Craig Laures

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

Posted by Craig Laures

Oct 25, 2017 7:30:00 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: Lending

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

Posted by Craig Laures

Mar 1, 2017 11:30:00 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

Banking Better Than Before – Part 3: “Modern” History & the Bank’s “20th Century” Update

Posted by Craig Laures

Apr 27, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Welcome to the 3rd part in my self-titled series “Banking Better Than Before”. The series is aimed at challenging the status quo, the comfortable and familiar “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality we often gravitate towards. Before getting into the meat and potatoes of today’s message, let’s reflect on the earliest banks and how they operated. Then compare those operations to modern day banking and fix a few things which may or may not be broke with in your financial institution (FI).

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

Banking Better Than Before

Posted by Craig Laures

Jul 27, 2015 10:10:07 AM

Banking professionals are always looking for a way to “do better.”  Doing better comes in many shapes and sizes.  To some, banking better might mean improved earnings, innovation, enhanced risk mitigation, growth or expansion, and new lines of business.  To others it could mean the opportunity to further serve a greater good or additional giving to charitable programs.  When your bank does better shareholders, employees, customers, and communities win.

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Topics: Information Technology

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