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Oct 11, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Regulators are Striving to Ease Capital Rules for Small Banks

“Regulation is killing community banks.” Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin

In March, regulators announced that they would launch an effort to ease capital rules for smaller institutions. In June, a Treasury report recognized, “community financial institutions’ business models have come under pressure from added compliance costs from new regulations.” It urged regulators to “explore exempting community banks from the risk-based capital regime implementing the Basel III standards.” In the most recent step, which happened on August 22, U.S. bank regulatory agencies put forth a proposal to delay the implementation period for stricter capital rules for smaller banks while they review ways to simplify requirements.

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Topics: Regulations

Oct 5, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Is Your Bank Winning at Customer Experience in the Digital Economy?

As every football fan knows, the "hurry-up offense" is a staple in many playbooks. (For those of you unfamiliar with the term, in a “hurry-up offense,” the offense tries to execute as many plays as possible—as quickly as possible). It's a style of attack that works well if the opponent is complacent or under-prepared. When successful, the speed of the play exposes weaknesses in the defense quickly. It wears them down, and makes them confused and frustrated, giving the offense the opportunity to capitalize on the defensive breakdown.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Digital Economy

Sep 27, 2017 10:00:00 AM

3 Ways the New iPhone X Will Change Consumer Banking

After much anticipation, Apple has announced its iPhone X. As is so often the case with new Apple company releases, the newest generation brings more than just an updated device design. It also introduces a host of new technologies that change how many industries operate in the digital space. For the banking sector, three innovations will likely impact customer engagement and how business gets done.

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Topics: Electronic Health Records

Sep 20, 2017 10:00:00 AM

2 Reasons Your Bank Should Have Already Begun CECL Implementation

As banks navigate through their CECL implementation, many are experiencing challenges and uncertainties along the way. Since last summer when the new standard was announced, we’ve advised banks to get started on their implementation timeline sooner than later. In part, it’s to give time to mitigate the unexpected. In part, the advice comes from our experience with how complex and challenging it can be to implement new models, standards, regulations, and technologies. And finally, it’s because more robust data analysis means more confident decisions and ultimately more profitable loans over the long term.

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Topics: CECL

Sep 13, 2017 1:00:00 PM

4 Steps to Help Millennials Build Wealth and Security

As the adage says, one of the surest ways to combat fear is to confront it head on. Financial anxiety is one of those fears. For 85% of adults, concerns around unplanned emergencies, medical expenses, insufficient funds for retirement, and school loans rank as the top stressors in their life.[1] For young, Millennial-aged adults, these concerns are even more pressing.

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Topics: Millennials, Growth

Sep 7, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of ESOP

True to its name, an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a type of employee benefit plan, similar in some ways to a profit-sharing setup. The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) estimates that approximately 14 million workers currently participate in an ESOP, making it the most common form of employee ownership in the U.S.

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Topics: ESOP

Aug 30, 2017 10:00:00 AM

What Banks Need to Understand About Blockchain

The world around us is in a constant state of change and moving at a pace that has never been seen before. Adaptation is vital to remain relevant in this type of environment. We all know of examples of companies and industries that failed to anticipate and adapt to changing technology and quickly became or are becoming obsolete—Blockbuster, Kodak and the taxi industry to name a few. Whether it was a lack of vision or a lack of belief that change could happen, we certainly do not want to find ourselves on this list.

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Topics: Electronic Health Records, Blockchain

Aug 23, 2017 11:30:00 AM

What Banks Need to Know About the AICPA Cyber SOC

For organizations of every kind, data breach incidents are "when"—not "if" events. Especially for business entities (like banks) that manage clients’ private information, building vigilance against threat actors, unintentional compromises, and other cyber vulnerabilities is as much a part of risk management as instituting compliance measures. But understanding how to spot weaknesses, build transparency, and engage checks and balances demands a new level of focus and capability for many banks.

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Topics: Electronic Health Records, SOC

Aug 16, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Looming Regulations Require Immediate Attention

After attending the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (PCAOB) Forum on Auditing in the Small Business Environment, our HORNE Financial Institutions team was reminded of future certainties that require immediate preparations. Regulations are becoming more complex. Regulators are requiring more diligence from publicly traded companies and banks—as well as from their auditors. 

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Topics: Regulations, Accounting Standards

Aug 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Internal Controls Can Combat Fraud

When internal controls breakdown, an organization’s risk of fraud increases significantly. We recently conducted a fraud investigation for one of our clients where management believed funds were missing but had been unable to figure out how they were taken.

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Topics: Banking

Aug 2, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Better, Faster, Cheaper? What You Should Expect from Next Generation Audits

The banking industry has been (understandably) shaken by the rise and impact of technologies like automation and artificial intelligence. The audit profession has been similarly shaken. Already, machines can handle a substantial portion of the audit services we provide. Oddly enough for a client service profession, however, it’s virtually impossible to find any information about how tactical audit process changes will impact our clients. A quick Google search shows no articles about what audit clients should expect to experience in the coming seven or so years.

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Topics: Audit

Jul 26, 2017 10:30:00 AM

How Smaller Banks Use Digital Channels to Stay Competitive

As people move away from physically walking into brick and mortar branches, the banking industry has planted (at least) one foot firmly in the “bank of the future.” This modern structure is built with technology and online platforms, erasing geographic boundaries and introducing new offerings to customer bases across the globe.

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Topics: Digital Banking

Jul 19, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Lending and Discrimination: A Recipe for Disaster

Any financial institution engaged in mortgage lending has a responsibility to make sure its employees are aware of the current status of lending discrimination laws. The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) office of HUD has established a set of guidelines to help lenders understand fair lending and the law that governs it, how fair housing rights are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act, and how to spot signs of a violation.

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Topics: Gender Equality, Banking, Fair Lending