Begin the Year Right

January 21, 2020 - 3 min read

In 2015, I was invited to write an article for the September/October issue of Western Banker on technology. The title of the article was “Managing Technology Service Provider Relationships”. I focused on the steps a financial institution should take to maximize its relationship with technology vendors, especially its core processing vendor. In that article, I…

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Consider the Impact if Your Database was ‘Equifaxed’!

February 27, 2018 - 4 min read

My youngest son is a high school varsity basketball coach. Each year, before the season begins, he hears of certain areas that the state athletic association wants referees to focus on. These are referred to as ‘points of emphasis’. As a coach, he must learn about officiating updates. Some of these points of emphasis may…

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Fed to Wells: Can You Hear Me Now?

February 20, 2018 - 6 min read

I had anticipated that this month I would simply script a quick overview of the recently released CCAR/DFAST severely adverse economic scenario dynamics. And much like last year (“Do the 2017 CCAR Scenarios Signal Regulatory Focus?”, 2/16/2017), opine on any potential hidden (or overt) messages being sent by the regulators in terms of risk management…

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Just Another Risk Assessment, or a Critical Risk Assessment?

February 8, 2018 - 3 min read

Risk assessments are a valuable tool, if used to truly understand the threat environment associated with specific product lines. A good example of a meaningful risk assessment would be a “Corporate Account Takeover Risk Assessment” which, if performed properly, is used to determine the probability of a Corporate Account Takeover (CATO). If the risk is…

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2018 Kicks Off with a Michigan M&A Bang!

January 18, 2018 - 7 min read

On the evening of January 9, the $1.1 billion Troy-based Crestmark Bank announced plans to merge with a $5 billion operation headquartered in South Dakota. Aside from the geography of the merger partner, such news has become common in our consolidating industry and is typically absorbed by the markets in what has become a somewhat…

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Kicking Off the New Year with Resolutions and Best Practices

January 17, 2018 - 4 min read

According to Wikipedia, ancient Babylonians began each year by promising to return borrowed objects and repay their debts. Ancient Romans began the New Year by making promises to Janus, a two-faced god who represented beginnings and transitions. The month January is name for Janus. Neither the Babylonians nor the Romans had to deal with technology…

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“The Branch of 2018” by Jeff Morris

January 3, 2018 - 3 min read

Financial Managers Society Article: “The Branch of 2018”, by Jeff Morris. The January/February 2018 issue of Forward, the publication of The Financial Managers Society, features an article by Managing Director Jeff Morris entitled “The Branch of 2018.” Jeff shares his vision for branches in the future which includes technology, but he asserts that it is…

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Happy Holidays!

December 21, 2017 - 3 min read

Dear Clients and Friends, As 2017 draws to a close, I wanted to send you a copy of our latest monthly statistical summary for Michigan banks. Clearly, the collective performance of the state’s institutions has been impressive this year, as most currencies rode the wave of expectations coming out of last November’s election…carried that momentum…

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Trends in Technology: The Most Overused Word in Technology

December 13, 2017 - 2 min read

Partnership – I believe that it is the most overused word in technology today. True partnerships seldom exist, but all too often technology vendors portray their relationships with clients as partnerships. Only when the client recognizes that there is a partnership does it actually exist, not because the vendor wishes to be considered as a…

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Is Regulatory Relief Finally Within Sight?

November 16, 2017 - 4 min read

In the past few days, the Wall Street Journal has featured articles with headlines including: “Bankers See Shift in Tone” (11/13/17), “Senators Support Rollback of Bank Oversight” (11/14/17), and “Smaller Banks May Now Dream Big” (11/15/17). The following opening lines are from that latest article: “Congress finally looks set to deliver some regulatory relief for…

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The Arrogance of Technology

November 15, 2017 - 4 min read

“Bright shiny thing increases ROA by X%.” I have yet to read that in a press release from a tech vendor, but I won’t be surprised when I do! Financial technology vendors have all fallen into the same trap, believing their own press releases. “Our tech is better because, blah, blah, blah.” Ok, prove it!…

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Understanding the Truth About the Impact of Acquisitions on Vendors

October 25, 2017 - 6 min read

Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We all learned that in high school physics. But, what does physics have to do with technology, more precisely, the business of financial technology? Literally, not much. I’m citing it, however, to show there is a correlation between…

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