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A Conversation with Bob Messier
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1230 reads)


Robert L. Messier Jr. is president and CEO of Valley Bank, Bristol, a position he has held since May 1998. He has over 40 years of banking experience starting his career at United Bank and Trust Co. For the majority of his career, Bob has been a commercial lender. He is very active in community affairs. He is chairman and director of Greater Bristol Health Care Inc. (Bristol Hospital Inc.), a director of the Bristol Hospital Foundation, past president of the Greater Bristol Chamber of Commerce and past president of the United Way of Bristol.


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CBA Elects 2003-2004 Officers
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (3291 reads)


The members of the Connecticut Bankers Association (CBA) elected its officers for the 2003-2004 term at the association’s 104th Annual Meeting held on Nov. 8, 2003. 



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Going for the Gold - BankWorld 2004, Prospecting New Heights in a New Economy
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1820 reads)


There are banks so large that sports arenas bear their names and banks with so few branches that a toddler can count them. Large or small, the gold standard by which every bank is judged is its reputation for excellence and integrity. The ability to bring customers the best innovations, products and cutting edge technologies doesn’t hurt either.


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Back to the Basics
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1059 reads)


Directors College Raises the Standards for Corporate Governance

Enron. Tyco. Martha Stewart.

Corporate news keeps leaking from the business section to the front page, and none of it is good news. Scandals involving executives run amok, and the boards of directors who weren’t doing their duty resurrect memories of the bad old days of the failed savings and loans of the late 1980s and 1990s.
“There is no doubt that the highly publicized corporate governance failures such as Enron and Tyco and the other well publicized examples of questionable integrity have reminded directors of the enormous responsibility they have to shareholders, depositors, customers, employees and other stakeholders,” says Ralph Volpe, accounting partner with McGladrey & Pullen.


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Deafness Doesn’t Dim Career In Conn. Banking
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1283 reads)


Trudi Kuibeda is a 32-year-old Waterbury woman with more than eight years’ experience in the banking business. She is a bright person who finds herself gently reminding people that English is her second language.



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Check 21 and You
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1883 reads)


The MBA and regulators are working to create a better understanding of the new Check 21 Act and to simplify compliance. At a special Check 21 conference conducted by the MBA last month, more than 200 bank attendees viewed presentations from the Fed, bankers, and consultants, and had the opportunity to ask numerous questions. The bottom line: start preparing now and be prepared to educate your customers soon.



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What should kids—not to mention adults—know about personal finance?
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1309 reads)


What should kids—not to mention adults—know about personal finance? Following is a list of National Standards in Personal Finance compiled by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, a national coalition of more than 150 non-profit organizations, government agencies, and corporations dedicated to improving the financial skills of young adults by promoting the teaching of personal finance in grades K-12.



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Making the Case for Financial Literacy
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1337 reads)


The Maine Council on Economic Education recently released this compilation of statistics on financial literacy in our country:

Personal Financial Literacy Education

Only 21 percent of students between the ages of 16 and 22 say they have taken a personal finance course through school. (Youth and Money Survey, ASEC, 1999 and 2001.)



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Egad! Another E-Mail!: Using E-Mail Sensibly
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1486 reads)


Have you sat on the receiving end of an e-mail with a recipient list running as long as your local highway? Have you then struggled through its overlong, cryptic prose and twisted logic only to realize you have received a message whose business does not concern you?



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HOWARD POWERless - the Rise & Fall of the Howard Savings Bank
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (4033 reads)


The date is Oct. 2, 1992. The place is the office of William Tuggle, CEO of The Howard Savings Bank. The speaker is Steve Szabatin, deputy banking commissioner:

“I am Steve Szabatin representing the state of New Jersey Department of Banking. Joining me is P.T. Steffens, examiner of the state of New Jersey. At 3:00 p.m. today, Mr. Steffens will take back the charter granted the bank in 1857 and all the terms of the cease and desist order become effective at that time.”


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Long-Term Care as an Asset Protection Device
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1290 reads)


Increasingly, bank executives and directors are deciding to assure themselves and their spouses of a continued positive lifestyle in their retirement years and to protect their financial assets from the risk of being depleted in the years following their retirement. How? By including a long-term care (LTC) insurance program as part of their bank’s compensation strategy for the bank’s senior executives and directors.



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NJBankers: From Merger to Renaissance
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1310 reads)


Much positive change transpired during NJBA’s centennial year. Our association went from being on the verge of a merger to rebirth and reorganization.



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Governor McGreevey Presents Budget
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1102 reads)


Gov. James E. McGreevey has presented his proposed $26.3 billion budget to the legislature and indicated that the state needs to borrow $1.5 billion to help close the shortfall in the 2004-05 budget. The proposed budget will be partly financed by borrowing against revenues raised from increasing the cigarette tax for a third straight year. It is an overall increase of 9 percent in spending which promises, among other things, to enhance programs for seniors, municipalities, state colleges and the arts community.



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Just a Click Away: NJBankers Launches New Web Site
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1522 reads)


Like so many other American technological milestones, the Internet can trace its origin back to the launch of Sputnik in 1957.

In response, the federal government formed the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to ensure that the United States would seize the lead in military science and technology and retain it.


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Managing the Sales Process: Focus Is the Key
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1744 reads)


When a bank is going to be more selective in the kind of business it does and with whom it does business, then the bank’s calling program will have to be equally selective — it will have to focus on the right kind of business and the right businesses.



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A Confidential Service for Bankers: The FDIC Office of the Ombudsman
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1830 reads)


The concept is an old one that dates to at least the mid-1800s, when the Swedish Parliament created an “ombudsman.” An ombudsman is an intermediary or facilitator of communication between industries or the public and government institutions. Upon request, an ombudsman keeps all information, including the source of an inquiry, totally confidential. Ombudsmen are impartial in determination of outcomes. The FDIC has an office of the ombudsman to serve the banking community. When might a banker call the FDIC Ombudsman?



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Budgeting 101
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1039 reads)


Tax time always causes the Pinkham family to look at budgeting. When did the CMP bill pass $100 a month? Do we really need $86 a month of cable TV and Internet access? What about trash collection at $15.50 a month? Isn’t that really a luxury? I’ll feel better after the discussion, and the family knows that my ranting will pass because what our teenagers really hope is that I will not look hard at the gasoline bill or the minutes used on our cell phones.



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Maine Real Estate Sets Sales Record in December
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (998 reads)


SOUTH PORTLAND (January 26, 2004)—Real estate sales set an all-time sales record for Realtors this past December in the state of Maine. According to the Maine Real Estate Information System (MREIS), sales were up 19.66 percent from December 2002. 



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The Fed’s Perspective
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1203 reads)


For four days following Sept. 11, 2001, bags of checks sat on the floor at Federal Reserve banks across the country. With air travel suspended, the nation’s normal check collection process was virtually shut down. The Fed had to figure out a way to keep the check payment system relatively intact and avoid the burden that a disrupted system would surely have added to the national crisis.



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Bankers’ Day at the Legislature March 25
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1419 reads)


The Maine Association of Community Banks and the Maine Bankers Association will hold their annual Bankers’ Day on March 25, 2004, at the State House.



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Jay Cornet and Governor Baldacci to Headline MACB Directors’ Forum
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1582 reads)


Maine Gov. John Baldacci will deliver the kickoff address at the Maine Association of Community Banks’ 28th Annual Community Bank Directors’ Forum April 28 at the Augusta Civic Center. The guest speaker for the morning will be bank consultant John D. “Jay” Cornet whose presentation is entitled, “Bank Governance—It’s Not an Illusion.” 



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Banks Are Doing Their Part
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 (1012 reads)


When it comes to getting out the financial literacy message, the nation’s banks are doing their part.

In three consecutive surveys, from 2001 through 2003, the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) has found steadily increasing growth in the number of financial education programs sponsored by the banking industry. In the latest survey, 98 percent of the institutions surveyed indicated that they sponsor financial literacy programs or else support such efforts through partnerships.


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