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Flushing Financial Corp.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (1043 reads)

After four straight years of record earnings, Flushing Financial Corporation’s march toward diversity in funding, loans and operations appears to be paying off.
Flushing Financial, with $4.4 billion in assets, is the parent company of Flushing Savings Bank, a full-service bank with 17 branches in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Nassau County.
Over the past several years, Flushing has been steadily moving from a traditional thrift to a more commercial enterprise. In October it completed that journey when it filed an application to merge the savings bank with its wholly owned subsidiary, Flushing Commercial Bank and convert from a federally-chartered savings bank to a New York state-chartered commercial bank.

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Preventing Cross-Channel Fraud
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (2679 reads)

It’s easy to marvel at the conveniences that technology has afforded the experience of banking. Online banking, financial management tools, bill pay, person-to-person payments, account opening and transfers, and even image-enabled ATMs – the list goes on. No one would argue that these advancements have dramatically simplified our lives, but many would agree that they are a blessing and a curse when considering the doors they open for fraud. As banking evolves and shifts more from the branch experience into the online channel, so does the focus of fraudsters. After all, if bank customers no longer need to go to the branch to complete most transactions, fraudsters can access everything without leaving the comforts of home, too.

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Combating Today’s Relentless Cyber Attacks
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (1054 reads)

Could a curious toddler be the model for today’s cybercriminals? A colleague recently suggested this idea, and it made me wonder.
Consider the typical two-year-old toddler. To him, almost any object begs to be touched, shaken, or tossed across the room. While childproofing can help, it often doesn’t matter how carefully the adults have prepared and locked away their breakable objects – to a toddler, everything is fair game. Similarly, cybercriminals seek opportunities for theft and invent ways to sneak past anything that stands in their way.
The curious toddler analogy may better describe the early, more innocent days of cybercrime. Ten years ago, the Code Red, SQL Slammer and “I Love You” viruses overloaded servers, defaced web sites, and created headaches for the IT community at large. While these attacks were clever and had a significant impact, they generated more noise than outright theft.

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TD Bank Held Liable in Ponzi Scheme
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (5536 reads)

It was a Ponzi scheme without precedent, making headlines in newspapers throughout the United States – and it wasn’t helmed by Bernie Madoff. Instead, it was a South Florida lawyer named Scott Rothstein, and what made this scheme different from any before it was that a bank was ordered to pay as part of the settlement.

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Frank Talk About Dodd-Frank
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (1183 reads)

New York City was the place and Dodd-Frank/Basel III was the topic at a recent Marcus Evens conference.
“Dodd-Frank has laws and Basel III puts flesh to those ideas in a very concrete way,” said Clifton Loo, head of economic capital at SunTrust Banks. “There are some things being done in Dodd-Frank that were in Basel III, but are just being implemented in the United States now.”
The big question, he said, is internationally.
“Will there be uniform implementation? It’s about competitiveness,” he said. “When your competitor doesn’t have the same capital restrictions as you, that will be a disadvantage in the marketplace. It will slow down business. Holding capital means you can’t make as much money in other places. There will be more stringent capital requirements. This all requires resources, and that means costs.”

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Tax Break’s End Could Add to State’s Foreclosure Woes
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (1275 reads)

New York’s worst-in-the-nation foreclosure mess could get even more tangled in 2013, with the looming expiration of a tax break key to helping distressed homeowners unload their properties. Federal legislation has shielded homeowners who avoid foreclosure through a short sale from having to shell out potentially thousands in additional taxes. But that tax break is set to expire on Jan. 1, with potentially disastrous results on foreclosure prevention efforts in New York and across the country, industry observers say.
If not reenacted, the prospect of a major tax hit could put the brakes on short sales, further adding to the considerable foreclosure backlog in the Empire State. New York holds the nation’s highest average of 1,072 days for a lender to complete a foreclosure, from initial filing to auction. That’s well above even New Jersey, number two at 931 days.

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Attract Top Candidates by Putting Them in Control
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (1030 reads)

It’s no big secret that the financial services industry experiences high turnover. Yet, despite widespread unemployment, firms in this sector often struggle to find the right talent in an increasingly competitive environment. So the problem remains: how can financial institutions find – and keep – the talent they need to achieve business goals?

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A Vik-tory for the Board?
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (1921 reads)

And then there were two. With the resignation/firing of Vikram Pandit on Oct. 15, only two of the nine CEOs of the major banks from the 2008 financial meltdown are left: Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, and Jamie Dimon of JPMorganChase.

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Larry McDonald On the State of the Industry, and Where We Go from Here
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (1686 reads)

At the height of the 2008 financial crisis, Larry McDonald wrote a book on the fall of Lehman Brothers. A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers details his experience working as vice president at Lehman Brothers and provides a behind-the-scenes look on why one of the most prominent investment banks failed. Published in 2009 by Random House, Colossal Failure hit The New York Times bestseller list in its first five days, and is now considered one of the bestselling business books in the world.

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Banks and Financial Institutions Must Embrace the Changed Customer Dynamic
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (1521 reads)

Due to the current economic climate, banks and financial institutions are struggling to bolster their bottom line, retain customers and stay competitive in the marketplace. Financial institutions – specifically banks – are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that they provide the highest quality of service to their valued customers. Unlike the old days, when a bank could wait until a customer came onboard to learn about his wants and needs, today customers expect their banking institution to know them inside out before they become a customer.

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