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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (788 reads)

The massive credit and debit card breach at Target over the 2013 holiday season was only the largest of almost two dozen similar data breaches over the past year alone. But it’s the one that finally got the attention of both the banking and the merchant world to focus on the costs and consequences of a massive payment system that’s vulnerable to smart teenagers and the lack of vigilance on the part of employees and vendors.

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Just WHO Do You Work for Again?
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (95 reads)

Over the holidays, a young acquaintance asked me where I worked. “Why, I work for you,” I replied, to her surprise. Once she concluded that she didn’t really owe me a pay raise or a week’s vacation, she asked for an explanation. So, I gave her a quick quiz.

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Attracting, Rewarding and Retaining Top Talent
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (117 reads)

Building a competitive advantage is one of the biggest challenges facing community banks today. What is the key? Attracting, retaining and rewarding employees needed to ensure success. Your total rewards package is the key competitive resource for employee retention, and a critical investment for your bank. Retirement benefits are a significant component of that package – qualified plans being only part of the equation. Executive benefit plans are an essential component of any corporate benefits strategy.

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Promoting Prosperity and Opportunity in New York State
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (294 reads)

Almost six decades ago, New York’s banks recognized the need for an additional resource for our small businesses and created New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC). From the beginning, NYBDC has been a bank-crafted and funded alternative when conventional bank financing is not available.

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Free Checking is Dragging Down Bank Profitability
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (289 reads)

The viability of free checking has been a topic of conversation across the industry for many years. Unfortunately for most community banks, little has been done to effect significant change regarding what has become an outdated strategy for quite some time.

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Sharing Responsibility for Data Breaches
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (68 reads)

Discussion of the cost and consequences of data breaches inevitably calls for a more even distribution of financial responsibility for dealing with breaches at retailers, though bankers meanwhile have done what they can to mitigate their own security threats and recoup their customers’ losses.

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New Technologies Enhance the Banking Experience
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (66 reads)

Physical branches certainly don’t serve the same level of traffic they once did, but we find that the branch is far from dead. Why?
Older accountholders have yet to embrace the new banking channels and have doubts about their safety. Our younger accountholders are finding that mobile and Internet banking can’t entirely replace the in-person experience. To put it bluntly, Siri doesn’t know which account best meets your customers’ needs.
There’s a common thread to both young and old accountholders – neither group seems to know the full range of services offered by banks and credit unions. What a terrific opportunity to train them!

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Retail Banking Down, but Not Yet Out
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (107 reads)

I recently found myself sitting with a number of bank executives over lunch and I asked them about future trends within retail banking, particularly what goes on inside a branch, because it’s the public face of so many financial institutions.
These days, retail banking is going through an uncertain period. Some banks, like Citigroup, are talking layoffs and branch closures, while other banks are doubling down and building new locations. The layouts for new Bank of America branches look more like a Starbucks, while floor plans for other institutions look like the main bridge of the starship Enterprise.

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Cuomo Gambles on a Second Act for Upstate New York
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (69 reads)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign to revive upstate New York’s chronically depressed economy should be a boon to regional banks. The centerpiece of his plan is four large, destination resorts, targeting high-rolling gamblers and tourists, and slated for the Catskills and other struggling Upstate areas. They’ll cost up to $1 billion to build, expected to generate hundreds of millions in annual revenue.
Some upstate banks might gain some new business, said Jay Masurekar, gaming, travel and Internet investment banking chief of KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., whose parent company has a major presence in Upstate New York. He considers casinos “a shot in the arm for the region,” bringing in tourists and in-state business.

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Jeff Bank is One of the Survivors Bank in Hard-Luck County Protects its Community
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (222 reads)

One of Krista Brink’s favorite movies growing up was It’s a Wonderful Life, the story of small-town banker George Bailey, who learns after a failed suicide attempt how his life has touched so many others.
Jeff Bank, a small community bank in upstate New York, is a lot like George Bailey, says Brink, manager of the WalMart branch in Monticello.
“Jeff Bank does so much for our community. If it wasn’t here, it would leave an awful hole in Sullivan County,” Brink said.
Brink speaks from experience. Her 8-year-old son has autism, and when she asked her employer to sponsor a team for the autism walk, Jeff Bank stepped up. The commitment was just one of many walks, fundraisers, charities and community events the bank supports.

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Social Marketing 101: Meet the Future Now
Friday, April 04, 2008 (2145 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 (1495 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 (3571 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 (1746 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 (2128 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 (1589 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 (1998 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 (1750 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 (1586 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 (2135 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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