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What Every Banker Should Know about IT
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 (783 reads)

Not that long ago, the risks a bank or other financial institution faced were much simpler than they face today. The biggest threat might have been the stereotypical bank robber, who would either quietly pass a note with demands to an unsuspecting teller, or who might come in wearing a ski mask, carrying a weapon and working with partners. While neither scenario was desirable, and certainly unsafe for bank employees and customers, the worst a bank would typically lose was cash – general cash that was not necessarily assigned to any specific accounts.

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Commercial Lending Picks up Upstate
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 (1305 reads)

Community Banks Hustle for Limited Share of Business Loans

The economy’s slow but steady shift from recovery to expansion has been good for banks across the Empire State as they feast on profitable commercial loans after years of relative famine.
A boom in office and residential construction and businesses looking to expand and buy new equipment has kept loan officers busy at banks from Buffalo on down to New York City.
Still, some banks are starting to take a more cautious approach to real estate lending, worried about what might happen when the market turns and some new condominium or apartment tower management find itself scrambling to sell or fill units.

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Working Toward a Better Environment for Community Banks
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 (660 reads)

2015 was an eventful one for New York community banks on the government relations front, as we faced difficult legislative and regulatory challenges in Albany and Washington, D.C. We were engaged in a wide array of issues, including but not limited to tax reform, proposed expansion of credit union powers and authorities, compliance, regulatory and operational burdens and regulatory reform initiatives. In short, we were at the forefront in protecting and enhancing the interests of community banks, as well as their customers and communities they serve.

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Suite of Benefits Can Help Bank Employees Control Health Care Costs
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 (717 reads)

Over the last few years we have seen many changes in health care, including higher premiums, higher deductibles and co-pays and higher out-of pocket costs.

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Inside the Business Valuation Process: A Primer for Commercial Lenders
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 (1212 reads)

In the end, it all comes down to the bottom line. “Value,” like beauty, is subjective – what the business is worth to the owner may not be what it is worth to the market. But if a business is to be sold, its value must be objectively determined – a sticking point for the lenders involved in the transaction.
In all buy-sell transactions, valuation is the proximate issue: just how much is the business worth? From a seller’s perspective, one way to find out is to let the market speak by soliciting offers. From the buyer’s perspective, past experience might be one method to understand value, or perhaps quantifying what one can afford in terms of cash out of pocket and monthly loan payment is another.

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Durbin Had No Impact on Prices for Consumers
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 (567 reads)

It is sometimes said that the definition of a true compromise is one in which neither party is really happy about the end result. If you accept that definition, perhaps the Durbin Amendment represents the ultimate compromise.

The Durbin Amendment – that pesky, last-minute provision crammed into the Dodd-Frank Act at the eleventh hour – put a cap on the fees banks over $10 billion in assets could collect on debit card transactions. But the cap on interchange fees was supposed to make up for it, at least to consumers, by enabling merchants to lower their prices because they would save a bundle on swipe fees.

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Online Accounts: Perception vs. Reality
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 (686 reads)

Digital channels have become an integral part of the banking industry. In today’s environment, it would be hard to imagine a relationship with your primary financial institution without these channels. Based on data shared through the Financial Brand earlier this year, and at the Financial Brand Forum in May, 60 percent of global customers primarily utilize online channels. This is right in line with our research of several million U.S. checking households. Unlike most available benchmarks, this data is driven strictly by community banks and credit unions.

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High Volatility Commercial Real Estate: Its Definition and Impact
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 (1440 reads)

Last December, James Nigro, senior vice president and credit risk manager of Provident Bank, attended what he thought was a fairly routine meeting.
“Someone from our finance department came to me and said, ‘By the way, Jim, in the next quarter, we’re going to start reporting something new on the call report called ‘high volatility commercial real estate,’” Nigro recalled. “When I read the call report definition, my first thought was ‘This is going to change the way we make loans.’”

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Working Together to Move the Needle
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 (564 reads)

At our recent Annual Convention at West Point, I provided an update on IBANYS’ year to date, and a brief preview of 2016. IBANYS continues on the path of a sound fiscal condition, a strong and growing membership and effective and productive performance.

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