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Craig Laures

Recent Posts

Fintechs and Risk Management

Posted by Craig Laures

Wed, Sep 18, 2019 @ 10:00 AM

Fintech providers play an important role in the financial services industry. Banks and credit unions rely heavily on fintechs to sustain compliant efficient operations, process payments and other data, protect information and deliver service to customers in a variety of ways. Partnerships with fintechs offer expertise you may not otherwise have the resources to acquire. Thus, the reward for engaging with trusted providers. On the other side of the reward equation is risk inherent with third-party relationships.

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Topics: Fintech, Partnership, Community Banks, Risk/Fraud

Aggressive Competition for Core Deposits

Posted by Craig Laures

Wed, Aug 07, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

From January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019 I’ve enjoyed meeting face to face with 172 community financial institution (FI) executives and managers representing 91 FIs. These FIs are diverse with total assets ranging from $31 million to $2.15 billion, various charters and specialties. These FIs are found in the smallest communities as well as large metropolitan markets and every size community in between. We discuss, in varying levels of detail, their objectives, initiatives, and projects important to the FI’s success. While each conversation is unique, the struggle to sustainably grow deposits seems to rise to the top as one of the most pressing issues during the past six months.

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Topics: Commercial Lending, Credit Unions, Community Banks

4 Steps Community Financial Institutions Can Take to Compete with Online Lenders

Posted by Craig Laures

Wed, Oct 25, 2017 @ 07:30 AM

Just as each community is unique in stature, industry, economy, and opportunity, so is each community financial institution (FI). Regardless of our composition, the one thing we all have in common is a limitation of time.

Let’s agree to make the most of it.

Online lenders (also called alternative lenders) have recognized and seized the fact that time is limited. In response, they have created channels to significantly reduce the amount of time required to obtain another limited resource—money. These lenders are helping businesses get more of what they want: satisfying their need for more time to focus on their business and more money to execute their creative and industrial ideas.

Let’s face it: banks and credit unions today are faced with overwhelming, burdensome regulatory requirements to accept, process, and fund commercial loan applications.

Alternative lenders are not.

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Topics: Commercial Lending

Question: When Does “It” End? Answer: “It” Doesn’t.

Posted by Craig Laures

Wed, Mar 01, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Generalities aside, the “it” referenced is representative of the constant and difficult movements financial institutions (FIs) must accomplish. Movements that protect the FI and its customers from a wide array of current cyber-criminal threats, evolving threats, and the constant evolution of regulatory compliance for direction in how to manage these potentially devastating attacks.

The menace of cyber-crimes against FIs and their customers continues to evolve in frequency, on-the-surface simplicity, and behind-the-scenes complexity. Ransomware, malware, and phishing tactics are now new lines of business for criminals. In fact, criminals like to call their victims “customers,” and they work hard to provide great service to their customers in order to receive payment/ransom for returning stolen data.

Now that FIs are required to address the role of Information Security Officer (ISO), the hero-of-the-day role is filled.

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Topics: Information Security, Cybersecurity

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