Rolling Back…

Rolling Back…

Upsets during “March Madness” capture the attention of all of us, as the least expected teams surge in front of the top seeds.

Rolling Back...

The same seems to apply this March to smaller banks claiming back their standings, likely to be stripped away from cumbersome federal regulations plagued by Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reforms that arose from the financial crisis of 2008.

Earlier this month, the U. S. senate voted overwhelmingly to overturn capital reserve levels that would affect community and regional banks. The asset-level requirements caps would rise from $50 billion to $250 billion. As a result, banks with assets under $250 billion would be free of many regulations that have held back their business interests. They would soon be able to lend more freely and get back to a more aggressive strategy in collecting deposits. That would be good news for “Main Street,” and public entities.

These proposed changes will have little or no effect on the large banks, except they may have greater competing forces from regional banks.

As Congress looks to take this reform on in the coming months, I would ask that the following points be considered:

1.) As community and regional banks are freed up from several burdensome regulations, the ability to better compete in the marketplace will provide better opportunity and benefit to their customers.

2.) Community and regional banks should divert staff who had been fulfilling federal regulatory oversight duties to client-facing positions, thus focusing more on personal banking on a Main Street level.

3.) Cross-selling of bank products should be prohibited, and there should be a greater accountability of confidentiality within the walls of bank silos. This should apply to banks if all sizes. This will ensure the interests of the public take priority over those of the banking institution.

4.) Given the loosening of Dodd-Frank regulations, banks should not be allowed to leverage all the freed-up bank capital.

5.) Regional and community banks should have a reporting requirement to show that their savings—as a result of fewer regulations—are having a direct, positive impact on the clients they serve.

6.) A formal study should be conducted and released that would show that easing up on Dodd-Frank regulations will not lead or contribute to another disastrous financial crisis.

It should be noted that these proposed changes come on the heels of the 10th anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis. It is my hope that we do not allow past practices, that led up to the crisis, creep back into the way we all bank.

It is important that we urge members of Congress to be careful as they evaluate any rollback of federal regulations and that they serve the best interests of the public, while strengthening the fundamentals of our community and regional banks that complement our largest banks.

Our CEO Joe Rulison presenting at the NYS GFOA Annual Conference

Lines of Communication

Lines of Communication

Strong lines of communication are an effective strategy for an entity in securing a strong banking relationship.

Lines of Communication

In a world full of so many ways to communicate, one would think communicating between one another would be easy, efficient, and effective. Well, you may ask, how is that working for you?

With the daily deluge of emails, texts, pop-up ads, robocalls, and junk mail, it’s no wonder you’re overwhelmed with communications. Because so much of it is unwanted, you may miss out on genuine opportunities to enhance your banking relationships.

As a public official, higher Ed trustee, community leader, former government banker, and business owner, I try to ensure that my messages, like this blog, are timely, useful, and effective. The same should be true for your communications with your bankers.

A healthy level of communication with your bank will pay off in both less stress in the role you serve as well as more income to your entity’s bottom line.

Here are five tips that lead to effective communications between you and your bankers:

The more your bankers know about you, the better they can serve you. “Know Your Client” (KYC) plays an important role in both meeting federal banking regulations and bringing to surface all aspects of the relationship an entity has with its banks.

Regular in-person meetings with your bankers will lead to a stronger rapport and likely more and better banking services.

Starting a new relationship with a bank or banker? That’s the time to clearly state your expectations. Remember, you are the client. The bank will know how to take care of itself. Your primary interest is those you serve.

Be candid with your bankers by telling them what’s on your mind, what’s working, and what’s not.

Be proactive and ask, assume nothing. When your bankers call you, be sure to call back; the same goes for the bankers when you call first. When you dread a call from your bankers or have no desire to talk with them, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship.

A direct line of communication leads to a healthy and productive banking relationship, ultimately leading to more services, higher deposit rates, and a lot less stress.

Lines of Communication

Clear Liquidity

Clear Liquidity

Does the need for liquidity mean you have to leave a lot of cash in a low-interest-bearing checking account? The answer is “no.”

To be clear, liquidity means that cash must be available when payments are actually being made. In many cases, entities are putting cash aside for “just-in-case” scenarios, thus leaving unneeded cash in low-interest-bearing checking accounts.

Clear Liquidity

As interest rates rise, more options have become available to invest cash—while still allowing one to have liquidity when needed.

As we see it, liquidity means having cash available when at the moment you need it—but not any sooner. By applying this “just-in-time” philosophy, the options to put your cash to work expands from your bank account to Certificates of Deposits, Treasury Bills, State Liquidity Pools, and Government Money Market Funds with Constant NAV (where legally permitted). That’s just to name a few.

At three+one we can provide you with a liquidity analysis that encompasses all of your operating and non-operating cash. We can then tell you exactly when your entity will need cash and the value of your cash in the meantime.

Knowing how to use liquidity to full advantage will enable you to better manage your cash flow needs and maximize the value of your cash in the marketplace. By applying this kind of thinking, you’ll achieve higher-interest earnings on your bottom line.

 

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We’d like to welcome Alex DeRosa to the three+one team! He’ll be helping out our clients in Western NY, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Aelx DeRosa

 

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Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?

The marketplace is already reflecting the Federal Reserve’s anticipated moves to raise the Fed’s fund rates in the first quarter of 2018 by .25%, with two or three more rates increases likely by year-end.

Are You Ready?

Are you ready to have the earning on your cash reflect these rising rates?

As interest rates rise, the increase in interest earnings can be significant to your entity—and those you serve will be the beneficiaries. As mentioned in our past blogs, the rate of return on your cash will be 2.0% or greater by year-end. This amount can mean tens to hundreds of thousand of additional dollars to your bottom line.

My message is direct: “All cash is an asset, and it has value in the marketplace.” Its value is more than it was last year and it will continue to have greater value as interest rates rise.

At three+one, our liquidity analysis can identify all cash that is not likely evident to the naked eye. We enable you to capture all levels of cash and provide you with a time horizon that will duly match its value in the marketplace. You can then use our data with your financial providers to capture a higher yield, all within your legal, safety, and liquidity requirements.

Don’t leave any money on the table. With our help, you can ensure your entity and those it serves fully reap the benefits of a rising-rate environment.