Phillip Branch

Phillip Branch is a senior manager in the HORNE Banking practice. With more than 9 years of proactively serving the financial institutions industry, Phillip is a specialist in areas including external and internal audit, loan reviews, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence and internal control reviews and assessments.
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Recent Posts

August 16, 2017

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

May 24, 2017

Trump Promises to Improve Dodd-Frank for Community Banks

On Monday, May 1st, President Trump spoke to representatives from the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), committing to cut the ‘red tape’ imposed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law. His repeal promises were met with a great deal of excitement from the community bankers present, in part because of the reminder that the number of federally insured small banks dropped from 7,357 in 2011 to 5,980 in 2016—at least in part because of the regulation.[1] ICBA representatives including CEO Cam Fine reiterated the general tone, saying that community banks face a “pressing need for regulatory relief.”[2]

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Topics: Regulations, Dodd-Frank, Healthcare Reform Trump

March 22, 2017

How to Respond to the SEC Request for Public Comment on Industry Guide 3

“As an agency designed to serve the American people, it is imperative to constantly look back on the SEC’s rules and engage the public on ways to improve. Today, we are asking for public comment on whether Industry Guide 3 continues to elicit the information that investors need for informed investment and voting decisions.”

- SEC Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar

On March 1, 2017, the SEC voted to publish a request for public comment on disclosures mandated by Industry Guide 3—Statistical Disclosure by Bank Holding Companies. The agency is seeking input from investors, registrants and others on ways to improve disclosures for bank holding companies, inquiring whether Guide 3 remains capable of gathering the information needed for investors to make informed funding and voting decisions. Additionally, the SEC is examining what new types of disclosures about bank holding company activities might be necessary.

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Topics: Regulations, SEC, Industry Guide 3

February 22, 2017

Community Banks Are Using Fintech to Expand Their Impact

Recently, a HORNE Banking client, a community bank based in rural Mississippi, shared with us that they are moving into Fintech. This institution does business in their immediate area as well as in some metro locations. Their announcement was noteworthy for a few reasons. First, despite all the talk about this channel over the past few years, we’ve yet to see it in action within community banks. Second, the institution is using Fintech as a technology-based lending platform for its small business clients, rather than as a consumer lending offering.

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Topics: Fintech

January 04, 2017

HORNE Banking Year in Review: Top 10 Blogs of 2016

For the banking industry, 2016 was a year marked by regulatory changes, new channels and heightened awareness of cyber issues, demographic shifts, and new ways of thinking about the role of community banks. Our team published 48 blogs in 2016.

Here are your top 10 most read posts, listed in order of popularity.

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Topics: Hard Trend

October 19, 2016

5 Ways the CFPB Constitutionality Ruling Impacts Banks and Consumers

By now, you may have heard that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declared that Congress had taken unconstitutional action with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and introduced a swath of changes that stand to impact providers and consumers in numerous ways. The court's decision puts the CFPB directly under the control of the White House. Currently, the CFPB operates as an independent agency. There are arguments on both sides of that coin, some saying that the autonomy provides necessary stability for the U.S. economy and others saying that it offers a dangerous lack of checks and balances.

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Topics: Regulations, CFPB

October 05, 2016

Answers to Your Most Pressing Cybersecurity Issues

In today’s connected world, security breaches are inevitable. Especially for organizations that handle sensitive data like PII, it’s vital to be prepared. Looking at your business with a hacker mentality and putting a cybersecurity strategy in place are your best ways to ensure that when your day comes, you can bounce back without any major interruptions to your business or harm to your brand and reputation. 

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Topics: Electronic Health Records

August 24, 2016

What Banks Need to Know About the InTREx Cybersecurity Program

On July 1, 2016, the FDIC updated its Information Technology Risk Management Program (IT-RMP) with the Information Technology Risk Examination (InTREx) Program. Applicable to all FDIC-supervised institutions, regardless of size, InTREx is intended as a more efficient approach to its information technology and operations risk procedures. It enhances cybersecurity preparedness efforts and puts greater focus on identifying, assessing, and validating IT to ensure that management is able to effectively address institutional risk.

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Topics: Electronic Health Records, InTREx

August 17, 2016

This is the Risk of Not Diversifying the Boardroom

“Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians… And diversity is probably a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time.”[1]

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Topics: board diversity

July 27, 2016

FFIEC Cybersecurity Statement: Shielding Banks from Theft

One of the largest financial cybercrime events in history happened in early 2016. Hackers successfully breached Bangladesh Bank’s systems and attempted to steal nearly $1 billion from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. By the time it was uncovered, the heist had netted hackers more than $80 million.

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Topics: Electronic Health Records

July 13, 2016

The Growth of Your Bank Hinges on These 3 Trends

In 1965, Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor, predicted the amount of transistors in a dense integrated circuit would double every two years. He theorized that processing technology power, bandwidth and storage capacity would progress at the same rate. By 2015, that pace of advancement had slowed only slightly to closer about two and a half years, but his predictions largely have held true.  We are in an age where technology is increasing so rapidly, it is no longer just changing. It is transforming.

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Topics: Bank Growth, Hard Trend

June 22, 2016

2016 Verizon DBIR Financial Services Report

Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) is the most comprehensive and cited source of statistical data and trends related to cyber security incidents. Data breaches are traced, categorized, and analyzed to provide intelligence used by security organizations and businesses of many types and categories.

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Topics: Electronic Health Records, DBIR

May 16, 2016

2016 Mississippi Bankers Association Conference Recap

From May 11-15, 2016, more than 600 bank industry professionals participated in the 128th annual Mississippi Bankers Association Convention. Held in beautiful Sandestin Florida, this conference offered participants time for professional, social, family, and leisure.

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Topics: Banking