Focus articles

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Why succession planning is key to bank independence

Why succession planning is key to bank independence

Independence is at the heart of many community banks’ ethos, but how do community bankers embed this core value into their strategic planning? Here are three critical strategies that use succession planning and board management to maintain independence. By Colleen Morrison Independence is on everyone’s mind this month, so, too, should the importance of independence […]

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How to optimize your bank’s D&O insurance

Directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance is a must-have risk mitigation tool for banks regardless of their asset size or geography. Here’s what community banks and bankers can do to make sure they’re covered. By Susan Thomas Springer Wherever we are in the economy cycle, the need for directors and officers liability insurance is a constant. […]

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10 mobile lending UX best practices

The easier and more intuitive your mobile lending platform is to use, the more high-quality loan applications you’ll receive. By Elizabeth Judd If an outstanding user experience for mobile lending platforms were not already a holy grail for community bankers, it’s certainly become one as they consider how to do business in a world gripped by COVID-19. […]

Mary Quist presents Jim Amundson with an honorary $20 million check

Medica’s $20 million deposit at community banks

Often, our good deeds have a butterfly effect among those around us. As health insurer Medica deposits $20 million across dozens of community banks in Minnesota, it will allow these institutions to make more loans locally and spur economic activity. By Ed Avis When leaders at Medica, a nonprofit health insurer in Minnesota, sought an […]

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LIBOR: What are your options after it ends?

As LIBOR’s retirement approaches, here’s what community banks can do now to prepare for the switch, even if they haven’t settled on which index they plan to use. By Katie Kuehner-Hebert The retirement of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, is fast approaching. Community banks that use LIBOR to price certain loans should be […]

Andy Fischer

Community banks meet a need for rural mortgages

With community banks providing the only physical banking locations in nearly one in five U.S. counties, they meet a critical need for mortgage borrowers while also helping to stem rural flight. By Bridget McCrea The numbers don’t lie: Community banks provide rural homebuyers with vital access to credit. According to the Brookings Institution, community banks […]

How to connect with talent in smaller markets

Most community banks serving rural communities and small towns understand that recruiting talent, especially young people, is important. However, given low unemployment and limited recruiting budgets, finding the right people can be easier said than done. Here’s how several community banks are finding superstar hires outside of the big cities. By William Atkinson With record-low […]

inside the barrel room

504 loans could help your business customers. Here’s how

While not the most popular SBA loan program, 504 loans may offer an attractive financing option for both new and seasoned small business customers. They’re another tool in community banks’ toolbox for fostering small businesses’ success, at a time when they need support more than ever. By Beth Mattson-Teig The Small Business Administration’s 504 Loan […]