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Preserving a Distinctive Tradition
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (60 reads)

Community banking is a uniquely American system. While many other advanced nations have long operated highly centralized banking systems – some for centuries – in the United States, ours was founded on decentralization and localization. Appropriately, this distinctive U.S. tradition is carried on by institutions that are themselves exceptional. I refer to community banks.

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The 2016 State Legislative Session Is Over
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (104 reads)

The 2016 New York State legislative session concluded in the early hours of Saturday morning, June 18, with IBANYS on hand to the end.

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Affirmative Action Compliance Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (80 reads)

Few industries are subject to more regulatory oversight than financial services. And there is very little difference between large, global, commercial financial institutions and small, community-oriented banks with small HR departments, limited resources and budgets – at least in terms of affirmative action compliance. But small community banks need not use expensive applicant tracking or human resource management software to ensure compliance. Often, the same levels of data collection and reporting can be achieved using your payroll system and a combination of Excel spreadsheets or Access databases.
Here are three things to look out for:

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The BOLI Boon for Community Banks
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (54 reads)

Bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) can be a valuable asset for banks of all sizes, including community banks. Offered by most of the highly rated insurance carriers, BOLI is a single premium insurance policy in which the bank is the beneficiary and owner. While banks often utilize BOLI as a tax shelter, given BOLI’s status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax-free asset, it is also utilized to help offset the ever-increasing costs of employee benefit programs.

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Kinderhook Bank Achieves Record Growth in Capital Region
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (51 reads)

Nationally, small business lending is down almost 25 percent since the Great Recession, but don’t tell Kinderhook Bank that.
The small upstate New York bank has been growing its commercial loan portfolio at a double-digit annual clip for the last several years, including during the Great Recession.
“The great thing about the Capital Region is that the economy hasn’t seen big ebbs and flows like a lot of the national economy. It’s a stable economy,” said Lee R. Carman, senior vice president of commercial lending.

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M&As Allow Opportunity to Create Strong Team Unity
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (51 reads)

Coming off a record year for mergers and acquisitions, an overwhelming majority of executives at U.S. corporations and private equity firms forecast that deal activity will stay strong or even ramp up this year.
And this is certainly true with banks of all sizes, as well as other financial institutions.

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Dealing With Harassment in the Workplace
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (47 reads)

Workplace harassment is unfortunately a prevalent problem, and the financial industry is no exception. Statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2015) show workplace harassment is alleged in approximately 30 percent of all charges filed with the agency.

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The Glass is Half Empty
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (164 reads)

As the race for the presidency rages on, much has been said about the Dodd-Frank Act and its predecessors, particularly the Glass-Steagall Act. But as is often the case in American politics, no consensus has been reached, and there are strong feelings on all sides of the issue.
“Glass-Steagall is dumb politics and dumb economics … returning to Glass-Steagall would be destructive and unworkable,” said Tony Fratto, managing partner in Washington at Hamilton Place Strategies, a lobbying firm that represents large banks.

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Social Marketing 101: Meet the Future Now
Friday, April 04, 2008 (4962 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 (2468 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 (6545 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 (3255 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 (3994 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 (2837 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 (4287 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 (3159 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 (2504 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 (3175 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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