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ABA Banking Journal Podcast
25 minutes | 14 days ago
Giving Thanks for Banks in Their Communities
The latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast continues a pre-Thanksgiving tradition by interviewing the winners of ABA’s 2020 Community Commitment Awards. Each interview explores the winning program or initiative at each bank and provides insights on how they might be implemented or adapted at other banks. These stories present the perfect inspiration as we prepare for the season of thanks and giving. The full episode presents excerpts from each interview. To listen to the full conversation with each Community Commitment Award winner, click on the links below. Affordable housing: Joseph Hernandez, SVP and CRA officer, TIAA Bank, Jacksonville, Florida. Community and economic development: Ira Robbins, president and CEO, Valley Bank, Wayne, New Jersey. Economic inclusion: Tom Kenning, CAO, Alpine Bank, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Financial education: Kenneth Pabón Astor, coordinator, Finanzas en Tus Manos, Banco Popular, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Protecting older Americans: Lesley Palmer, managing director, community relations, and Casey Waltz, executive director, social media and digital strategy, Mizuho Americas, New York City; and Jeremy Kaplan, executive director, Encore Community Services. Supporting military families: Sammy Stuard, president and CEO, and Charlie Koon, VP and director of military and corporate business development, F&M Bank, Clarksville, Tennessee. Volunteerism: Jim Vaccaro, president and CEO, Manasquan Bank, Wall, New Jersey. Additional resources: Podcast episodes with the ABA Foundation’s 2020 George Bailey Award co-winners, Alex Fennoy and Detra Miller. Read a Q&A with Fennoy and Miller on financial inclusion.
31 minutes | 21 days ago
‘Banking Is Not a Commodity. It’s a Necessity’
For many small businesses, whose owners spend on consumer credit cards and put up personal assets as collateral, the distinction between retail and business banking is blurry. Detra Miller, a veteran of M&T Bank’s retail side, noticed this when working with female and non-white entrepreneurs. On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast’s latest episode, Miller discusses how she pitched M&T Bank on creating a team focused on outreach to minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the Baltimore-Washington area, building bridges to these entrepreneurs and helping them understand banking and access credit. At a moment when the national focus is on financial inclusion, Miller’s work has resonated with its target audience — and been recognized by ABA with the 2020 George Bailey Distinguished Service Award. Additional resources: Read a Q&A with Miller on financial inclusion. Read more about the 2020 ABA Community Commitment Award winners.
29 minutes | a month ago
Believing in What Banking Can Do
After a long career as a commercial banker in St. Louis, more than a decade ago Alex Fennoy joined Midwest BankCentre. He helped transform the community bank into one that has won awards—including a 2019 ABA Foundation Community Commitment Award—for its responsiveness to local needs. This year, he was a co-winner of the George Bailey Distinguished Service Award, ABA’s highest individual honor. On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Fennoy shares his own career story and discusses how he and Midwest BankCentre have: Pioneered partnerships with local nonprofits and faith-based organizations to expand access to financial services in unbanked areas of the St. Louis region, including co-locating a Midwest BankCentre branch in a historically Black church. Developed a suite of provident small-dollar financial products called “Life Happens” focused on the life needs of low-income families. Additional resources: Read a Q&A with Fennoy on financial inclusion. Read more about the 2020 ABA Community Commitment Award winners. Listen to an ABA Banking Journal Podcast episode with Midwest BankCentre Chairman and CEO Orvin Kimbrough.
23 minutes | a month ago
‘Folks Who Are Low-Wealth Also Need Wealth Advisers’
Homeownership, savings and holding down a job are three keys to financial well-being and moving out of generational poverty, so that’s what Southern Bancorp focuses on in its home Mississippi and Arkansas Delta region, one of the nation’s poorest. On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Southern CEO Darrin Williams talks about the bank’s high-touch focus on pairing in-depth financial counseling with a Bank On-certified checkless checking account to help reach the unbanked in the Delta. Williams explains $1.6 billion Southern Bancorp’s work as a group of three distinct community development financial institutions. He also discusses its partnerships, which include equity investments from Bank of America, Simmons Bank, BancorpSouth Bank and Regions Bank, among others, and program-related investments from philanthropic organizations and individuals in the mid-South. And as a CEO who entered banking laterally from a career as a lawyer and state legislator, Williams discusses the role of hiring from outside the industry in diversifying the ranks of banking. Additional resources: Bonus clip in which Williams discusses Southern Bancorp’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and participation in the Paycheck Protection Program. More information about ABA’s call for all banks to offer Bank On-certified accounts.
34 minutes | a month ago
With New Justice Barrett, Key Banking-Related Cases Before the Supreme Court
October brings a new Supreme Court term, but October 2020 has not brought only a new term but also a new justice — the third new justice to join the high court in less than four years. On this bonus episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, veteran Supreme Court litigators Sarah Harris, Amy Mason Saharia and Ryan Scarborough join ABA General Counsel Dawn Causey to discuss: How business-friendly different justices — including new Justice Amy Coney Barrett — have been and how their distinct legal philosophies affect their decisions on business matters. How Chief Justice John Roberts’ role as a centrist on the court might be affected by Justice Barrett’s appointment. Key cases the banking industry is watching in the coming term, including cases on the Federal Trade Commission’s restitution authority; Collins v. Mnuchin, which is challenging the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s single-director structure; and Facebook v. Duguid, which covers Telephone Consumer Protection Act issues. Click here for an extended version of this episode, which covers Supreme Court arguments in the era of COVID-19, thoughts on the importance of amicus briefs, court traditions around new justices and memories of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
30 minutes | a month ago
Behind the Scenes with a ‘Bank On’ Product
While the FDIC’s latest figures on unbanked Americans show improvement between 2017 and 2019, the headline numbers mask the fact that some demographic categories face substantial disparities in access to mainstream finance. To address this gap, ABA recently encouraged all banks to offer Bank On-certified accounts — safe and affordable transaction accounts designed to meet the needs of unbanked Americans currently offered by 43 banks. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Old National Bank’s Ben Joergens discusses his bank’s experience launching a Bank On-certified account. Joergens explains the behind-the-scenes process of developing ONB EZ Access Checking, which has no minimum balance, five free money orders per month for bill payments, no overdraft fees and a monthly fee of $4.95. He also discusses how customers have responded — particularly customers who didn’t think they would find a bank account that worked for them. ABA Chief Policy Officer Naomi Camper also provides background on Bank On and the development of the standards. This episode is part of a series this fall focused on how banks of all sizes are promoting financial inclusion, making the banking system work for all Americans.
22 minutes | 2 months ago
Building Financial Confidence Through Emergency Savings
A bank account isn’t just dollars and cents on a balance sheet. For bank customers, what’s in (or isn’t in) a bank account can be a source of anxiety. By contrast, says Brian N. Ford, head of financial wellness at Truist Bank, “our research shows that when you have a fully funded account and it’s in the right place, a tremendous amount of confidence will come into your life, regardless of if an emergency ever happens to you in the future.” On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Ford discusses how he and his team brought financial wellness education — with a focus on emergency savings as a source of financial confidence — to employees at SunTrust Banks, now Truist after its merger with BB&T. Ford also discusses Truist Momentum, through which Truist’s corporate clients can offer an at-cost financial wellness program as a free employee benefit. This episode is the first in a series this fall focused on how banks of all sizes are promoting financial inclusion, making the banking system work for all Americans.
17 minutes | 2 months ago
Plotting the Future Path of the CRE Sector
Commercial real estate has faced substantial headwinds from stay-at-home orders and changing consumer behavior, and in many cases CRE has not received the same level of support available to consumers and small businesses. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Reich and Tang Deposit Solutions — ABA Economic Research Associate Hugo Dante talks about the outlook for CRE and its effects on lending. Among other topics, Dante covers: Delinquencies and current conditions across CRE sectors. The role of government support for multifamily CRE in stabilizing that sector. Which CRE sectors are most exposed to risk from COVID-19. Long-term effects on CRE appraisal values and investment from shifts to remote work. If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to this week’s episode. This episode is sponsored by Reich and Tang Deposit Solutions. Additional resource: Article by Dante in the September/October issue of the Banking Journal.
25 minutes | 2 months ago
Prodding Class Action Attorneys to Deliver More for Consumers
What happens when a Subway foot-long sandwich is only 11 inches long? There’s a class action lawsuit for that. In recent years, high-profile class action settlements have been criticized for delivering little to no monetary relief to plaintiffs — instead, providing coupons, injunctive relief or “cy pres” relief in which the defendant makes charitable donations — while making large fee awards to attorneys. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Reich and Tang Deposit Solutions — class action expert Ted Frank discusses recent trends in class litigation. As founder of the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute and its Center for Class Action Fairness, Frank discusses his efforts to object to settlements that deliver insufficiently for consumers — and how these efforts have helped to reduce frivolous lawsuits by making it harder for plaintiffs attorneys to get big fee awards. He also discusses the value of arbitration for consumers compared to class actions, as well as the role of shareholder strike suits in mergers and acquisitions.
11 minutes | 2 months ago
Fighting Phishing with #BanksNeverAskThat
With Cybersecurity Awareness Month coming up in October, ABA and banks nationwide are preparing to launch the largest consumer education campaign in ABA’s history: #BanksNeverAskThat. On a bonus episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Reich and Tang Deposit Solutions — ABA’s Paul Benda discusses the growing need for anti-phishing education, with phishing attempts up as much as 500% since the coronavirus pandemic began. ABA’s Caitlin Croswell discusses the #BanksNeverAskThat campaign’s ready-made videos and social media collateral and how banks can deploy them easily to participate in the campaign. This episode is sponsored by Reich and Tang Deposit Solutions. Additional resources: Register now for #BanksNeverAskThat
26 minutes | 3 months ago
Five Community Bank Core Provider Strategies
Community and midsize banks aren’t one-size-fits-all, and neither are the strategies they can adopt for their core processing needs. On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Reich and Tang Deposit Solutions — two community bank CIOs describe five strategies banks can pursue, from the familiar one-stop-shop model to options like headless cores, best-in-breed and “sidecar” cores. D.J. Seeterlin of Chesapeake Bank and Jaime Manriquez of Santa Cruz County Bank — both members of ABA’s Core Platforms Committee — outline benefits and drawbacks of each strategy, including what they mean for speed to market, tightness and flexibility for integration, vendor management needs and on-staff tech know-how. They also discuss the directions their banks are taking. The conversation with Seeterlin and Manriquez provides a game plan for conversations that banks need to have well before they start evaluating today’s core provider marketplace. Additional resources: ABA Banking Journal article by Seeterlin on core provider strategy. Resources from ABA’s Core Platforms Committee.
29 minutes | 3 months ago
Giving Emerging Community Bank Talent ‘Opportunities to Shine’
The fourth season of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Reich and Tang Deposit Solutions — kicks off with Minnesota community banker Andy Schornack. On the younger side for a bank president and CEO, Schornack discusses his career trajectory, what excites him about banking and what he is doing at Flagship Bank and Security Bank and Trust to expand the leadership pipeline to give younger bankers “opportunities to shine” and build their management chops. “We’ve acquired banks, we’ve done core conversions, we’ve rolled out online account opening,” Schornack says, noting that these projects “allow younger people to take on bigger roles and take on more responsibility.” Schornack discusses how he forged his career as a bank executive during the 2008 financial crisis, and he talks about how his banks are responding to today’s crisis, including a 2% business loan program from Security Bank and Trust clients in three counties. Schornack also explores how banks are supporting entrepreneurship and responding to the needs of damaged small businesses in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in the wake of this summer’s civil unrest.
26 minutes | 4 months ago
Coaching Business Clients Through the COVID Crisis
Beyond the immediate changes required by social distancing, the COVID-19 pandemic has “accelerated things that were in progress for a long time,” says Frank Sorrentino, chairman and CEO of ConnectOne Bank. The economic and social changes being wrought by the coronavirus make it “incumbent on us as bankers to have those conversations . . . to bring that advice to your clients.” For example, Sorrentino had a restaurant owner who came in panicked about the future. When ConnectOne Bank staff helped him look at the numbers, the owner realized his business was doing similar volumes of business as before with takeout but with 30% fewer employees. The bank helped the restaurant get financing for tech upgrades to handle the takeout business and move forward, “and yet he was incredibly fearful coming into this conversation.” On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Sorrentino discusses how bankers can help their business clients understand the post-COVID landscape and plot a financial path forward. He also offers advice about moving beyond coronavirus-related “political football” to have reasoned dialogue about what’s ahead and how businesses can help proactively.
15 minutes | 4 months ago
How Banks Can Manage Risks of Coronavirus Aerosolization
With the World Health Organization’s recent recognition of evidence that the novel coronavirus can be aerosolized in particles that remain in the air for long periods over long distances, how do banks need to adjust their COVID-19 risk mitigation procedures? Aerosolization is a different mode of transmission than the large droplets formed when, say, an infectious person sneezes, and the distance that aerosolized particles can travel make social distancing alone insufficient to prevent transmission. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, ABA SVP Paul Benda discusses the science of coronavirus aerosolization and addresses several ways to address it. Beyond mask-wearing as a first-order risk mitigation (masks prevent or substantially reduce virus from being exhaled, he points out), Benda also discusses viral loads, HVAC and airflow adjustments, filtration options and branch and office design considerations. Additional resources: ABA suggestions for addressing the use of masks and face coverings in branches (bankers only). ABA coronavirus resources.
31 minutes | 5 months ago
How Digital Banking Transformation Paid Off in the Pandemic
When COVID-19 accelerated customer movement into mobile and online banking solutions — and triggered consumers to push their funds into bank accounts — banks that had made investments in the digital customer experience were positioned to capitalize. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Radius Bank President and CEO Mike Butler discusses the branchless bank’s fintech-forward strategy and how it helped the bank double account openings in the post-pandemic environment, a core part of the bank’s deposit-focused strategy. In the wide-ranging conversation, Butler also discusses: Radius Bank’s “banking as a service” partnerships with fintech firms and how it vets potential partners to “create an Amazon-like experience for our clients.” The bank’s pending acquisition by nonbank fintech firm Lending Club and how the deal may rebundle some core banking functions in the combined organization. How fintech firms have prepared for the economic downturn. The persistent value of the traditional banking bundle of lending, payments and insured deposits.
25 minutes | 5 months ago
Healing ‘Pain Points’ for Multigenerational Family Businesses
Wendy Cai-Lee leads one of the latest crop of U.S. de novo banks: Piermont Bank, opened to address “pain points” faced by middle-market businesses. Often privately owned and multigenerational family-operated, these businesses have complex financial needs based on the intertwining of ancillary businesses and commercial real estate ownership, combined with unique personal banking and wealth management concerns for the business owners. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Cai-Lee also discusses: How Piermont’s “tech-enabled but not tech-driven” approach sets it apart from nonbank fintech lenders and other banks. The outlook for commercial real estate in Piermont Bank’s market, including decreased appraisal values across the board for retail-heavy properties. Piermont’s business and regulatory experience as part of a small wave of de novos after nearly a decade of virtually no de novo activity. The importance of diversity to Piermont Bank, a woman-founded bank whose board is half women.
22 minutes | 5 months ago
A Trans-Pacific Banking Perspective
Based in San Francisco and leading California’s market for the Bank of Guam, plus currently serving as chairman of the Western Bankers Association, Dave Joves shares a trans-Pacific view of banking on the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast. In this episode, Joves discusses: The evolution of the commercial real estate market in California, including in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns. How the Bank of Guam responded to the coronavirus pandemic. The role of the Bank of Guam and other banks in financial inclusion in far-flung Pacific islands. Plans for the Western Bankers Association in the year ahead, including pivots toward virtual advocacy at the state level.
30 minutes | 5 months ago
The OCC Innovation Agenda with Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks
The OCC is planning to unveil what Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks called “payments charter 1.0” as soon as this fall, Brooks said on the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, sponsored by Jack Henry. Version 1.0 would be a “national version of a state money transmission license” offering nonbank payment providers a “national platform with preemption,” but not access to the Federal Reserve’s payments system. After about 18 months of operating under version 1.0, Brooks said, the agency would roll out version 2.0, which he anticipates would include direct Fed access. In recent interviews, Brooks has touted the idea of using the OCC’s authority to grant special-purpose national bank charters to charter payments companies. In the ABA Banking Journal podcast, Brooks provided more details about the financial inclusion requirements these charters would entail to provide consistency across depository and non-depository institutions. “What we have to do is be creative about the way that we measure the benefit created by our charter, and what is the rational, intelligent, but not overly burdensome concomitant benefit we’d expect them to plow back into their communities,” Brooks said. “Rest assured, these charters will have some kind of financial inclusion expectation.” Noting that banks have faced challenges adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in part because “regulators have been slow to provide guidance,” Brooks also said the OCC is working to evaluate advanced technologies that can improve financial inclusion such as AI-based underwriting. As part of the agency’s financial inclusion efforts, the OCC’s Office of Innovation is “in the process of standing up an evaluation unit, where for the first time the OCC will analyze specific technologies, look at risk frameworks, engage in model validation and give banks guidance about what we think is good and what we think is risky. We’ve never done that before.” The goal is to be “very specific,” Brooks added. “I’m not talking about generic guidance about managing safety and soundness and reputational risk. I’m talking about ‘What do we think about AI for credit underwriting?’ or ‘What are the fair lending and legal implications of AI in underwriting under various conditions?’ It won’t be useful if we’re not that specific.” In addition to the topics mentioned above, Brooks described several other elements of his OCC innovation agenda: Changing credit bid rules for real estate owned to incentivize homeownership and renovation in distressed neighborhoods. The need to update vendor risk management rules to support innovation. The role of core processors in supporting bank innovation in a time of technological unbundling in the fintech marketplace. Beyond appearing on the podcast, Brooks will be a keynote speaker at ABA’s Risk and Compliance Virtual Conference, July 28-30.
30 minutes | 5 months ago
Minority Banks and Financial Inclusion
First Independence Bank was founded 50 years ago to help rebuild Detroit’s economy in the wake of damaging urban violence. Today, in a new era of economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, and protests and unrest in response to incidents of racial injustice, minority depository institutions continue to have a unique role in serving distressed communities. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Jack Henry — First Independence Chairman and CEO Kenneth Kelly tells the First Independence story and discusses: the historical struggles of and current environment for MDIs; talent development in the MDI sector; and the ongoing role of minority banks in promoting financial inclusion and helping minority communities build wealth. As chairman of the National Bankers Association, Kelly also discusses the NBA’s recent strategic partnership with the American Bankers Association and how ABA member banks can get involved to support the MDI sector.
16 minutes | 6 months ago
All Hands on Deck to Deliver PPP Funds
In a matter of days, bankers rallied to deliver hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to support Americans’ jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic. The stakes: the survival of the small business economy on which every bank and community relies. Thanks to sponsor Jack Henry, we present the first episode of “We Were Economic First Responders,” a new podcast series from the American Bankers Association. Bankers tell the story of how they geared up to make Paycheck Protection Program loans, despite contradictory or non-existent regulatory guidance, customer confusion and the challenges of remote work and social distancing.
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