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ABA Banking Journal Podcast Profile

ABA Banking Journal Podcast

English, Finance, 5 seasons, 143 episodes, 2 days, 3 hours, 20 minutes
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.
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Maximizing business, client value from SBA loan programs

What’s new with Small Business Administration lending this year, and how can bankers maximize the value of the SBA loan guaranty programs? On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Biz2X — Erik Daniels of U.S. Bank, the nation’s fourth-largest SBA originator by number of loans, talks about how U.S. Bank builds SBA into its overall business banking strategy. Daniels highlights the role of SBA lending in making efficient use of capital, mitigating risk, providing more tailored solutions to businesses and driving Community Reinvestment Act impact. He also talks about the value the bank gets out of making SBA loans as a portfolio lender, “which gives our customers great opportunity with rate structure, modifications, any flexibility down the road. . . . Being a portfolio owner gives us the optionality to help them in any way that we can to make their experience a good one.” Daniels also discusses anticipated changes to SBA programs in 2024 and 2025, and he shares insights on the small business outlook from U.S. Bank clients and survey research. This episode is presented by Biz2X.
5/10/202419 minutes, 9 seconds
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Is it time to kill the paper check?

Checks have become so marginal that the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Payment Choice relegates them to a category of “other,” which, along with prepaid cards and money orders accounted for less than 9 percent of all payments in 2022. But checks aren’t entirely dead, with 11.2 billion still written in the U.S. in 2021. Meanwhile, their use by criminals as a vector of fraud has shot up. Which raises the question: The paper check won’t die. Is it time to kill it? This episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Biz2X — sets out to answer that question, with the help of top bankers and experts in the payment space.
5/3/202424 minutes, 40 seconds
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How a Georgia community bank engaged employees at 3X the national rate

According to newly released Gallup figures, just 30 percent of American workers are engaged in their work. The rest are described as disengaged, with 17 percent actively disengaged, “which means they are literally trying to sabotage the organization,” notes Neil Stevens, president and CEO of Oconee State Bank in Oconee, Georgia. “Gallup also says that if you have a 70 percent or higher engagement score, you’re 23 percent more profitable than those with lower engagement scores. So engaged teams truly, in my mind, lead to healthier cultures, better customer retention.” On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by R&T Deposit Solutions — Stevens discusses his approach to cultivating a bank where engagement scores have climbed to 89 percent, triple the national average. Stevens works to build this culture through a framework called Leading Life on Life that emphasizes loving, equipping, affirming and developing (“LEAD”ing) team members. Among other topics on the show, Stevens discusses the role of love in bank management, the importance of active listening and how an environment of healthy affirmation actually allows leaders to hold their teams to higher standards. Hear Stevens discuss bank culture and employee engagement at the ABA Annual Convention, Oct. 27-29 in New York City.
4/18/202426 minutes, 22 seconds
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Tackling big goals for Financial Literacy Month

For Financial Literacy Month in April, the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by R&T Deposit Solutions — features a conversation on how banks are engaging their communities with financial education. The ABA Foundation’s Kelsey Havemann discusses a brand-new K-2 Teach Children to Save curriculum launching soon, and Lindsay Torrico talks about the Foundation’s big goal to help five million people get on the path to financial prosperity. Access free financial education resources from the ABA Foundation.
4/12/202411 minutes, 56 seconds
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The CEO view from Main Street

What’s the CEO-eye view on the U.S. economy, business conditions and the regulatory environment for banks? This week’s episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by R&T Deposit Solutions — features a conversation with ABA’s Peter Cook and four bank CEOs from across the country. In the conversation, they discuss local economic conditions in their markets, how the “regulatory tsunami” is affecting banks of all sizes, the commercial real estate outlook, what they’re most excited for in the future of banking and more.
4/5/202433 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Points Guy on why credit card rewards matter

“These rewards are more than just Amex, Chase, Citi,” says Brian Kelly, founder of the popular travel site The Points Guy. “Well over half of Americans have some form of rewards, often through their community banks — and to a lot of people, cash back rewards.” This bonus episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Alkami — features a conversation with Kelly and ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols from ABA’s Washington Summit. In this episode, Kelly discusses his personal story of getting involved with reward travel, his opposition to efforts to cap interchange or impose routing mandates on credit cards and the value that all kinds of consumers get out of card rewards. Read more about taking action on interchange and routing on Secure American Opportunity.
3/26/202426 minutes, 54 seconds
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Understanding the emerging bank M&A policy landscape

The banking agencies and the Justice Department are shifting how they assess and review bank mergers and acquisitions. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Alkami — ABA SVP Hu Benton discusses what bankers need to know about potential deals and offers amid the wave of policy changes. Among other topics, Benton explores: The Justice Department’s review of bank merger guidelines The FDIC’s newly released policy statement on mergers. How the OCC is evaluating mergers among national banks and federal thrifts. How bank mergers fit into the Biden administration and executive agencies’ broader approach to antitrust considerations. A new resource from ABA and Squire Patton Boggs to help banks assess their readiness for a transaction.   Access “Bank Mergers & Acquisitions: A Self-Assessment Guide“ This episode is presented by Alkami.
3/22/202430 minutes, 43 seconds
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An NFL-player-turned-banker helping today's student athletes

Forget Tom Brady: Most professional athletes don’t play well into their 40s. “You play football for three to four years,” says Brandon Ghee. “And then the next thing you know you’re 25, 26. You’re looking to pursue a career and you go from making $750,000 a year to $50,000. These guys and girls have a problem with the transition [in]how they’re spending during their careers.” Athletes make a lot of big financial decisions at fairly young ages. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Alkami — Ghee, a community banker and former NFL cornerback, discusses how Cogent Bank’s sports and entertainment vertical comes alongside to help with this transition. In addition to traditional financial services, the bank offers specialized education on investing and financial decision-making as well as referrals to key service providers. Ghee also discusses the fast-growing wave of highly compensated athletes amid the rollout of NCAA permission for name, image and likeness marketing deals and why student-athletes and their families need support and engagement from banks. Access financial education resources from the ABA Foundation.
3/15/202414 minutes, 30 seconds
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‘Building the organization around exceptional talent’

First Horizon Bank, a regional bank based in Memphis, Tennessee, offers some eye-catching numbers on the bank’s gender balance: Women make up 62 percent of its executive team, 54 percent of its top 1,200 corporate managers and 33 percent of its board of directors. To mark International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Alkami — features three top executives from First Horizon discussing how the bank built an inclusive culture. For Beth Ardoin, chief communications officer, it’s less about focusing on women per se and more focusing on “how do we build the organization around exceptional talent, no matter who you are, where you came from?” Hope Dmuchowski, First Horizon’s CFO, adds that for “our top talent, whether they’re female, male or diverse, we’re making sure they have lots of opportunities for lots of people that see how talented they are.” Ardoin, Dmuchowski and Erin Pryor, chief marketing and experience officer, also discuss the role of sponsorship, allyship and executive leadership in creating a culture that allows women to showcase their excellent work. “Great work always speaks for itself,” says Pryor. “How do you take those who are doing great work and helping to lift them up and to lift the women who are doing great work in the organization and amplify them?” Resources: Access women in banking resources and training from ABA. Register for the ABA Women Lead Symposium, July 17, 2024. Listen to First Horizon’s Bucket List-ening podcast.
3/8/202426 minutes, 11 seconds
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The commercial real estate state of play

On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Alkami — ABA’s Dan Brown and Sharon Whitaker discuss community bank exposures to commercial real estate and how community banks are managing shifts in the CRE sector. They also dispel imprecise narratives about the state of CRE. “There is a lot of nuance within the commercial real estate market,” says Brown. There are going to be some challenges for sure. But at the same time, too, though, there’s going to be a lot of resilience. A lot of these loans are very conservatively underwritten. I think a lot of banks would be in a very good position no matter what may come in the future.” This episode is presented by Alkami.
3/2/202416 minutes, 26 seconds
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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.
2/23/202413 minutes, 16 seconds
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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.
2/16/202410 minutes, 2 seconds
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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.
2/9/202427 minutes, 29 seconds
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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.
1/31/202416 minutes, 26 seconds
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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.
1/22/202423 minutes, 37 seconds
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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.
1/12/202422 minutes, 6 seconds
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How Esquire Bank carved out a profitable niche serving law firms

Esquire Bank has found a strategy that turns the typical ratio of business client loans to deposits on its head. Through its nationwide vertical of services for law firms, Esquire Bank brings in roughly $1.80 in core deposits for every dollar lent. On the first ABA Banking Journal Podcast episode of 2024, Andrew Sagliocca — president, CEO and vice chairman of Long Island-based Esquire Bank — discusses the bank’s unique niche in serving the litigation sector, including the complex financing its clients require, and how the bank developed its strategy to meet these firms’ needs. Sagliocca also discusses the bank’s merchant services solutions and how they fit into the bank’s strategy.
1/5/202427 minutes, 5 seconds
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What the OCC’s latest report may reveal about 2024 priorities

On the final ABA Banking Journal Podcast episode of 2023 — sponsored by R&T Deposit Solutions — John Vivian of Patomak Global Partners and ABA EVP Hugh Carney discuss the OCC’s latest Semiannual Risk Perspective, released earlier in December. Both past veterans of the OCC, Vivian and Carney explore the agency’s findings — including the way credit risk and leapfrogged liquidity risk over the course of the year and the OCC’s concerns on artificial intelligence, among other topics — and what they portend for bank supervision in 2024.
12/17/202331 minutes, 51 seconds
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The bank policy outlook for 2024

From the Basel III endgame to Regulation II to new Community Reinvestment Act and Section 1071, 2023 has delivered a regulatory onslaught for the industry. How are bankers navigating the waves of overlapping changes? On this episode, Gary Shook, chair of ABA’s Government Relations Council, reflects on the council’s recent meeting and offers perspectives on how banks can navigate the policy environment. Shook also highlights areas where ABA is looking to press gains on its positive agenda, including the SAFER Banking Act, the ACRE Act and financial inclusion. And as president and CEO of Community Bankers’ Bank in Virginia, Shook discusses the role of bankers’ banks in today’s landscape, including helping the industry transition to new payment platforms like FedNow.
12/8/202322 minutes, 7 seconds
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How wealth managers can help families navigate difficult transitions

For high-net-worth clients, generational transitions can be fraught moments — implicating business ownership sales, control transfers, tax situations, philanthropic decisions and of course family dynamics. On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by R&T Deposit Solutions — Todd Brockwell, president of 1900 Wealth, offers strategies for bankers and wealth managers to help their clients navigate these transitions. A veteran of family offices in central Texas, Brockwell discusses how bankers and wealth managers can effectively approach generational dynamics and difficult conversations. He also emphasizes the importance of education, especially for young people in these families. Brockwell offers practical examples of how wealth managers can add value in family transitions. He also discusses the business model of 1900 Wealth and how it interacts with its “old school” parent, Jefferson Bank, a community bank in San Antonio. Register for the ABA Wealth Management and Trust Conference, Feb. 21-23 in New Orleans.
12/1/202325 minutes, 18 seconds
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Do joint bank accounts improve couples’ relationships?

For new couples, does the decision of how to organize their finances — separate accounts, a joint account or a blend of the two — matter? On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by R&T Deposit Solutions — Indiana University marketing professor Jenny Olson discusses new research that provides an answer. Olson and her colleagues randomly assigned new couples to one of three conditions for a two-year period: using only separate accounts, using a joint account only or to a third group that received no instructions about the kind of accounts to use. Couples in the no-instruction group and the separate account group saw declines in relationship quality during the experiment, couples with joint accounts were “buffered” against the declines otherwise expected, she says. “Because we randomly assigned couples, we can take better steps toward understanding causality,” Olson says. “Our results really do suggest that having a joint bank account improves relationship quality.” While every couple’s financial needs are unique and separate accounts may be what’s needed in many situations, Olson discusses implications of the research for how bankers and wealth managers approach financial planning conversations with clients. Read the paper by Olson et al. in the Journal of Consumer Research.
11/17/202316 minutes, 33 seconds
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Bespoke banking for family-owned businesses

Family-owned businesses — especially those crossing the mark of $10 million in annual revenue — often have unique banking needs. They have the freedom to make long-term investments, but they also face challenges associated with funding for growth, complex family dynamics and the need to manage liquidity events for family members, says Mikel Williamson, the newly appointed president and CEO of First Bank in the St. Louis area. On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by R&T Deposit Solutions — Williamson discusses how $6.7 billion-asset First Bank — itself a family-owned enterprise — supports this sector through its Center for Family-Owned Businesses and wealth planning options. He also discusses the bank’s investment in core transformation and open digital banking architecture and his background in Texas banking before joining First Bank earlier this year.
11/10/202316 minutes, 59 seconds
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Building trust by bringing the bank into the workplace

“When we’re able to take banking to them, at a place where they already have trust with their employer, that’s a bridge,” says Jennifer Huffman of Atlantic Union Bank’s workplace banking product. “From there we’re able to grow that relationship.” In the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by R&T Deposit Solutions — Huffman provides an overview of Atlantic Union’s Solutions Banking product, which brings consumer accounts into more than 2,300 small and midsize business clients of the bank. She discusses how it fits into Atlantic Union’s organic growth strategy, how the program developed and how it furthers the bank’s financial inclusion and financial financial wellness goals. Huffman also discusses her career journey at Atlantic Union Bank, describes her role in the bank’s Women’s Inclusion Network and shares her tips for leadership and career development as one of ABA’s Emerging Leader Award winners for 2023.
11/3/202320 minutes, 35 seconds
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Digging into the CFPB’s Section 1033 data-sharing proposal

“Banks have long supported consumers accessing their own data, but believe it should be done in a safe and sound way that provides them with control,” says ABA VP Ryan Miller. With respect to Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB “has attempted to put that into place here.” In the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Intrafi — Miller provides an overview of the long-awaited Section 1033 proposed rule. In this episode, Fink also talks about: How the bureau’s proposed framework recognizes industry-led efforts like FDX to facilitate safe data-sharing. The end of screen-scraping as envisioned in the proposal. Challenges in the proposal on liability issues and privacy. The need for a level playing field in terms of how Section 1033 supervision is applied across banks, nonbank fintech providers and aggregators. The compliance timelines envisioned for banks of different sizes and the types of accounts covered. How core providers will be positioned to help banks comply. To join ABA’s comment letter working group, contact Ryan Miller.
10/30/202322 minutes, 41 seconds
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How fiscal stimulus counters rate hikes and props up capital investment

“Capital investment has surprised a great bit of our economy and the business community,” says TD Bank EVP Bill Fink. “As rates go up, how could we be having stronger capital investment?” In the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — the third in a series of conversations on the business outlook, sponsored by Intrafi — Fink discusses how the fiscal stimulus of the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as state economic development packages for incentivized facilities in the high-tech, semiconductor and green tech sectors, are offsetting the increase in rates. In this episode, Fink also talks about: Where businesses are looking for growth in an era of rates being “higher for longer.” The durability and strength of warehousing and manufacturing facilities in commercial real estate. Continued opportunities for add-on acquisitions amid a constrained M&A market.
10/20/202319 minutes, 49 seconds
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Why middle market businesses remain optimistic

“Often, economic change occurs at this level of the economy,” says Umpqua Bank EVP Richard Cabrera about the middle market of the commercial sector. “While economic concerns still linger, there’s tremendous optimism.” The latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Intrafi — continues a series of conversations on the business outlook, following last week’s episode on the perspectives of CFOs at large corporates and the upper end of the middle market. In this episode, Cabrera discusses: What Umpqua Bank’s latest Business Barometer survey says about optimism and growth plans among small businesses and the middle market, which represents 45 million jobs and one-third of U.S. GDP. How banks can work effectively with small and middle market clients, including advising on cybersecurity. Why small and middle market businesses in the western U.S. are more optimistic than their counterparts in other regions. The growing trend of onshoring and nearshoring in middle market supply chains — and what that means for their commercial real estate needs. The continued strength of industrial and warehouse real estate.
10/13/202316 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why corporate clients are pushing for more instant payment capabilities

Corporate CFOs and finance leaders are “best leading indicators.” says Stephen Philipson, head of global markets and specialized finance at U.S. Bank. “They always have to be looking ahead.” On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Intrafi — Philipson discusses findings from U.S. Bank’s 2023 CFO Insights Report, among them: Large and middle-market corporate CFOs’ accelerated transition from growth mode to cost-cutting and what the slowdown in capital expenditures and business investment may mean for the economy. How banks can support corporate goals for improvements in technological capabilities. The demand of large and middle-market corporate clients for instant payment solutions like FedNow and RTP. This episode is sponsored by Intrafi Network.
10/6/202315 minutes, 34 seconds
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#BanksNeverAskThat goes bilingual for 2023

The latest incarnation of ABA’s award-winning #BanksNeverAskThat anti-phishing campaign returns for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Servbank — ABA’s Amy Wertlieb talks about new resources this year, including a return of the popular scam quiz and an all-new consumer-facing site plus customizable resources in Spanish. Banks can register for free and use campaign materials all month or at any point during the year.  Learn more about #BanksNeverAskThat and register.
9/29/20239 minutes, 50 seconds
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Credit card rewards are for all people

With the availability of credit card rewards at stake under the Durbin-Marshall credit card bill, bill sponsor Sen. Roger Marshall dismisses consumer concerns about their rewards. “Rewards are for rich people,” Marshall said derisively at a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday in response to media questions about consumers’ preferences. Facing Marshall at the press conference just happened to be nearly 50 bankers from his home state of Kansas, in D.C. for their annual Washington Visit. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Servbank — three leaders from that delegation reflect on the press conference and what they heard. The podcast guests also discuss the urgency of banker advocacy on Durbin-Marshall, as its sponsors seek to attach it to other legislative vehicles, and they debunk false talking points to show that consumers and small businesses of all income levels use and benefit from credit card rewards. They also illuminate the stakes of the Durbin-Marshall debate for everyday credit card users. Take action to oppose credit card routing mandates.
9/22/202318 minutes, 59 seconds
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How employee resource groups support banks’ DEI strategies

Employee resource groups have become an important part of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies at larger companies. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Servbank — two bank leaders explore how the ERGs provided by ABA for bankers to benefit from this kind of resource at banks that may not be large enough to host an ERG in-house. Among other topics, Latia Coleman and Krys Lassiter, who lead ABA’s Black Bankers ERG for African-American bankers and allies, provide tips on: Creating spaces that help all people feel included, learn, grow and be more authentic. How ERGs can be used at banks of all sizes. Tools and resources offered by ABA’s Black Bankers ERG, including education, DEI best practices, public speaking and mentorship. The importance of allyship in making ERGs successful.   Join an ABA ERG or peer group.
9/15/202324 minutes, 8 seconds
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Accelerating bank innovation in the months ahead

There’s a lot going on in the innovation space in banking. On the season seven premiere of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Servbank — ABA SVP Brooke Ybarra provides an overview of hot issues in the fintech space, including generative AI solutions like ChatGPT. For example, she explores potential use cases for a wide range of generative AI solutions in banks as well as how generative AI can be leveraged by bad actors. Ybarra also talks about ABA’s new partnership with the Nashville-based Project Fintech accelerator and how that partnership, along with ABA’s longstanding venture investment strategy, help banks access the most promising early-stage technologies. She also previews the pre-conference Innovation Forum at ABA’s Annual Convention. Register for Annual Convention.
9/8/202315 minutes, 49 seconds
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New tools for arresting rising tide of check fraud

Check fraud continues to be a growing problem for banks of all sizes — and it’s not going away anytime soon. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Intrafi — ABA’s Paul Benda and James Hitchcock discuss how banks can enhance their defenses against check fraud, including new technologies and integration of investigative intelligence as check fraud and cyber fraud intersect in dangerous ways. Benda and Hitchcock also outline key dynamics of today’s check fraud trends that bankers need to know. Finally, they discuss ABA’s new and free Check Fraud Claim Directory, which provides all banks — ABA members and non-members alike — with access to contacts and formatting requirements for check fraud warranty breach claims. If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to this week’s episode. Access the ABA Check Fraud Claim Directory.
8/3/202317 minutes, 15 seconds
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The mainstreaming of health savings accounts

Nearly 72 million Americans were covered by health savings accounts at the end of 2022, an increase of 6.5% from the year before, and HSAs are used across the income spectrum, with 75% of accountholders living in a zip code with a median household income of less than $100,000. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Intrafi — ABA’s Kevin McKechnie and HSA expert Eric Remjeske discuss the findings of the latest ABA HSA Council/Devenir survey of HSA accountholders. McKechnie and Remjeske also talk about how HSAs fit into the business models of banks of all sizes, why large numbers of community banks have become HSA funds custodians, how banks use HSA plans for their own employees and policy issues facing HSAs in the coming months and years. Read the ABA/Devenir study of HSA accountholders.
7/26/202317 minutes, 52 seconds
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Maximizing the value of bank-university partnerships

Bank partnerships with colleges and universities hold promise to help banks tackle human resources challenges: creating a pipeline of rising professionals with banking exposure, and diversifying banks’ talent bases. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Intrafi — Tennessee Tech professor Alma Núñez and ABA SVP Jamie Beaulieu discuss how these partnerships work and how to make the most of them. Among other topics, Núñez and Beaulieu explain the shape of these partnerships, explore how to design them to leverage the value of experiential learning and offer best practices and recommendations for banks building these partnerships. Hear Núñez and Beaulieu dive deeper on this topic at the ABA Annual Convention, Oct. 8-10 in Nashville.
7/19/202315 minutes, 20 seconds
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Banking-as-a-service business models under pressure?

In today’s environment of elevated interest rates and a tech sector market correction, how is the banking-as-a-service landscape shaking out? The latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Intrafi — features a conversation with Piermont Bank’s Rodrigo Suarez on current trends in the BaaS sector (on both the bank side and the nonbank side), the BaaS business models that make the most sense and how banks can approach profitability in the BaaS space. Suarez also discusses what it’s like to jump to the de novo banking sector from a nonbank fintech like Piermont Bank and talks about his experience as a recent graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
6/29/202318 minutes, 22 seconds
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Perspectives from two bank risk and compliance leaders

The latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — presented by Intrafi — features the winners of ABA’s Distinguished Service Awards for Risk and Compliance. Jim Bedsole, chief risk and compliance officer at BankSouth, won the 29th annual award for compliance professionals, while Joanne Campbell, EVP and chief risk officer at Camden National Bank, won the inaugural distinguished service award for risk management. Prior to receiving the awards at ABA’s Risk and Compliance Conference in San Antonio, Bedsole and Campbell were interviewed about: Their career journeys in the risk and compliance sectors. How risk and compliance have both emerged as distinct practices as well as converging. How they stay current on risk and compliance trends. Technology and the future of risk and compliance.
6/14/202329 minutes, 14 seconds
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Disrupting the Transaction Monitoring Landscape

Take a deep dive into the evolving world of transaction monitoring with Ted Sausen, an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) expert from NICE Actimize. Ted provides expert insights into the shifting AML paradigm, shedding light on recent innovations and their implications for your financial institution. Are you ready for the future of AML detection? Discover which game-changing technologies are set to transform the fight against financial crime. 
5/24/202310 minutes, 43 seconds
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The anatomy of a community bank ransomware attack

The cover story of the latest issue of the ABA Banking Journal features an unprecedentedly transparent look into what happens inside a financial institution during and after a ransomware attack. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Intrafi — Evan Sparks shares the true story of this anonymized bank and how it tackled what could have become a crippling ransomware attack. Sparks discusses: How hackers got in, the early moments after an attack happens and how the bank responded. The current ransomware threat environment for banks. How to execute on a cyber incident playbook and mobilize partners and vendors. Messages and services the bank provided to customers during the incident. Fatigue and other challenges facing the bank’s team during the hack. Lessons learned and post-mortem changes the bank made to prevent a future incident.
5/18/202320 minutes, 1 second
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Analyzing first-quarter earnings and 2023 annual meetings

First quarter earnings reports are done, and bank shareholder meetings are currently going on — and rarely have these activities been in the public spotlight as now in the wake of three significant bank failures. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Intrafi — ABA Banking Journal Contributing Editor Paul Davis discusses: The overall resilience seen in the banking sector’s first-quarter earnings reports. The disconnect between the health of the banking sector and financial market performance for certain bank stocks. What to expect from this season’s annual shareholder meetings, including anticipated activist activities. An update on M&A activity in 2023.
5/12/202316 minutes, 54 seconds
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A deep dive into the Section 1071 final rule

The CFPB’s final rule implementing Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act represents major change to how banks process and handle small business loans — taking what in many banks is a bespoke, tailored financial product and requiring a whole new way of doing business. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Intrafi — ABA SVP Kitty Ryan discusses: An overview of the Section 1071 final rule. Implementation deadlines and partial wins in extending them from the narrow timeframes in the proposed rule. Other wins from ABA advocacy, including on privacy and on racial and ethnic identification that aligns the final rule more closely with the statute. Software challenges banks will face as they implement the final rule. Despite a few improvements, why ABA continues to be disappointed in the final rule — with an open advocacy call for Congress to rescind the rule.
5/4/202324 minutes, 5 seconds
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Counting down to the FedNow launch

After years of being “FedSoon,” the Federal Reserve’s instant payment network FedNow is preparing to go live this summer. What do banks need to know in the final months before launch? On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by R&T Deposit Solutions — ABA SVP and payments expert Steve Kenneally discusses: Key implementation deadlines for FedNow in 2023. How FedNow compares to existing instant payments services like RTP and Zelle. Lessons from the FedNow pilot experience. Business strategies that banks are employing in their FedNow rollout. Where to start with core providers on FedNow implementation. If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to this week’s episode. Register for and view recordings from ABA’s free FedNow webinar series.
4/28/202314 minutes, 41 seconds
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Designing and launching a special-purpose credit program

For many small business owners, the first step on the credit ladder is the hardest, and they may miss opportunities to build business credit and grow their business while relying on personal credit instead. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by R&T Deposit Solutions — Amegy Bank EVP Jevaughn Sterling talks about Zions Bancorporation’s Small Business Diversity Banking Program, organized as an “special-purpose credit program” under Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Sterling discusses: What defines an SPCP and how it is designed to improve access to capital by helping small business owners build business credit instead of relying on personal credit. How Zions designed the Diversity Banking Program to be tailored to the needs of disadvantaged small business borrowers. How loan terms may look similar and different for Diversity Banking Program participants. The nuts and bolts of designing, getting regulatory approval for, launching and marketing the Diversity Banking Program. Results seen, lessons learned and tips for other banks considering a special-purpose credit program. His own career journey as a commercial lender. View ABA resources on special purpose credit programs.
4/20/202319 minutes, 54 seconds
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The just-do-it mindset in community bank innovation

How can community bank emerging leaders take initiative in innovation? The latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by R&T Deposit Solutions — features a conversation with Tim Shangle, AVP for innovation and data analytics at ChoiceOne Bank in Sparta, Michigan. Shangle, who is also vice chair of ABA’s Emerging Leaders Council, advises bankers to take small steps and explore what new technologies — say, ChatGPT — can do. Shangle also discusses his own unusual career path from seminary training into banking and how he carved out a niche for himself as a go-to for innovation.
4/13/202317 minutes, 33 seconds
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Meet Anna Martin, a Texas banking pioneer

The ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Intrafi — wraps up Women’s History Month with a conversation on an early Texas banking pioneer: Anna Mebus Martin (1843–1925). Museum curator Diana Vela tells the story of Martin, a German immigrant who arrived in the Lone Star State at age 14 and settled in rural west-central Texas. At the age of 35, Martin was widowed and began a long and successful career as a postmaster, storekeeper, rancher, barbed-wire entrepreneur and, ultimately, a community bank founder and president. As Martin once put it in a surviving letter, “I heard men say, ‘She is only a woman,’ but I showed them what a woman could do.”
3/30/202310 minutes, 33 seconds
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Crisis response with the most vulnerable in mind

Revisit the critical days of March and April 2020 in Washington on the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast. In this episode — sponsored by Intrafi — former Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria discusses his new book Shelter from the Storm: How a COVID Mortgage Meltdown Was Averted. Calabria recounts the key decisions made in designing COVID-19 forbearance policies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-owned mortgages and how he tried to avoid problems experienced during the post-financial crisis forbearance programs. Whereas many observers believed post-2008 relief was not well-targeted, Calabria said FHFA sought to target COVID forbearance to those who needed it most, including encouraging landlords to pass on relief to renters who otherwise cannot tap into homeowner forbearance. In the end, he says, 2 million Americans were helped and the relief was fully paid for by the GSEs. Calabria also discusses lessons for future crisis responses.
3/24/202327 minutes, 56 seconds
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A critical moment to hear from top banking policymakers

After the fallout from the Silicon Valley Bank failure, the ABA Washington Summit is one of the most important events to hear from the banking policymakers shaping the response — including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and all “big four” in Congress: Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). On the latest episode of the podcast — sponsored by Intrafi — ABA’s Rob Nichols and Kirsten Sutton preview the Summit program and why this is such a critical moment to share expertise with lawmakers and hear from those shaping the response to SVB and Signature Bank. “You’ll get the benefit of the latest thinking and what’s the path forward, and we have them all back to back in one day,” Nichols says.
3/16/202311 minutes, 35 seconds
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How a community bank boosted its consumer mortgage program

How does a community bank whose bread and butter was mortgage lending make the business sustainable in a time when mortgages have increasingly moved to the nonbank sector? “We made a conscious decision,” says Benjamin Bochnowski, CEO of $2 billion-asset Peoples Bank in Munster, Indiana. “We had to modernize it and help it grow; it couldn’t exit as a small mortgage operation that only originating $40 million a year in mortgages.” On the latest episode of the podcast — sponsored by Intrafi — Bochnowski, who is also president and CEO of Peoples’ parent company Finward, talks about how Peoples Bank built a residential mortgage operation that accounts for a third of its real estate lending portfolio and that originated about $80 million in mortgages last year for portfolio (with more sold in the secondary market). He also talks about how the bank deployed new underwriting and servicing platforms to improve operational efficiency and enhance customer experience. Bochnowski also discusses how Peoples Bank seeks to embody its mutual heritage even after its stock conversion, the bank‘s organic growth strategy and opportunities for M&A deals, and his own career journey in community banking.
3/9/202322 minutes, 17 seconds
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Building banker skills with cross-generational learning

As a bank leader, Alicia Wade notes that we’re at a unique moment that won’t recur for many years: having four generations, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, working alongside each other. “Being able to have four generations in the workplace and understand what each of them values and what we can learn from each other” allows not just for top-down mentorship but for cross-generational learning and inspiration, she notes. “I have mentors in each age demographic.” On the latest episode of the podcast — sponsored by Intrafi Network — Wade talks about the community bank workforce and career opportunities and traces her own “accidental” her career path from teller to becoming president and COO of $560 million Valliance Bank in Oklahoma City. Wade talks about the broad range of careers in banking. She also discusses what she’s most excited about in the community bank customer service experience. Finally, as a member of the Oklahoma Bankers Association’s Government Relations Council, Wade discusses several issues on the radar in the Sooner State, including ESG issues and cannabis banking. On March 7, Oklahomans will vote on legalizing recreational marijuana, and the state already has one of of the loosest frameworks for medicinal marijuana regulation, making the state the “wild wild West of marijuana,” Wade says, highlighting the importance of getting legislation like the SAFE Banking Act passed.
3/1/202331 minutes, 33 seconds
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A classic love story gets its start in a D.C. bank branch

For Valentine’s Day, the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by xChange — brings you a classic boy-meets-girl love story. Virginia Rollins had moved to Washington, D.C., as a young woman in the 1950s and got a job as a teller at Industrial Bank, a Black bank still operating in the nation’s capital. A young bank customer named Ben Ali came in to make a deposit, but he was smitten with Virginia and left his phone number too. To make a long story short, Virginia and Ben founded one of Washington’s most legendary dining establishments, Ben’s Chili Bowl in the heart of “Black Broadway” on U Street. Virginia reflects on her early career in banking, how the connections she made at the bank helped her and Ben grow their business and the importance of minority depository institutions today. She also shares stories of hosting Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement, surviving the 1968 D.C. riots and the long years of urban renewal and how Ben’s has grown today.
2/13/202326 minutes, 30 seconds
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Black History Month: Maggie L. Walker’s Historic Mission of Financial Empowerment

In 1903, Maggie Lena Walker became the first Black woman to charter a U.S. bank when she opened the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia, as the bank’s first president. In a classic replay episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by xChange — historian Shennette Garrett-Scott tells the story of Walker and her mission to help Black women find financial empowerment and professional career opportunities. Garrett-Scott, the author of Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal, discusses: How Walker countered impressions that Black women were uniquely risky bank clients. The broader context of African-American banks and what set Walker’s St. Luke Bank apart. The relationships between Black banks and mutual aid societies and fraternal organizations like the Independent Order of St. Luke. How newly professionalized Progressive Era financial regulators threw up hurdles to Black-owned banks and insurers. The St. Luke Bank’s relationships with white-owned banks in Richmond and elsewhere.
2/3/202332 minutes, 34 seconds
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Why recession odds for 2023 are fifty-fifty

As the Federal Reserve continues its efforts to drive inflation lower this year and next, the ABA Economic Advisory Committee expects stalling economic growth in 2023, followed by a modest recovery in 2024. On the latest episode of the podcast — sponsored by xChange — EAC Chair Simona Mocuta shares the committee’s consensus forecast. The chief economist at State Street Global Advisors also discusses the committee’s 50/50 recession odds for 2023, their surprising forecast for a rate cut by the end of the year (signaling their confidence in the Fed’s ability to bring down inflation), how the economic outlook may affect loan demand and credit quality.
1/26/202321 minutes, 44 seconds
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Top bank tech and innovation trends for 2023

What’s on the horizon for bank innovation and fintech in 2023? In this episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by xChange — ABA’s Office of Innovation team explores top tech trends for the year ahead. Among other topics, they discuss the growing role of investment in foundational infrastructure like core processing, how APIs and middleware are helping banks innovate, declining consumer interest in crypto (although digital assets broadly remain an area of focus), what new AI tools like ChatGPT may mean for banking, the importance of digital identity in fraud prevention, and how banks are changing their strategies internally to promote innovation.
1/19/202329 minutes, 42 seconds
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How CDFI status helps one community bank stay independent

“We’re a small bank, and it gets more expensive all the time to run a small community bank,” says Andy Anderson, president and CEO of Bank of Anguilla in Anguilla, Mississippi. “As long as we can do this profitably and remain in our community, that’s what we want to do. [CDFI] designation has helped us tremendously over the last few years to remain here and serve our community.” In this episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by xChange — Anderson discusses why Bank of Anguilla became a community development financial institution. The bank was already doing CDFI work in its rural Mississippi Delta market in two of Mississippi’s poorest countries, and Anderson discusses how certification has helped the bank pursue its mission and remain independent. Awards from the CDFI Fund — such as the Bank Enterprise Award — “have become a valuable source of income for Bank of Anguilla,” Anderson notes. Anderson will discuss the role of CDFIs, including banks, in advancing economic inclusion at the ABA Conference for Community Bankers, Feb. 12-14 in Orlando.
1/17/202321 minutes, 24 seconds
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What’s on banks’ policy agenda for 2023?

What’s on the banking industry’s policy radar for 2023? ABA’s Government Relations Council recently met in Washington, D.C., and GRC Chair Cathy Owen joins the podcast — sponsored by xChange — to recap the topics of consideration as the association prepares its banker-led Blueprint for Growth for the coming year. Highlights include driving a healthy and inclusive economy, supporting a dynamic and innovative banking industry and protecting consumers with consistent regulation. Owen, who is chairman and CEO of State Holding Company in Little Rock, Arkansas, also discusses her own career background in community banking, her message on advocacy, challenges her bank is facing with hiring and talent and what she’s doing to elevate women in leadership in Arkansas’ banking sector.
12/20/202221 minutes, 33 seconds
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The community bank M&A outlook for 2023

As the end of the year draws near, banking journalist and analyst Paul Davis joins the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, sponsored by Intrafi Network, to discuss the bank mergers and acquisitions outlook for 2023. Among other topics, Davis discusses: Factors driving lower M&A rates in 2022 Why interest rate trends may make banks more attractive to investors and less attractive for acquisitions by banks The trend of investment groups purchasing bank charters How depressed valuations in the fintech sector may affect bank M&A and de novo activity
11/21/202219 minutes, 13 seconds
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Something old, something new in payments fraud

Something old, something new: In 2022, check fraud remains a focus of bank risk professionals, while instant P2P payments are an increasingly popular platform for scammers seeking to take advantage of consumers. With respect to the latter, consumers need to realize that “this stuff behaves like cash,” says Peter Tapling on the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, sponsored by Intrafi Network. That immediacy is why these platforms are attractive to both consumers and fraudsters. On this episode, Tapling and ABA’s Paul Benda discuss: The persistence of check fraud and check washing scams in 2022. How banks are tackling fraud that employs P2P instant payment platforms. Liability for transactions authorized by a customer that are later claimed to be fraudulent. The importance of consumer education campaigns like #BanksNeverAskThat and “Take Five to Stop Fraud.” Controls banks can put in place to limit fraud attempts without slowing down all instant payments across the board. Tapling and Benda will discuss this topic in greater depth at ABA’s Conference for Community Bankers, Feb. 12-14, 2023, in Orlando.
11/16/202220 minutes, 26 seconds
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What corporate CFOs can tell us about the direction of the economy

For U.S. businesses, lagging indicators may be at odds with leading indicators like business sentiment. “The headlines we see in the market can sometimes be inconsistent with what we see on the ground,” says Stephen Philipson, head of commercial products at U.S. Bank. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Intrafi Network — Philipson discusses findings from U.S. Bank’s 2022 CFO Insights Report, among them: CFOs’ transition from growth mode to risk management mode in 2022. How large and middle-market firms are balancing the pressures of inflation and talent recruitment and retention. Why corporates are stepping back to re-evaluate the role of environmental factors in ESG activities. How banks can design products to address corporates’ concerns on talent, inflation, digital transformation and more.
11/7/202218 minutes, 40 seconds
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Fueling innovation through a venture strategy

Banks of all sizes access the innovation ecosystem through in-house development, fintech partnerships, acquisitions and venture investment. Huntington Bank does all four. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by SmartStream — Huntington Bank CFO Zach Wasserman talks about the $100 million Huntington Corporate Ventures initiative to expose the bank to cutting-edge tech and fuel its digital transformation. In this episode, Wasserman discusses: How Huntington decides when to acquire, partner, invest or some combination of the three. Business lines where HCV is looking to invest: payments, business banking, wealth and consumer mortgage. Details about Huntington’s partnerships with companies like Blend Labs and InvestCloud. How banks can provide value to fintech startups as investors and partners. What banks can learn about the role of due diligence and risk management in venture investing. What’s ahead for Huntington Corporate Ventures, which was launched in 2020 and is now expanding.
10/27/202221 minutes, 38 seconds
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Trends and tips for preventing grandparent scams

Grandparent scams are a particularly pernicious fraud — one that preys on seniors’ love, care and concern for their family members. How can banks recognize these scams and work with law enforcement to protect clients? On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by SmartStream — Jackie Blaesi-Freed and Lauren Elfner of the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch discuss: DOJ’s expanded Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force to tackle elder fraud attempts that usually come from overseas. Recent DOJ enforcement actions relating to grandparent scams, including sentencing in a racketeering scheme. Current trends and typologies in grandparent scams, including how they intersect with impostor scams. Red flags for bank employees when they might encounter a grandparent scam in progress. SAR filing, relationship-building and other partnerships between banks and law enforcement. Learn more: Access resources to protect seniors through the ABA Foundation’s Safe Banking for Seniors program.
10/20/202215 minutes, 27 seconds
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Practices to accelerate a bank’s DEI journey

“Diverse teams who have cohered at a team — this means they’ve done some work — outperform homogenous teams,” says ABA SVP Naomi Mercer. “Diverse teams who haven’t done that work of inclusion underperform homogenous teams.” On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by SmartStream — Mercer goes beyond diversity to explore how banks and other businesses can apply intersecting practices of diversity, equity and inclusion. Distilling insights from her new book, DEI Foundations, Mercer discusses: How to learn from mistakes in DEI practices. The importance of moving unconscious biases into the conscious environment where they can better be addressed. The usefulness of DEI self-assessments and audits in building DEI strategies. How banks of all sizes are seeking to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Learn more: Download a copy of DEI Foundations.
10/13/202227 minutes, 25 seconds
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Inspiring rising leaders to be part of something bigger

As a leader in selecting and developing potential Chick-fil-A restaurant operators for many years, André Kennebrew conducted around 8,500 talent interviews. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by SmartStream — Kennebrew talks about what he learned about talent from one of America’s fastest-growing and top-rated consumer brands. He also discusses: The difference between hiring and selection and why it matters for recruiting Gen Z and millennial talent The role of nature and nurture in leadership capability His favorite interview questions What he learned about leadership and talent from his pre-Chick-fil-A career as a bank executive and administrative pastor Learn more: Kennebrew will speak on these topics at the ABA Conference for Community Bankers, Feb. 12-14 in Orlando.
10/5/202226 minutes, 17 seconds
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How middleware can accelerate community bank innovation

Christian Ruppe co-founded a fintech firm when he was in college — and later he brought his experience in-house in the community banking space. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Jack Henry — Ruppe talks about Colony Bank’s strategy to build middleware that will enable more rapid innovation. “Were not asking people to integrate with this vendor or that vendor,” says Ruppe. “We’re giving them our documentation and asking them to integrate with us.” On the podcast, Ruppe also discusses: Why an API-based middleware will help accelerate innovation and product launches. The changing role of core platforms in a middleware environment. How his experience as a fintech co-founder affects his outlook as a community banker. How community banks can build cultures of integrated innovation.
9/22/202219 minutes, 54 seconds
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Engineering a framework for enterprise risk

As a former engineer, Jennifer Schmidt brings an understanding of systems and integration to her work as a community bank chief compliance officer. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Apiture — Schmidt discusses the development of an integrated enterprise risk management framework, which encompasses her work overseeing compliance, Bank Secrecy Act oversight, exam management, internal audit oversight and risk assessment facilitation. This model, developed by Schmidt for her ABA Stonier capstone project, keeps risks owned by the the business leaders but ensures awareness of risk connectivity and collaboration by managers across the bank — in a flexible way that works for an individual bank. Schmidt also discusses her background as an engineer and consultant before joining the financial services sector to manage acquired bank integrations in a fast-growing organization, as well as her experience as a Stonier student.
7/28/202215 minutes, 33 seconds
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Making the move from a stock bank to a mutual

After spending more than a quarter century in de novo commercial banks, Dave Hanrahan made a career move to a mutual savings bank, and he hasn’t looked back. On the latest episode of the the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, sponsored by Apiture, Hanrahan talks about the transition to mutual banking as president of Century Savings Bank in Vineland, New Jersey. Hanrahan discusses the key differences and how his bank tackles the traditional challenges mutuals face in capital for growth. Hanrahan also discusses the commercial real estate market and how bankers can respond to the first rising rate environment in a generation. And as a member of the ABA Foundation board of directors, Hanrahan provides an update on the foundation’s new executive director and the role banks play in community engagement.
7/27/202219 minutes, 1 second
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Wealth management strategies for serving high-earning women

Forty-four percent of homes have female breadwinners, and women make up a large and growing share of high earners — but wealth management providers don’t always tailor their advice and services to this reality. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Apiture — Kathleen Burns Kingsbury tackles some misperceptions about women and wealth. In this episode, Kingsbury discusses: The scope and scale of female breadwinners and high earners in today’s wealth marketplace. How to address unconscious and implicit biases about women and wealth. Strategies that wealth advisers can use to build productive relationships with high-earning women. The kinds of questions that lead to productive conversations. The role of values in women’s wealth decision-making, whether in philanthropy or in socially responsible investing. Kingsbury will address this topic at ABA’s Annual Convention in Austin on Oct. 2-4. Register before Aug. 1 for early-bird savings.
7/14/202224 minutes, 34 seconds
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A community bank CEO’s perspective on cloud migration

Cloud migration was a big deal for banks before COVID, but it kicked into a higher gear than ever as the pandemic drove virtual banking, digital workflows and remote work across the industry. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by Apiture — Matt Burke, the newly appointed CEO of Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, talks about how his  bank and others have tapped into new efficiencies through cloud adoption. Burke, who succeeded former ABA Chair Dorothy Savarese earlier this year, also discusses his own banking career journey and path through the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking. And with Cape Cod Five’s home base in a coastal region, Burke discusses the bank’s work on climate risk management and mitigation efforts.
7/11/202221 minutes, 30 seconds
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Gearing up for the 2022 Community Commitment Awards

In this bonus episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by IntraFi Network — ABA’s Peter Cook and Melissa Murray discuss the ABA Foundation’s signature recognition program, the Community Commitment Awards. Applications are now open for the 10th annual awards, which recognize and promote extraordinary bank commitment to communities and the innovative, high-impact programs that improve the quality of life for customers and the communities banks serve. Applications are due July 1, and banks may enter in any or all of the following categories: Affordable housing Community and economic development Financial education Economic inclusion Protecting older Americans Supporting military families Volunteerism The George Bailey Award (for non-CEO bank employees who demonstrate outstanding service to their bank, industry and community)
6/17/202217 minutes, 46 seconds
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Crafting a sweet bank customer experience

The cookies may be pre-packaged in plastic, but human touch remains essential to community banking. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by IntraFi Network — 1st Security Bank EVP Kelli Nielsen discusses how the retail banking customer experience is changing in the post-COVID era and why in-branch activity remains important. Nielsen also talks about her bank’s approach to talent management in a tight labor market and — as an ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking alumna and advisory board member — discusses the Women of Stonier initiative.
6/13/202221 minutes, 25 seconds
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Can the Fed land a ‘Goldilocks’ monetary policy landing?

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently referred to a “soft-ish landing” as a potential outcome for monetary policy as the Fed raises rates to cut inflation. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by IntraFi Network — ABA Economic Advisory Committee Chair Richard DeKaser offers the EAC’s consensus forecast that the Fed will indeed stick the landing, reducing inflation gradually without harming employment or causing a recession. DeKaser, who is also chief corporate economist at Wells Fargo, also discusses the EAC’s outlook for the housing market, job openings and the labor force, and credit quality.
6/3/202222 minutes, 55 seconds
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Podcast: How to stay connected with time-strapped small business owners

In an environment of hiring challenges, cost inflation, supply chain woes and post-pandemic recovery, small business owners are busier than ever. “Sometimes small business owners don’t even have time to spend with their families,” says KeyBank SVP Kristyn Squires. “So when we spend time with them, it needs to be compelling.” On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by IntraFi Network — Squires, the national small business sales leader for the Cleveland-based regional bank, discusses how KeyBank uses a quick digital check-in tool to help clients communicate needs, goals and challenges and how tools like this help the bank improve and advance its relationship banking model.
5/25/202216 minutes, 11 seconds
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How a CBDC would ‘fundamentally rewire our economy’

In a special bonus episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by IntraFi Network — ABA SVP Rob Morgan digs into the association’s comments on the Federal Reserve’s discussion paper on central bank digital currencies. With ABA estimating that the Fed’s hypothetical CBDC design could put 71% of banks’ funding at risk, Morgan discusses: Why a CBDC would not achieve the financial inclusion, efficiency and international competitiveness goals its advocates claim The substantial downsides a CBDC could pose to banks, consumers and the U.S. economy The path forward for a CBDC in Congress and at the Federal Reserve.
5/23/202219 minutes, 3 seconds
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Thwarting would-be bank robbers, Hoosier-style

From Butch Cassidy to Bonnie and Clyde, bank robbers have always had a pop culture mystique. But bank robberies are no Hollywood storyline for bank employees and customers, whose safety and even lives are put at risk when a robber holds up a bank branch. But before the advent of the FBI and robust state police forces, bank robberies were often left to sometimes poorly equipped local law enforcement. In Indiana in the 1920s, bankers took the protection of their banks into their own hands. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by IntraFi Network — the Indiana Bankers Association’s Josh Myers discusses: The challenge robberies posed to banks in the 1920s. How the IBA provided weapons to bank employees, plus training in how to use them safely. The partnership the “Indiana vigilantes” and law enforcement. Stories and anecdotes from this unusual chapter in banking history.
5/19/202220 minutes, 56 seconds
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Understanding the SEC’s climate risk disclosure proposal

Public comments for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s sweeping climate risk disclosure proposal are due on June 17 — with major implications for banks and their clients. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by IntraFi Network — ABA experts Mike Gullette and Joe Pigg discuss: The contours of the proposed disclosures and how they would work. Implications for non-public companies, including privately owned banks not registered with the SEC. Safe harbors proposed within the disclosures. The need to avoid unintended consequences from an emerging area of risk practice, particularly when applied to prudential supervision. The potential need for sophisticated modeling and expert consulting services to comply and the need for scalability for smaller SEC registrants. A comment letter writing guide to help bankers write their own comments will be available on in the coming days.
5/12/202222 minutes, 11 seconds
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James Ballentine reflects on his career in banking advocacy

After 22 years at ABA, the association’s top lobbyist James Ballentine will soon retire. In this special episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast — sponsored by IntraFi Network — Ballentine reflects on lessons learned during his career in Washington and shares tips both on effective banking advocacy and on promoting diversity and inclusion in banking. Among other topics, Ballentine talks about: The state of current bank policy issues in Congress like the SAFE Banking Act and ECORA. Behind-the-scenes stories on legislation like Dodd-Frank and S. 2155. How a legislative loss on a credit union bill 25 years ago galvanized the banking industry to ramp up its advocacy. Why it’s critical for emerging bank leaders to share their perspectives and experiences with lawmakers. How his experience as a former Small Business Administration staffer helped the industry navigate the Paycheck Protection Program. His work as a diversity, equity and inclusion leader both in Washington and in the industry.
4/20/202228 minutes, 31 seconds