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Regulatory Compliance Law Firms
Friday, December 31, 2004 (3077 reads)

As bankers continue to struggle with the mounting regulatory burden emanating from Congress and state and federal regulatory agencies, many increasingly are turning to outside help to ensure that they are in compliance with the myriad laws and regulations affecting their businesses. We asked a number of law firms to answer the following question:
What suggestions would you make to bank regulatory authorities to reduce the regulatory burden of banks?

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The MB Interview: Ira Jackson
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1517 reads)

Ira A. Jackson put the “rebel” in rebellious. He is complicated, enigmatic and voluble. Aside from a very brief – what was he thinking? – foray into the deep South, Jackson has been a fixture on the Boston scene for decades, a Brookline boy who made good, a mover and a shaker, a guy who could size you up – and the rest of a Windsor-knotted room – in nary a glance.

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Thriving With a Single Product Line
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1059 reads)

In an era when financial institutions are scrambling to broaden their inventory of product offerings, there is one venerable Boston firm that is quite content providing the same solitary service it has been dispensing to thousands of individuals and families since the late 19th Century.

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The Beat Goes On
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1136 reads)

When the General Court concluded its formal sessions for the 2003-2004 session on July 30, many Beacon Hill observers called it one of the more productive sessions in a decade. 

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A Conversation with Dennis W. Haggerty
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1129 reads)

Dennis Haggerty became president and chief executive officer of First Citizens Bank in Presque Isle on Sept. 7. A native of Pittsfield and a graduate of St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., he began his 30-year banking career at Maine National Bank in Portland in the early 1970s as a management trainee. He was a branch manager, a vice president of business development, a regional vice president/sales administrator and a senior vice president for the northern region. Haggerty was headquartered in Bangor during the 1980s and served as the senior banking officer in charge of commercial lending, branches and private/trust banking for the region. While in that position, he was responsible for all of the bank’s activities in Aroostook County. Most recently Haggerty was a regional vice president/commercial sales manager for Maine Bank and Trust in Portland.

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Branches Thrive With Consolidation
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1211 reads)

Consolidation of FDIC-insured commercial banks and thrifts into fewer and larger companies represents a long-term trend with far-reaching business and regulatory implications. But amid charter consolidation, a steady expansion in the number of U.S. bank and thrift branches is also underway that is itself changing the face of the banking industry.

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MACB Recognized
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1160 reads)

The Maine Association of Community Banks was recognized at the Governor’s Annual Affordable Housing Conference on Sept. 21 for its outstanding contributions to affordable housing. 

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Marketing To Groups
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1317 reads)

When it comes to marketing bank services to various age groups, we asked several bank marketing officers if they do anything special to appeal to the different generations. Do the techno-savvy Gen Xers and Millennials want electronic services only? Do the Traditionalists dismiss Internet banking? We found in most cases that banks must deal with a wide range of reactions to products and services among people of all ages.

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The Sandwich Generation
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1074 reads)

This issue of the Maine Community Banker looks at the subject of customer demographics: who is the target audience and who is the customer of the future? We realize that bankers need to know more about their customer base. What about Maine’s community banks? If they can identify their customers, then shouldn’t this information help to increase their share of the market? 

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Banks: Prepare for Crisis Management
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1117 reads)

Is your board of directors prepared in case the bottom falls out? Are you organized to rebut adverse publicity such as regulatory pronouncements of administrative orders, indictments for embezzlement, fraud by senior officers or, even worse, criminal activity of your president and/or one of your fellow board members?

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FDIC Offers Whistleblower Process
Friday, December 31, 2004 (2578 reads)

Since enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, many banks have focused more than ever on sound corporate governance. Banks with publicly traded securities are required to establish procedures for bank employees to anonymously report to the audit committee questionable accounting, internal control and auditing matters. Although banks without publicly traded securities are not required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to establish such confidential "whistleblower" reporting mechanisms, the federal banking agencies’ guidance on the topic indicates that banks should consider implementing them to the extent feasible. 

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Maine Home Values Jump 13.14%
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1048 reads)

Impressed by the quality of life and affordable housing Maine has to offer, buyers continue to seek out real estate across the state. Statistics released by the Maine Real Estate Information System indicate home values jumped 13.14 percent this October compared to one year ago. 

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Putting a Value on the Generations
Friday, December 31, 2004 (964 reads)

Picture Sarah, a 33-year old manager of a consumer finance office in New England, a 5-year employee who oversees one of the branch’s largest units. She recently received a commendation from the divisional vice president for her performance. Now picture Jerry, a 29-year old team leader for a warehouse in California. He works the 3:00-11:00 p.m. shift loading trailers headed for regional supermarkets. He has been with the company for 10 years. 

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Banking Department Launches Financial Literacy Initiative
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1366 reads)

In an effort to enhance financial literacy, as well as educate New Jerseyans about being financially responsible, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) launched the New Jersey Financial Literacy Awareness Network (NJFLAN) this summer. DOBI has taken a leadership role in addressing the financial literacy crisis that plagues many states by revolutionizing how financial education materials are distributed to the public and creating a model program that could be implemented in any state across the country. This initiative will increase access to materials that will help teach all consumers how to manage their finances and make better financial decisions.

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Codey Takes Over Government Reins
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1082 reads)

NJBankers Action Banker Council Meets with Governor’s Chief of Staff

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NJBankers Financial Management And Trust Division Moves Ahead
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1163 reads)

Thank you again for the opportunity to work for and with you as president of the NJBankers Financial Management and Trust Division. We held a very successful annual meeting of the division Oct. 26 at Forsgate Country Club. Let me summarize my comments on that occasion.

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Prepayment Premiums - Removing Doubt on Enforceability
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1154 reads)

Commercial loan documents routinely state that, if a borrower defaults, the lender may accelerate the loan’s maturity date and immediately commence an action to recover “all amounts due thereunder.” Recent New Jersey case law has set forth clear guidelines as to when a lender may recover a prepayment premium after accelerating a loan because of a borrower’s default.

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Why Should Customers Do Business With You?
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1744 reads)

What is crystal clear in our business culture today is that the customer is still the King of the Jungle. They have more choices than ever before and are only willing to provide you with their business if you set yourself apart from the rest of the overwhelming number of service and product providers that dot our New Jersey financial institutional landscape.

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Check 21: There Is Still Time to Act
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1040 reads)

Oct. 28 has come and gone, which means Check 21 is now being implemented in many banks. Although your customers’ checks are starting to move around the country more rapidly, if you act now, there is still time to put processes in place to make Check 21’s gradual implementation go smoothly!

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Reaching New Heights at NJBankers
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1119 reads)

At 30,000 feet, as I was in flight returning from a successful association pre-convention trip to Phoenix, I had time to think about the challenges facing NJBankers as it works to serve our banks in Trenton, Washington and around the state in general. Much is being done, but much more lies ahead. 

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A Conversation With Barry Loucks
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1136 reads)

Barry R. Loucks was the president and chief executive officer of The Simsbury Bank & Trust Co. until his retirement Oct. 4. He had served in that capacity since 1994. The Simsbury Bank is a community-oriented commercial bank with $195 million in assets.

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FDIC Offers ‘Whistleblower’ Process
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1325 reads)

The FDIC Office of the Ombudsman Can Help
Since enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, many banks have focused more than ever on sound corporate governance. Banks with publicly traded securities are required to establish procedures for bank employees to anonymously report to the audit committee questionable accounting, internal control and auditing matters. Although banks without publicly traded securities are not required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to establish such confidential "whistleblower" reporting mechanisms, the federal banking agencies’ guidance on the topic indicates that banks should consider implementing them to the extent feasible. 

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The Changing Face Of Today's Customer
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1144 reads)

What can we learn from a coffee house, an airline, a golf course and a ski resort? Plenty. Like many corporations in North America, Starbucks Corp., Continental Airlines, the Pebble Beach Co. and Northstar-at-Tahoe share a common challenge: They are all in mature markets and they offer a commodity that is widely available from any number of competitors.

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Safer Driving on the Internet
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1097 reads)

By Joe Lockwood

Promising, enlightening and filled with opportunity, the Internet has also become the source of new dangers – spam, viruses, spyware and risky employee habits such as instant messenger and file sharing.

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Profits With Principles
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1175 reads)

We’ve all seen business ethics become front-page news in the wake of Enron, WorldCom, Tyco et al. In her best-selling book, aphoristically titled “Pigs at the Trough,” columnist Ariana Huffington charged many chief executive officers and boards with placing their personal interests ahead of those of their customers, employees, and communities. Driven by an obsessive focus on short-term profits and a desire to inflate their own stock options, many CEOs permitted deceptive practices that left average employees – and ultimately shareholders – holding the bag. She also asserted today’s CEO not only makes far more pay relative to the average worker than 20 years ago, but has often been rewarded for poor performance while average worker income stagnates. The price of these scandals is increased public cynicism and a belief that business acts only for its own bottom line. The same cynicism is evident in some parts of our banking world after successive mergers.

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How to Market to Small Businesses
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1531 reads)

The banking industry has changed significantly since I began my banking career in the early 1980s. Today’s customers are more sophisticated – or at least they perceive themselves as being more sophisticated. It’s easier for customers to solve their own financial problems using the technological solutions available to them. There’s greater competition because there seems to be a bank on every corner and they all seem to be targeting the same businesses.

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NJBankers Offers New Ways to Learn
Friday, December 31, 2004 (1009 reads)

Oh the weather outside is frightful...but the learning inside is so delightful. The single most valuable learning tool is networking with your industry peers, but those opportunities can be limited during the winter months. What better time to take advantage of alternative options for training and professional development from NJBankers?

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