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Five Ways Lenders Can Grow Portfolios During Slower Economic Cycles

Posted by Patrick True

Fri, Aug 23, 2019 @ 07:30 AM

Throughout much of 2019, the economic debate has been whether the US economy would enter a recession in the next year or two. In the short term, it appears that the economy keeps moving along, albeit more slowly in some industry sectors. Most economists are predicting slower GDP growth in 2020 than the previous 2 – 3 years. That brings challenges for commercial lenders that wish to grow their loan portfolios during the next twelve months. But there are strategies that can be deployed to nurture growth in any economic cycle. Here are five methods that should be considered when attempting to grow your portfolio, even as the current cycle begins to slow.

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Topics: New & Trending, Commercial Lending, Credit Unions, Community Banks

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

How Bad Is It?

Posted by Brynn Ammon

Sat, Jul 20, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

If you’ve ever been given bad news by a doctor, chances are your first question was, “How bad is it?” You wanted to know where you stood among the rest of the people in your bad situation. Are you going to die? Are you going to be in the hospital? Will it be painful? Will it require surgery? Will it require major life changes? Is treatment going to be expensive? All those questions and more run through your mind in a fraction of a moment.

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Topics: Credit Unions, Compliance, Community Banks

The Human Imperative

Posted by Deborah Matthews Phillips

Wed, May 22, 2019 @ 09:05 AM

Imagine one of the most deeply personal conversations of your life – a devastating terminal health diagnosis – being delivered by a robot.

This happened to a patient in a Fremont, CA hospital this year. He received the bad news when a telemedicine robot rolled into Ernesto Quintana’s hospital room and a remotely located physician informed Mr. Quintana by video call that his days were numbered.[1]

I imagined myself in such a situation, growing despondent over the depersonalization of our most sensitive encounters. As technology becomes pervasive across all areas of our lives, it’s time to reflect on critical philosophical questions about how and where to draw the line when technology becomes a poor substitute for human engagement.

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Topics: Credit Unions, Digital and Community Banking, Digital, Community Banks

The Power of Credit Cards: Drive Satisfaction and Competitive Value

Posted by Rich Dambra

Wed, May 08, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

As a community bank or credit union, you may be used to hearing that you’re important to your accountholders, not just in terms of product offerings, but to their overall financial well-being. But what if the value you bring to them could be further enhanced and solidified by issuing credit cards?

Credit cards have evolved beyond a simple payment. Today, they include purchase protection insurance and real-time alerts for worry-free purchasing, financial flexibility to cover unexpected expenses, and rewards programs for consumers who like to earn cash back or miles towards their next vacation.

As your cardholders continue to embrace credit as a tool to reach their financial and lifestyle goals, how are you supporting them?

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Topics: Credit Unions, Payments, Community Banks

No Shirt. No Shoes. No Card. No Service.

Posted by Nicole Harper

Wed, Apr 24, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

In a digital world, how long will cash remain king?

Two recent headlines got me thinking about cash. While I can appreciate the feel of a crisp new Benjamin, I don’t carry a lot of cash or use it often. Most of my cash is used for tipping or paying for the occasional home repair. I have no shame using plastic for small purchases which really annoys my husband (he’s a Brit).

Views about cash are personal and cultural. My husband, who grew up in the U.K., prefers cash over plastic for most everyday purchases. What we do agree on is the annoyance of coin. When we get it, we drop it into a giant Erdinger glass and feed our local Coinstar machine once a year.

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Topics: Credit Unions, Digital, Community Banks, Future Ready

Oh, the Humanity! Keeping Your Personal Touch While the Industry Goes Digital

Posted by Kevin Moland

Wed, Apr 17, 2019 @ 08:05 AM

In the middle of his emotional description of the horrific Hindenburg disaster, American radio journalist Herb Morrison blurted out, “Oh, the humanity!” That phrase has since become a meme used to caricature highly emotional responses to not-all-that-tragic events.

During conversations with my software company peeps, I frequently refer to the humanities degree hanging on my wall to alert them to my lack of technical training. In college, I caught a lot of flak for my choice of major. My left-brained fellow students didn’t see much use for my right-brained education. Over the years, however, the things I studied in school have gained in value. A very positive stint in banking led to a successful financial services software career. Along the way, I picked up a good bit of technical knowledge, but my primary value was always an ability to deal with people in a technical context.

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Topics: Credit Unions, Payments, Digital, Community Banks

Marketing Your Institution: Understanding Generations - Part III: How Your Institution Can Retain Boomers

Posted by Strategically Speaking

Wed, Apr 03, 2019 @ 10:01 AM


Millennials and Gen Zers may be nipping at the heels of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)[1] … but they haven’t caught up yet. While developing strategies to attract and retain younger generations of customers remains paramount to the future success of institutions, it would be careless to exclude today’s most lucrative group from your marketing efforts.

The Boomer generation still controls 70% of the nation’s disposable income, and over the next two decades, spending by Americans over age 50 is projected to increase by 58% – whereas ages 25-50 will only grow by 24%.[2] And yet, organizations are spending 500% more on marketing to Millennials than to any other demographic group.[3] Unfortunately for community banks and credit unions, this oversight has led to nearly 25% of all Boomers being unhappy with the banking industry and 12% being actively disengaged with their primary institutions.[4] 

So, what can institutions do to make their Baby Boomer customers happy and increase retention rates? 

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Topics: Credit Unions, Digital, Community Banks, FI Operations

Marketing Your Institution: Understanding Generations - Part II: How Your Institution Can Market to Gen Z

Posted by Strategically Speaking

Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 07:36 AM

The oldest among the rising generation known as Gen Z is turning 22 this year, which means this demographic has never known a world without cell phones and the Internet. Pew Research Center defines Gen Zers as anyone born after 1997, and Millennials as persons born between 1981 and 1996.[1] While Millennials grew up with landlines and dial-up Internet, Gen Zers are true digital natives whose instinctual relationship to technology leads them to expect instant and convenient everything.

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Topics: Credit Unions, Community Banks, FI Operations, Future Ready

Marketing Your Institution: Understanding Generations - Part I: How Your Institution Can Attract Millennials

Posted by Strategically Speaking

Wed, Mar 27, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Part I: How Your Institution Can Attract Millennials

Fact #1: Millennials (persons born between 1981 and 1996)[1] make up the fastest-growing segment of today’s population and are on the cusp of surpassing Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation.[2] Fact #2: In 2016, Millennials officially became the largest generation in the American workforce.[3] Fact #3: Millennials currently have more spending power in the United States than any other generation.[4]

The bottom line? Millennials may very well represent the single greatest opportunity for growth for your financial institution.

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Topics: Credit Unions, Community Banks, FI Operations, Future Ready

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