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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 (12463 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 (1414 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 (2022 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 (72781 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 (1723 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Unfortunately for most community banks, little has been done to effect significant change regarding what has become an outdated strategy for quite some time.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 (1421 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 (1066 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 (1134 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 (1168 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 (2022 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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