articles

articles

The Challenge of Engagement: Re-engaging your team after a pandemic
By Robb Rempel

With 2021 in the rearview mirror, the economy is reopening. Many teams are excited to return to the office, but others hope to follow a hybrid model. The last 18 months have challenged banks to innovate and embrace different staffing models and arrangements to continue serving their communities. As leaders, managers, and team members, we have an opportunity to not just go back to the way things were but to build something even stronger.

Read the article in Illinois Banker or download the PDF

Stacking The Deck: Secrets of High-Performing Banks
By Dr. Sean Payant

Many financial institution executives spend considerable time thinking about strategies to improve overall profitability and create sustainable growth. The focus across industry press and conference best practices is generally aimed at strategies to cut expenses – using technology, looking at staffing levels, increasing productivity, etc. Although this advice is sound, is that actually what high-performing banks do?

Read the article from CBA Quarterly

The Digital Dynamic: Community Banking in the Modern Age

By Achim Griesel & Dr. Sean Payant

Going back a couple of years prior to the pandemic, “digital” was the latest catchword in banking. Accelerated by the pandemic and beginning in March 2020, there has not been a single day where we haven’t had the opportunity to read even more about the digitization of the industry.

Read the article from Hometown Banker

Growth Strategies for Any Economic Environment

By Dr. Sean Payant

In times of uncertainty, organizations have a tendency to put the brakes on, losing sight of long-term strategic initiatives and established growth goals. However, history has taught us the decisions your bank makes today will have lasting implications for tomorrow. Business as usual will return and our strategic initiatives and growth goals will still be there. The key is to stay focused on growing core customers, regardless of the economic environment. Here’s why.

Read the article from Illinois Banker

The Loyalty Factor: Translating Relationships into Non-Interest Income

By Achim Griesel & Dr. Sean Payant

The past year and a half has challenged our industry in ways previously unknown. We began the year expecting our biggest challenge would be the continued growth of deposits at reasonable rates. Today, we are faced with three challenges: a prolonged low-rate environment with continued margin compression; keeping branches open/serving our communities; and an increasing number of customer transactions moving to the digital arena.

Read the article at Bankers Digest

Don't Get Left on the Sidelines: Aligning Marketing and Execution

By Dr. Sean Payant

The marketing process is a little like the dreaded team selection in gym class. Two captains are appointed and they take turns picking their team from the kids on the sideline. “Pick me! Pick me,” some plead; others stand quietly, just hoping to be noticed. No one wants to be picked last.

Read the article from Michigan Bankers

THE BATTLE FOR DEPOSITS IS HEATING UP: ARE YOU READY?
By Achim Griesel and Dr. Sean Payant,

Core deposits, especially low-cost core deposits, have long been the key driver for franchise value in the financial services industry. That said, with the start of the pandemic and the ensuing influx of cash from stimulus checks and increased personal saving rates, financial institutions saw so much excess liquidity that bankers began to question the value of any deposits, including low-cost core deposits.

Read the article from Hometown Banker

Shattering Myths of Banking As We Open 2020
By Achim Griesel

Banking has more customer data than about any other industry. We know financial and personal information and how customers spend money. With data, we can understand behavior patterns for millions of people.

Read the article from Oklahoma Banker

Upside Down Thinking on Efficiency - Are Your Priorities Backwards?
By Dr. Sean Payant

Many financial institution executives spend considerable time thinking about strategies to improve efficiency in order to improve overall profitability. The efficiency ratio is the ratio of non-interest expenses (less amortization of intangible assets) to net interest income and non-interest income, so it is effectively a measure of what you spend compared to what you make. The very name – “efficiency ratio” – makes us think about how efficient we are with those precious income dollars. If a financial institution has a high efficiency ratio, they are simply spending too much of what they make…right? That is exactly what the name implies (emphasis on the spending side of the equation). But this is just a ratio of two numbers, and as we all know, there are two ways to bring the ratio down – reduce costs or increase revenues.

Read the article

Navigating Uncertainty: Creating a Path Forward
By Dr. Sean Payant

In times of uncertainty, organizations have a tendency to put the brakes on, losing sight of long-term strategic initiatives and established growth goals. However, history has taught us the decisions your bank makes today will have lasting implications for tomorrow. Business as usual will return and our strategic initiatives and growth goals will still be there. The key is to stay focused on growing core customers, regardless of the economic environment.

Read the article

Branches Bounce Back with Strong Retail Sales After Initial COVID Hit

By Achim Griesel & Dr. Sean Payant

Data from a cross-section of community financial institutions shows resilience in the in-person model despite challenges of the pandemic. Retail checking account opening once again occurs mainly in-branch. New business accounts, however, have followed a different path.

Read the article at The Financial Brand

Growing Non-Interest Income Without Raising Fees

By Dr. Sean Payant

Over the last 10 years the banking industry has seen a steady decline in fee income associated with checking accounts—community banks under $10B have seen a 32 percent decline and banks over $10B have seen a 45 percent decline in fee income when compared to a 2008 baseline. Many institutions are raising fees. Should you?

Read the article from West Virginia Bankers

The Challenge of Engagement: Reengaging Your Team
By Robb Rempel

With 2021 in the rearview mirror, the economy is reopening. Many teams are excited to return to the office, but others hope to follow a hybrid model. The last 18 months have challenged banks to innovate and embrace different staffing models and arrangements to continue serving their communities. As leaders, managers, and team members, we have an opportunity to not just go back to the way things were, but to build something even stronger. Creating an environment of engagement is an on-going strategy that drives employee retention, satisfaction, productivity, and ultimately higher revenues and profitability.

Read the article from Illinois Banker

Acquiring New Customers Through Digital Channels: The Holy Grail or Just Another Channel?
By Achim Griesel and Dr. Sean Payant

Going back a couple of years prior to the pandemic, “digital” was the latest catchphrase in banking. Accelerated by the pandemic and beginning in March 2020, there has not been a single day when we haven’t had the opportunity to read even more about the digitization of the industry. From American Banker to The Financial Brand, our industry publications are flush with articles that include the word “digital .. ” !In each case, the articles address topics such as the fintech threat, alleged changes in consumer banking behaviors or the lure of large financial institutions. If you read further, some even argue that community banking as we know it is headed for extinction as digital channels continue to change how consumers interact with their primary financial institutions (PFls).

Read the article from Bankers Digest