August 10, 2017

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

July 19, 2017

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

June 07, 2017

How to Build a Better Bank Board of Directors

As banks evolve, so should your leadership team and board. Shareholders, analysts, investors, and even customers want proof of diversity, collaboration, and confident decisions. No longer can a bank board be a ‘good old boys club’ comprised of leaders from the local business community. Effective leadership reflects the composition of the customer base, it encourages objectivity, and it brings a broader set of collective skills to bear.

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Topics: Board Members, Banking, Leadership

February 16, 2017

What's Behind President Trump’s Order to Reform Dodd-Frank

The first three weeks of the Trump presidency have been full of activity. Within President Trump’s first few hours in office, he was signing executive orders, and he does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. On February 3rd, he signed an order that directs the Secretary of the Treasury to review the Dodd-Frank financial oversight law and report his recommendations.

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Topics: Dodd-Frank, Banking

January 11, 2017

Preparing for CECL Compliance: Analyze Your Loan Portfolio and CQIs

The countdown that began June 16, 2016 is officially underway. The runway to CECL (Current Expected Credit Losses) compliance promises to be riddled with complexities. You don’t need to look much farther than the fact that FASB implementation dates are set several years out to get the sense of how important it is to take a long-term, multi-faceted approach to ensuring compliance.

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Topics: CECL, Banking

December 15, 2016

What Does Trump’s Election Mean for My Bank?

Bank leaders have been asking this question since Donald Trump surprised the nation by winning the election on November 8.

For years, increasing regulations has been the predominant theme for banks. With this unforeseen national shift, we find ourselves looking at the very real possibility of deregulation—and soon. Case in point, on December 1, the House passed a bill that would eliminate the $50B SIFI threshold, replacing it with more qualitative measures. Although this only impacts a few of the country’s largest banks, it is an encouraging sign of things to come. 

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Topics: Banking, Healthcare Reform Trump

September 14, 2016

Outsmart the Acecard with Cybersecurity Designed for the Malware

Consumer banks and their customers have a new reason to be extra vigilant. Cyberthieves have begun using new malicious software (“malware”) programs to steal credentials from customers of large banks who enter their accounts via Apple iOS and Android based apps. Malware programs like Acecard and GM Bot are proving so pernicious because they can morph into customized overlays to imitate 50 financial-services apps. That feature is attracting the attention of cyber-thieves, mobile phone companies, cybersecurity, and bank regulators.

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Topics: Electronic Health Records, Banking

May 25, 2016

How Hackers are Stealing Your Value

We recently shared some statistics that demonstrate the cost of cybercrime by industry. Particularly, that the annual combined loss from cybercrime in the US exceeded $525 million (USD) in 2015. While financial institutions have the highest risk of threat and the highest average annual costs caused by cybercrime, virtually every industry is at risk. 

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Topics: Electronic Health Records, Hacker, Banking

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

May 11, 2016

Can Community Banks and Fintech Firms be Competimates?

Since 2015, an estimated 4,000 fintech (“finance” + “technology”) firms have come into the marketplace, garnering more than $25 billion in capital. While that number is only a fraction of the value of the traditional banking industry, these companies are disrupting traditional financial businesses as they gained their share of customers. The influence of this market disruptor is undisputed. App based financial providers like Square, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Venmo came on the scene and quickly revolutionized how consumers exchange money.

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Topics: Innovation, Banking

April 06, 2016

The OCC's Plan for Fintech and Banks

"The biggest difficulty in Fintech is predicting when the banking defenses begin to come down, as they realize they have to react to the fact that banking services are going to be delivered digitally. Those bricks are coming down one brick at a time, unfortunately, as opposed to the wall coming down. But they are coming down, and my advice is don’t burn all your money thinking you can knock the wall down. But if you’re sharp and pay attention, and you can tailor your product and spend to the right trajectory, you can pace it so as the bricks come down, you’re able to go over the top." - Pete Kight, VC, Founder of CheckFree

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Topics: Fintech, Banking

December 03, 2014

Basel III Will Complicate Your Bank’s Deferred Tax Assets

On January 1, 2015, community banks will begin the transition to new Basel III rules. These new capital requirements coming from the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency promise to complicate the way that U.S. banks calculate deferred tax assets (DTAs) and deferred tax liabilities (DTLs).

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Topics: Tax, Banking

October 22, 2014

Banking Success and Lessons from the Golf Course

Recently, I had a great reminder of the art and importance of communication. I am an avid (okay, borderline obsessed) golfer. I am constantly trying to figure out ways to better my game, with an ultimate goal of lowering my handicap to a three.

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Topics: Culture, Banking