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Staying Close by Working Remotely
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (45 reads)


A commercial credit analyst for Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Gemma Graham works 8:30 to 5, with a floating half hour for lunch.
All in all, a pretty typical schedule, except for the fact that Graham analyzes office building loans for the Hudson Valley-based bank from her home office in Atlanta.
The decision that led Tompkins and Graham to work out this somewhat unusual working arrangement came about more by happenstance than any grand plan, but the success of the arrangement has created a newfound comfort level with telecommuting arrangements at the nearly $1 billion financial institution, which, like many community banks, had been cautious about embracing the work-from-home revolution.
And it has provided the Tompkins Mahopac with a potentially valuable retention and recruiting tool as it competes in an increasingly tight labor market.



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Recent Internal Audit Trends in Banking How to Stay One Step Ahead
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (35 reads)


A bank’s internal audit function faces a myriad of evolving trends and regulatory scrutiny. Staying ahead of the curve is a challenge. Here are a few key trends to keep top of mind, as state and federal regulators display a renewed focus on rigorously evaluating the internal audit function.



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Five-Star Banking First National Bank of Groton Perseveres
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (29 reads)


When the First National Bank of Groton initially applied for a banking charter in 1865, the controller of the currency at the time turned down the petition, saying he did not think the community needed a bank.
The bank tried again. Again, the controller of the currency turned it down. Finally, on the third try, the charter was approved.
On May 1, 2015, First National said, “Told you so,” with a month-long celebration to kick off its 150th anniversary.
Just in time for its anniversary year, the bank received Bauer’s 5-Star Superior rating, an indication of strength and security, and earned the added title of “Best of Bauer Bank” for maintaining the 5-star rating for 25 years.



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Are Our Red Flags Red Enough? Lawsky Cautions on Cybersecurity
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (27 reads)


Benjamin M. Lawsky, superintendent of financial services for New York state delivered remarks on financial regulation at Columbia Law School on Feb. 25. His message: Regulatory leadership at the state level should not hesitate to speak up if they see federal regulation as ineffective on their home turf. Here are edited comments:
Ineffective regulation can sometimes be worse than no regulation at all since it breeds a false sense of security. And, as we saw during the financial crisis, it is everyday consumers and workers who usually end up paying the biggest price. State financial regulators, then, can and should play a similar role to the state-level reformers of the early 20th century. But states also should not be afraid to speak up and act if we spot new risks emerging in the market [that are insufficiently overseen at the federal level].
It should be noted that federal regulators have to deal with an extremely broad expanse of issues. Put simply, no matter how w



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Liquidity Coverage Ratio Primer Guidance for Community Banks
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (27 reads)



The liquidity coverage ratio was first put into place by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in January 2013 with the publishing of “Basel III: The Liquidity Coverage Ratio and Liquidity Risk Monitoring Tools.” With liquidity talk still lingering as one of the main causes for the financial crisis, the rule migrated to the U.S. banking system later that year in October when the Federal Reserve Board proposed the regulation as a method of strengthening liquidity positions at large financial institutions. On Sept. 3, 2014, Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) Rule was finalized by the Federal Reserve (12 CFR Part 249), OCC (12 CFR Part 5), and FDIC (12 CFR Part 329). Generally applicable only to the largest banks, here are the key components:



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Making Our Mark at the ICBA Summit
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (16 reads)


Earlier this spring, Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS) Chairman Chris Dowd (Ballston Spa National Bank) and President and CEO John Witkowski led a group of New York community bankers to Washington, D.C., to participate in ICBA’s 2015 Washington Policy Summit. The summit included two intensive days of meetings and congressional meetings “on the hill” with members of the New York Congressional Delegation.



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Building Risk-Protective Models
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (17 reads)


In this highly regulated and risk-focused environment, financial institutions are relying more on applying models to important procedures such as identifying risk within the financial institution, and complying with regulatory reporting requirements. However, using models can increase risk since there are a number of factors that could cause them to be inaccurate and lead to financial loss. 



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Vendor Management Compliance Get Ahead of the Curve
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (22 reads)


If you’ve felt the list of regulations impacting vendor management grow longer every quarter, you may be wondering what you can do to stay current and keep the examiners at bay. Horror stories abound of examinations of vendor oversight taking longer and longer, and of examiners asking for increasingly complex documentation and evidence of vendor programs. This article shares three tips for improving and right-sizing vendor management compliance programs.



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Social Marketing 101: Meet the Future Now
Friday, April 04, 2008 (4486 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 (2001 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 (5963 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 (2740 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 (3178 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 (2309 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 (2867 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 (2386 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 (2019 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 (2562 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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