Bank executive insights, unique business strategies, regulatory updates from D.C., and fun banking stories—all this and more on the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, brought to you weekly by the American Bankers Association's award-winning podcast team.
How the ‘apolitical’ Fed moves during presidential elections
If the past has any predictive power, rate-watchers may want to discount the chance of significant rate movements this election year. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, ABA VP Jeff Huther summarizes his analysis of Federal Open Market Committee actions during presidential elections, showing that in rare circumstances — well-telegraphed technical movements from a low base or during crisis moments like 2008 — the FOMC has generally refrained from taking action that could be perceived as political. Huther discusses what this means for the 2024 interest rate outlook.
How flexible is your core? A new tool to help assess
“We’re really focused on increasing competition and innovation in the core provider landscape,” says ABA Core Platforms Committee Chair Kristiane Koontz. “We want to make sure that people know core conversions are an option, and we want to help make that easier and less risky for banks to undertake. But in many cases, a core conversion may not be the right path.”
On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, the host catches up with Koontz at the Conference for Community Bankers to discuss the committee’s recent work on core resilience and competition, as well as the committee’s plans for 2024. The show also features past chair D.J. Seeterlin of Chesapeake Bank on the committee’s newly released Core Provider Flexibility Assessment, a tool to help banks identify what the need to power their strategies.
Reducing the friction in banking
Sometimes there are good reasons for friction in the banking experience: to stop fraud, to comply with laws. But sometimes the friction is a result of legacy tech — and legacy thinking. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Anne Tangen, a bank IT expert-turned-CEO at BankFive in Fall River, Massachusetts, talks about BankFive’s efforts to reduce friction in the account opening process, as well as her work to smooth the path for talented women in the community bank C-suite.
Tangen also discusses her own career experience working at banks of all sizes and how BankFive is embracing its mutual identity and investing in growth.
Connect with peers on these issues at the ABA Mutual Community Bank Forum and ABA Women and Allies Forum, March 17 in Washington, D.C.
Getting the GSEs’ transition to new credit scores right
The multiyear effort to change the credit scoring models required by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continues to move forward, and mortgage lenders, credit officers and compliance professionals need to know the latest developments. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, ABA VP Sharon Whitaker provides an update. Among other topics, Whitaker discusses:
The operational challenges of moving from today’s tri-merge system to merging just two credit reports. How FICO 10T and VantageScore 4.0 differ from credit scores in use today. Why rushing the transition might be counterproductive to the initiative’s financial inclusion goals. The role of core platforms and other technology vendors in supporting the transition. What may happen in the Federal Housing Finance Agency makes the change but the Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration and others don’t. Why the industry needs to see data on how the new credit scoring models would perform, and how banks can get involved in sharing feedback with FHFA. ****
Learn more about the credit score transition at the American Mortgage Conference, April 15-17 in Savannah, Georgia. Contact Sharon Whitaker to join ABA’s working group on the issue.
MDI status helps a mutual bank supercharge its strategy
Late in 2023, Warsaw Federal — a $71 million mutual savings and loan in Cincinnati — was officially designated as a minority depository institution. The move to MDI status is part of the 130-year-old bank’s pivot to serving its community more deeply while building its capital base to support growth. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, President and CEO Robie Suggs discusses the bank’s strategy.
Among other topics, Suggs discusses:
Why and how Warsaw Federal sought and obtained MDI status, and how it helps the bank meet the needs of the Price Hill community of Cincinnati. The role of the bank in serving unbanked and underbanked households in Price Hill. Warsaw Federal’s use of tier 1 mutual capital certificates. How Warsaw Federal is supported through its affiliation with First Mutual Holding Company. Her own journey as a banker and community and economic development executive.
Join mutual bank peers at the ABA Mutual Community Bank Forum March 17-18 in Washington, D.C.
How Esquire Bank reaches an audience that thinks it doesn’t need to be convinced
Last week, the ABA Banking Journal Podcast featured the CEO of Esquire Bank, a nationwide bank with a focus on law firm banking. On the second part of this two-part series, the podcast welcomes Kyall Mai, chief innovation officer, to discuss how the bank reaches this niche market. With the goal of getting lawyers (“who are often very difficult to convince,” he notes) to switch banks, Mai emphasizes the need for content marketing, data and top-shelf technology.
Mai discusses Esquire Bank’s content marketing site, LawyerIQ, which has a unique value proposition of educating attorneys on the business side of running a law firm successfully. He explores how LawyerIQ’s AI-driven tailored content helps the bank generate leads in a niche market. He also talks about the bank’s use of Salesforce platforms and other technology services to compete for business.
Empowering, insightful and actionable! 🙌
Whether you’re well established as someone innovating in the world of banking and finance, or just getting started as a catalyst for change within your organization - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Evan and the entire ABA team do an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of successfully navigating an ever changing banking landscape - from leaders who’ve actually walked the path. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!
Scintillating view into the secret world of high finance
This was an excellent listen, highlighting elements of banking not commonly understood by the general public. The host Evan Sparks deftly guided the conversation to highlight interesting elements of the interviewees experience. Altogether an excellent podcast, and I will continue to subscribe.