By Bill Poquette, Editor-in-Chief, and Alaina Webster, Managing Editor
A year ago at its annual convention, the Nebraska Bankers Association unveiled the results of a months-long study by Chicago-based consulting firm Financial Shares Corp. aimed at charting the group’s strategy as it strives to meet the changing needs of its members. Since then, the organization has focused on challenges such as the lack of rural housing stock, engagement with young bankers, banking’s image in the communities it serves, and financial literacy.
By David Eads
With the market growth of “mobile-first” consumers, bankers have recognized the need to create more user-friendly experiences for these customers. Because initial engagement (and the ability to keep customers engaged) is a major component for growth, bankers are now leveraging technology in smarter, more effective ways when it comes to their application processes — realizing better conversion rates, lower abandonment rates and improved customer experience.
By Nicole Burczyk
Over the past several decades, the fixed income market has been predominately a bull market. Investors have consistently seen the same investment decisions rewarded purely because each meaningful rise in interest rates was followed by an even more significant correction. Over this period of time, as yields lowered, prepayments increased as investors refinanced mortgages at even lower interest rates. Within this framework of lowering interest rates, bank investors have been able to invest in longer fixed rate pass through securities without much concern for the extension risk imbedded in these pools. However, given the current outlook for higher rates, it may be time to consider evaluating the risk within your current portfolio and diversifying into additional mortgage back structures when appropriate.
By Dewald Nolte
What is the tradeoff between customer convenience and security? Conventional thinking holds that the more secure something is, the more difficult it is to use. For example, in mobile and online banking, anti-fraud measures have long been synonymous with complicated passwords, one-time text messages, or having to verify information with a phone call or portable hardware token. Such measures often inconvenience consumers, leaving financial institutions to find a balance between providing the most convenient experience while still guaranteeing that their information is safe.
By Kris Bishop
When undergoing a merger transaction, an acquiring bank will inherit years’ worth of data and images from the purchased institution. For even the most experienced acquirers, figuring out how to integrate that data into the current operating environment without causing a significant amount of hassle and disruption can be a daunting prospect.