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Security Gifts for Your Customers
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (1219 reads)


While the annual gift-giving feast has come and gone, a thoughtful gift to our customers to help protect them from online crime is always appreciated.



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First Niagara Expands into New England
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (2182 reads)


When it announced it would be acquiring NewAlliance Bank, Buffalo-based First Niagara Financial Group ignited a firestorm in NewAlliance’s base of New Haven, Conn., with local officials railing against the loss of a major, hometown institution with 70 branches in the Nutmeg State.
The bad press means First Niagara will have to work a little harder to woo some Connecticut customers, said Thomas Grottke, president of Wethersfield, Conn.-based bank consultancy Norteastern Banking Services Group. New Haven, in particular, has a close-knit community of businesses, government leaders and nonprofits, he said, and they’re not happy about losing their local bank.



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Mortgage Servicing Standards for Market Confidence
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (1116 reads)


Years after the subprime crisis first shook the housing market, we have once again found ourselves facing disarray and confusion on residential mortgage loans. This time allegations of faulty mortgage servicing are the culprit, with continuing documentation irregularities and dubious paperwork procedures raising serious questions about the viability of foreclosures.



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N.Y. State Muni Bond Panic: Smoke but No Fire
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (1480 reads)


For the past several months, the municipal bond markets have been roiled by predictions and prognostications that the markets may be teetering on the brink of major defaults. After witnessing the severe impacts to other markets, including the mortgage and credit markets, any dire forecasts can make investors jittery. Such has been the case facing muni bonds.



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What SEC-Registered Banks Can Expect at Next Review
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (1087 reads)


In today’s turbulent economic times, wouldn’t you like to have a crystal ball to see what questions might be posed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or your regulators? Well, while there’s no crystal ball available, there are some visible trends in what “they” have been asking.



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Are You Ready for Bank Branch Change?
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (1451 reads)


According to a survey conducted by the American Bankers Association in 2010, 36 percent of bank customers prefer to do their banking online over any other method. While this trend continues in popularity, don’t think for a second that it has lessened the impact of the bank branch experience.



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Taking a Swipe at Sanity
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (908 reads)


When national banking trade associations and national credit union trade associations join a coalition opposing a pending law, and regulators offer concurring opinions, Washington may have a Ready-Fire-Aim problem.



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Take Action Now to Improve Credit Risk Management Practices
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (1814 reads)


The Dodd-Frank reform law has been signed, and the specific details are expected to be worked out by regulators over the next 12 to 24 months. However, the pressing issues raised in the legislation – risk management, accountability, transparency and uniformity – give us some insight into what examiners are going to be focusing on moving ahead.



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What It Takes To Be Well-Capitalized Today
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (2138 reads)


As a result of the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA), there is no longer a cut-and-dried definition of a well-capitalized bank. The term may mean one thing to a seasoned banker, while a regulator’s definition may be
quite different. Standard capital ratios no longer mean what they did in pre-DFA days.



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Identify and Remedy Troubled Loans
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (2583 reads)


What is a “troubled loan” and how do you know that a loan is “troubled?” A troubled loan, also known as a “sour loan,” arises and can be identified through one, or a combination of, the following warning signs:
Decline in and/or insufficient income
Liquidity questions and strain on working capital
Shortfall after debt servicing
Low or negative equity
Adverse business and employment conditions
Guarantor weakness
Insufficient collateral
Credit score problems



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Server Virtualization
Thursday, April 14, 2011 (1712 reads)


Virtualization is a proven software technology that is rapidly transforming the IT landscape and fundamentally changing the way that people compute. Virtualization allows you to enhance the way your IT environment operates. It simplifies the physical infrastructure, providing centralized management and better flexibility for resource sharing. From data centers to desktops, virtualization lets banks pool and share IT resources centrally and standardize computer deployment and resources so data is more secure.



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