Independent Banker

Founded in 1950, Independent Banker is a monthly trade magazine published by the Independent Community Bankers of America.

Articles from Vol. 47, No. 3, March

'Ad'ing It Up
Getting the most from your bank's advertising budget Advertising is usually the last item I mention when ticking off a list of marketing tools for community bankers. And, even then, I always add several caveats. This month, in addition to a how-to on...
A Ripe Market
Manufactured homes are a booming, affordable housing alternative you should consider Some home buyers who in the past may have chosen a site-built home are gravitating instead to manufactured homes. Community bankers are in an excellent position to take...
Banking on Advice
Financial planning brings one-stop shopping to small Minnesota bank The concept of one-stop shopping at a financial center is nothing new to the banking industry. But bankers may be surprised to learn just how well the idea works for even the smallest...
Banking's Pioneers
The first women in the board rooms led today's established trend At the end of a long workday in 1972, a 30-year-old Union Bank officer was riding down the elevator of her San Francisco high-rise office, her arms laden with files she intended to work...
Branch Automation
Software to handle customers faster and more efficiently In the war for profits and survival, the front line for many community banks is the lobby and the branch, where people meet people-and your community bank's people must be genuinely friendly, gracious...
Don't Get Soaked!
Use flood-zone vendors that rely on human judgment In many areas of the United States, despite help from sophisticated computer software programs, accurately locating flood zones on residential and commercial properties is a difficult, complex task....
Eye on Capitol Hill
Get to know the newest Senate Banking Committee members. The 105th Congress is shaping up to become a watershed session for the nation's community bankers. Federal lawmakers are poised to take on two far-reaching banking issues-imposing a broad form...
Glancing Back and Focusing on the Future
This is my last column as your president. Let me share my thoughts on an emerging issue that must concern all of us. Just recently, Karen Thomas of the IBAA Washington staff appeared on the Nightly Business Report. The issue: massive financial restructuring...
Independent Report
MIDWEST BANKS HELP BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING Four Midwest community banks are teaming up with nonprofit groups to finance the construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing with grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. First National...
Internet Security
Safe online banking is part of today's high-tech reality You know that the Internet will bring dramatic and fundamental change to the financial services industry. You and your staff have studied and kept up with the progress of electronic banking. Your...
Invest in Success
Training boosts your employees' lending skills Of all the activities community banks engage in, none are as fraught with opportunity and risk as lending. Regulators are increasingly critical of how banks document and manage the lending process. And yet...
Leveraging Technology
Carolyn Spicer's vision reinvents customer service for Michigan bank Carolyn M. Spicer beats the drum for technology at the $250 million-asset, ninebranch, 99-year-old State Bank, headquartered in Fenton, Mich. Neither a "techie" by vocation nor avocation,...
Managing Changes
Electronic Call Reports and Truth-in-Lending updates Editor's Note: To keep bankers informed of proposed rules and other issues of concern to regulators, the following column summarizes IBAA's recent testimony and comment letters to federal banking agencies....
Marketing by Machine
Technology brings sea change in how banks sell and promote themselves Developing winning technology and marketing strategies may be banks' two most important challenges as the new century dawns. Some banks, employing everything from sophisticated computer...
Millennium Blues
Pay now and avoid big expenses later with the Year 2000 Problem When the year 2000 arrives, will you party or panic? The answer may be both. The new millennium brings with it the so-called Year 2000 Problem. You know what that problem is. It's the possibly...
Sifting through Options
What to consider when choosing a bank card agent program Editor's Note: This is the third of a five-part series on IBAA Bancard Inc.'s Total Card Management initiative. Next month's installment in Independent Banker will focus on the marketing benefits...
Smart Mortgage Money
Banks with small portfolios can earn sizable returns servicing mortgages Ten years ago, Wisconsin banker Lee Swanson tried brokering mortgage loans through a wholesale lender and outsourcing loan servicing, only to find that his State Bank of Cross Plains...