and brands must differentiate themselves around their actions, not slogans.”
“The demographics and psychographics of our customers are dynamic,” said Steve Coen, a consultant in the financial industry and retired CIO of Buffalo-w based M&T Bank. “Product and delivery demands are changing, and we must serve our customers on their terms; how, when and where they demand services.”

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New Approaches To Land Top Talent
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 (3351 reads)

Finding the right executive for an important position in banking, and particularly in the specialized field of wealth management, can make or break an organization’s performance. Unfilled positions and failed new-hires can cost an organization money and momentum and undermine their status in the marketplace.

Meanwhile, the task of identifying top talent gets harder all the time. A declining number of mid-career workers, fewer younger workers entering the workforce and a rapid growth in workers above the age of 55 are all contributing to a talent gap. Furthermore, with the walls separating the various financial services firms tumbling down, banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies, money managers and others are all searching for the same talent.

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Increase Your Customers and Deposits
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 (7567 reads)

Online banking is widely considered to be one of the all-time greatest applications of the Internet, yet many banks are squandering the opportunity to add droves of new online customers because they do not offer customers an alternative to signing paper documents to open an account online.

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Turning the Fair Labor Standards Act On Its Head
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 (3997 reads)

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), in its original form, was designed to protect workers by imposing overtime premiums, establishing minimum wages and abolishing the use of oppressive child labor. But today, nearly 70 years after the act’s inception, some believe it is the employees, counseled by plaintiffs’ lawyers, who are taking advantage of their employers.

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The Subprime Mortgage Crisis: Banks to the Rescue?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 (5084 reads)

The rumors of the death of the subprime mortgage market are not exaggerated or even untimely. In fact, it seems as if a plague of sorts has infected the industry, and it started with the dubious and sometimes downright predatory habits of many mortgage bankers and brokers. Cries of irresponsible business practices in the industry and marketing schemes that drove lending guidelines are cropping up all over the media nowadays, but it seems like a little of the hindsight is 20/20 type rhetoric.


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New Accounting Standards May Be Opportunity or Trap
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 (3697 reads)

 In February of this year, the Financial Accounting Standards Board released Statement 159, which allows fair-value accounting for most financial assets and liabilities. This is no surprise, as this ...

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Richard H. Neiman
Tuesday, September 04, 2007 (5266 reads)

Since his appointment as the New York State Banking Department’s 43rd Superintendent in March, Richard H. Neiman has had plenty of weighty issues vying for his attention...



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Patriot Federal Bank is Loyal to Local Roots
Tuesday, September 04, 2007 (4144 reads)

For every bank there is always the risk of acquisition.

Community banks can thrive and grow, but the risk of a larger bank acquiring it is always there, said Gordon Coleman, president and CEO of Patriot Federal Bank in Canajoharie in Montgomery County.

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Protecting Against the Hidden Costs of Identity Theft
Tuesday, September 04, 2007 (3379 reads)

Identity theft is widely and correctly viewed as an insidious crime, wherein a person’s good name and financial standing are tarnished, often through the criminal misuse of credit and debit cards. But many of the programs and insurance policies designed to protect a person against the ravages of identity theft are extremely limited in scope...

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Strategic Flexible Working Programs Produce Results
Tuesday, September 04, 2007 (4045 reads)

Strategic flexible working is based on the core concept of traditional flexible working and telecommuting programs. But when elevated to a major corporate initiative driven by producing measurable results...

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