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Harland Conference Report: Jump Over the Candlestick

By: Kari English

Once the $1.2 billion acquisition of Harland Financial Solutions by David+Henderson Corp. is complete, the combined company will have more than 6,200 clients in North America and very little overlap in products, according to Scott Hansen, executive vice president, business development, for Harland Financial Solutions. Hansen, along with Harland President Raj Shivdasani, spoke enthusiastically about the merger at Harland’s annual Connections conference in August at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

“D+H and Harland are two companies with a shared vision,” said Shivdasani in his general session opening remarks. The companies are also aligned in their cultures and values, he told conference attendees.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Be Nimble, Be Quick.” That is exactly what Harland is trying to do with all the changes currently taking place within the financial services industry. 

“A multi-tier regulatory system is setting in,” said Shivdasani. Because of this, Harland is seeing more technology refreshes by institutions as they increase their efforts to become more efficient.

When asked during a regulatory panel whether or not financial institutions will be ready for the mortgage reforms due to take effect in January 2014, Janet Bonnefin, principal at Aldrich Bonnefin & Moore, said this: “I think they are trying to be ready by then but the rules are changing as you implement them. Ninety percent of banks will be 95 percent ready by Jan. 10, 2014.”

When asked how long it will take the market to adjust to the qualified mortgage model, Jay Brinkman, chief economist and senior vice president, research and education, at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said lenders have already made adjustments for what they know and understand. But there is a tremendous increase in operating costs. And although these costs will not set back the economic recovery, housing definitely will not lead the recovery, in his view.

In the end, Brinkman said that community banks will be fine in the new regulatory environment if they can find a loan that makes all the regulators happy. That may be difficult, though, because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is rather opposed to fixed rates while the other regulators are not. 

Next year’s Connections conference will be Aug. 11–14 at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in Orlando.

Kari English is senior editor of BankNews.

Copyright (c) October 2013 by BankNews Media