Magazine article American Banker

Upfront: Table of Contents

Magazine article American Banker

Upfront: Table of Contents

Article excerpt

MANAGEMENT: For decades, community banks made the bulk of their profits by paying one rate to acquire money and charging a higher rate to lend it. But competition has squeezed margins, spurring banks to seek new sources of income, retool lending practices, and change the way they manage their money. Page 4A AGRICULTURE: As the number of farmers dwindles and the rural population ages, many small-town banks are finding it harder and harder to make money. Some rural banks have adjusted, however, by opening branches and loan production offices in metropolitan markets - often hundreds of miles away. Page 6A LEGAL/REGULATORY: The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 mandates that banks disclose to customers how information is shared with financial services affiliates. But because community banks are so dependent on third-party vendors, Congress exempted them from having to tell customers about these relationships. So how do community banks keep their privacy policies secret from customers without alienating them? Page 8A SMALL BUSINESS: Some Internet banks are starting to court small business customers. Can they provide the high-touch service that these customers desire? Page 10A Q & A: Stuart A. Scherer, director of community banking activities for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, says initiatives are under way to serve small banks better. Page 12A ONLINE: Four tech-savvy bankers - all from institutions with assets of less than $400 million - discuss how the Internet and the rise of electronic banking are changing the way they do business. …

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