Enlisting ARMIES To Drive Bank Innovation

Areas of improvement in banking abound, which is part of the problem. Banks often struggle with how and where to focus their resources to produce innovative products and services. Do you tackle digitizing the consumer loan process, or do you push into cryptocurrencies? Do you introduce a new treasury management product or upgrade your online…

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Find Out Your Cost of Funds Correlation To Help Better Manage The Balance Sheet

Every year we analyze the industry’s cost of funding earning assets (COF) and track how community bank’s COF behaves relative to larger banks and how COF moves with various indices. The information is critical for all banks as it is helpful to understand how sensitive your balance sheet is to rising or falling rates. We…

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The Latest Data on Why Going After NIM is Fool’s Gold

We looked at the average NIM and ROE for all operating banks in the country (4,973 of them) for the past ten years. We started with the thesis that the wider a bank’s NIM is, the more profitable the bank would be. We also looked at the NIM and ROE for almost 11,000 defunct banks…

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Preparing For Rising Rates in 2022

There appears to be some complacency regarding the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies in 2021 and 2022. The ten-year Treasury around 1.35% may be sending a short-term signal on liquidity versus a long-term prediction on inflation.  Community bankers need to factor in the high probability (50% to 75%) that tapering will start in 2021 and end…

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7 Steps to Solve the Right Problems in Banking More Efficiently

The reality is bankers are fantastic problem solvers. It’s in their blood. The problem is that, as an industry, we leave much to be desired about DIAGNOSING the right problem. Present a challenge to a banker, and they will quickly switch to solution mode without first analyzing what the issues are. They don’t fully understand…

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How To Adjust Your Bank’s Behavior For Inflation

We have published multiple articles, economic bulletins, and podcasts on inflation (including here and here).  In this article, we will not make a case for or against the market’s expectation of inflation.  We will assume current gauges such as CPI and PCE accurately reflect the current inflation environment (many arguments can be made for why…

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7 Rules to Help You Decide When To Start a New Bank Product

After talking about the role of bank product managers (HERE), many bankers and bank board members asked the question – How do you know when to start a new product? This article covers seven rules that form our framework for when banks should consider either building or buying a new product. The Rules will help…

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Why Your Loan Terms Could Be Hurting Your Bank

The average commercial loan term for amortizing credit facilities at community banks is between four and five years. Banks need to understand the optimal loan term for amortizing credits to maximize profit and minimize risk. We analyzed the average community bank’s preferred loan term based on risk (probability of default, loss given default, and expected…

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12 Ideas to Generate More Fee Income in Lending

If you ever wanted to know the most popular strategic planning initiative for a bank over the last three years, it is this one – generate more non-interest income. An estimated 30% of banks have this as their focus. The funny part is that despite this being a major conversation and the source of many…

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What We Learned from AI Trained on Treasury Management

It was back in 2014 when researchers at DeepMind directed their nascent artificial intelligence application to the game Breakout. Instead of programming DeepMind on how to play the game, the researchers programmed DeepMind to learn about learning to play the game. That is a meta-level that isn’t normally programmed, but the result of that effort,…

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More Data Around Changing Branch Strategy

Last April, we published a piece (HERE) about how the pandemic has shifted traffic patterns to permanently impact branch strategy. We discussed how a combination of a faster shift to mobile banking during the pandemic and fewer trips to work, school, transportation hubs, and retail outlets had changed branch placement.  Traffic to urban core branches,…

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Using the Hybrid Term Loan

For decades, community banks have structured term loans as 5-year fixed-rate facilities.  In the last six months, the percentage of 5-year fixed-rate loans at community banks has increased by approximately 25%, but this same bucket has held steady at larger banks (those over $25B in assets).  We believe that now is the right time for…

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