The Daily Dividend: FMS Publications

News, notes and insights from around the industry

APRIL 8, 2019
Taming the Spreadsheet Beast
By Hilary Collins, Specialist, Publications and Research, Financial Managers Society

FMS Webinar: Strategic Implications of CECLAlmost every bank and credit union these days, regardless of size or complexity, likely relies to some degree on spreadsheets to help organize and manage their data. In many cases, however, that dependence throughout the organization can lead to a level of proliferation and splintering that is almost impossible to control at an institutional level. 

For example, sometimes the spreadsheets, databases and other information management systems institutions are using are themselves flawed, and thus deliver flawed results. That’s the topic of the new Perspectives piece Is Your Shadow IT Compromising Your Growth and Compliance?, in which Joe Galletta of ClusterSeven explains how institutions can work to protect themselves against the risks of spreadsheet proliferation. 

That topic leads nicely into our latest webinar on Wednesday, April 10, as several experts from ClusterSeven show how to implement a spreadsheet risk management framework that will enhance your business model and CECL compliance in Spreadsheet Risk Management: A Practical Approach to Business Management and CECL Compliance. (As always, this webinar is complimentary to FMS members – and if you’re not a member, join now!)

APRIL 2, 2019
Portfolio Portrait
By Hilary Collins, Specialist, Publications and Research, Financial Managers Society

Following a fourth quarter of volatility, including a global equity sell-off, yield curve inversion, trade tensions and a partial government shutdown, the first quarter of 2019 seemed to bring calmer seas. In the latest edition of the Community Bank Investment Index (CBI Index) from PFM Asset Management LLC, community banks report relatively smooth sailing.

Here are some of the major takeaways:

Community bank portfolio yields trended lower during the period ended February 15, 2019, from 3.36% last quarter to 2.95%.

An increase of almost $2 billion from the previous quarter represents the first net increase in community bank investment portfolios in seven quarters. Though relatively small (0.4%), it shows one of the ways the volatile economy likely impacted the lending environment for community banks.

The security closing price of the PFM CBI index on February 15, 2019 was 109.61, up from 106.82 the previous quarter.

For the full report, check out the latest CBI newsletter, now available here.

APRIL 1, 2019
A Look Back at forward
By Hilary Collins, Specialist, Publications and Research, Financial Managers Society

Spring is in the air, and as you thumb through your well-worn copy of the March-April issue of FMS forward, we’ve found some follow-up stories that build on the topics we covered.

If you enjoyed our cover story The State of Pay and are closely following the growth of the payments tech economy, you may be interested in this piece discussing Citigroup’s new payments unit. They plan to offer options like credit cards, digital wallets and direct bank account transfers, reaching out to customers who want a localized payment experience.

If you got a lot out of Upgrading the Candidate Experience, your interest may be piqued by the report that the hot job market driving the changes to candidate standards isn’t cooling down. In fact, this period of sustained job growth may be undoing some of the long-standing damage from the Great Recession.

For fans of Brave New World, this story on developing an agile management style is a great companion piece. As organizations grow, leaders have to adapt to a bold and nimble leadership style and grow right alongside their team.

MARCH 26, 2019
FMS Perspectives: Banking M&A in 2019
By Mark Loehrke, Editor, Financial Managers Society

The dollar amount of banking deals through the first quarter of 2019 has already surpassed the total of M&A activity for all of 2017. In other words, something is clearly going on, and whether your institution is a would-be acquirer or a potential target, this is probably a good time to review some of the broad themes and trends to consider how they might apply to your situation.

In his new FMS Perspectives piece, Banking M&A 2019: The What and the Why, Neil Dhar of PwC outlines the innovation imperatives and favorable economics in the current environment that are driving more and more banks to get together.

MARCH 19, 2019
FMS Perspectives: Facing a Pause, Bank Managers Must Stay Vigilant
By Mark Loehrke, Editor, Financial Managers Society

Facing a challenging operating environment characterized by rising funding costs, fully-enriched balance sheets and tightening risk-adjusted returns, bankers must work hard to focus on the fundamentals if they hope to deliver sound, profitable growth. 

In his new FMS Perspectives piece, Facing a Pause, Bank Managers Must Stay Vigilant, Scott Hildenbrand of Sandler O’Neill + Partners offers up eight helpful best practices for creating franchise value late in the economic cycle – from aligning incentives with desired outcomes to pricing loans for late-cycle risk – and stresses the importance of proactively communicating strategic and tactical shifts with all stakeholders.

MARCH 1, 2019
State of Pay: FMS forward
By Mark Loehrke, Editor, Financial Managers Society

Can community institutions truly compete in the ever-evolving world of payments?

That’s the overarching question we’re looking to answer in wide-ranging conversation with four industry experts in our cover story for the brand new March-April issue of FMS forward. And the answer isn’t necessarily as straightforward as it may seem. Elsewhere in this issue, we’re also looking at:

Going Ultra
A new credit-scoring system may turn out to be a gamechanger for borrowers and lenders alike

Public Primer
Those banks looking at a potential IPO in 2019 need to keep a few key considerations in mind.

The Candidate Experience
Who’s interviewing whom? In a tight labor market, institutions may need to put in a little more effort to attract top talent.

These are but a few of the timely stories we’ve pulled together for this issue, so be sure to check out the full print or digital copy. (Not a member? Join today!)

FEBRUARY 11, 2019
FMS Perspectives: Meeting Client Technology Expectations
By Mark Loehrke, Editor, Financial Managers Society

FMS Perspectives: Meeting Client Technology ExpectationsWhile customers have long held certain bedrock expectations with respect to their financial institutions – from friendly service to the safety and security of their funds – today’s consumer almost certainly would also include technological convenience among those baseline standards. After all, like most of the rest of their lives, customers’ banking activities have migrated to online and mobile platforms, which means banks and credit unions need to be able to meet and satisfy those needs.   

In his new FMS Perspectives piece, Joseph Lowe of Abrigo asks Is Your Financial Institution Prepared to Meet Clients’ Technology Expectations?, noting that as more and more customers opt for an app over walking into their nearby branch, offering easy-to-use online and mobile platforms will be a vital component of every community institution’s success.


Mark Loehrke
Editor and Director, Publications and Research

Danielle Holland

Hilary Collins
Specialist, Publications and Research