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Staying Close by Working Remotely
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (944 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 (1068 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 (880 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 (762 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 (1910 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 (667 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 (632 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 (776 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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