Jeff For Banks

Are Bank Products Simple, Fair, and Transparent?

I was on a road trip discussing banking with a colleague, and I mentioned that bank products are anything but simple, fair, and transparent. He said, “sounds like a blog post.” I have never heard a bank customer say, “gee, I wish my bank relationship was more complex.” Yet we charge business checking fees based […]


The Real Reason for Bank Scale: Trading Multiples

“Get big or get out.” “You must be twice the size that you are to succeed.” These are bromides that some industry talking heads might be telling you. I hear it and read it frequently. And in today’s social media, non fact-based opinion society, if you say it enough, people may start to believe it. […]


For Financial Institutions, Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Capital? Yes. Yes There Is.

I was on a panel at a bankers conference with an investment banker and two bank fund investors. One of the investors’ opening remarks was about banks that were over-capitalized. I panned the audience to see if regulators were present. But there were enough open jaw gapes to see that many bankers share the regulatory […]


Bank Innovation: Three Ideas

I usually take more time researching blog posts than writing them. Today is an exception. Rather than searching reputable sources for how this bank or that bank innovates, I thought I would give it to you straight from the gut. Because experience tells me that bankers are struggling with innovation. There is so much buzz […]


A Bank Analyst Makes Recommendations. I Make a List.

What should you look for in a bank stock? How should I know? I’m not a financial advisor. I would have to take a test to prove that I am worthy of such predictions. But I read. And part of my reading includes Boenning & Scattergood’s quarterly Bank DCF Analysis. In the report, analysts Matt […]


Branch Talk

“The legacy [of build it and they will come] is an inefficient allocation of resources dedicated to supporting a less relevant delivery channel…” So went an informative branch research report put out by my old friend and excellent bank stock analyst, Matt Schultheis of Boenning & Scattergood. At lunch recently, he said that the battle […]


The Federal Home Loan Bank System: Lender of Next-to-Last Resort

“The FDIC recently has observed instances of liquidity stress at a small number of insured banks.” So opened the Summer 2017 FDIC Supervisory Insights issue. And so went your exams. At a recent banking conference an industry consultant said, matter of factly, that in times of stress your Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) borrowing capacity […]


Hot Rates: Swipe Left

Retail customers are not growing at community financial institutions. According to my firm’s profitability outsourcing service, branches have fewer retail checking accounts than two years ago. Deposit gains were made through growth in average balances per account. If you’re a commercial bank, you may be fine if this trend is happening at your institution. So […]


Guest Post: Financial Markets and Economic Update by Dorothy Jaworski

The Long Winter I’m writing this in April, during the winter that is taking forever to end.  We braved the cold of December and January, were teased with some warm days in February, and then found ourselves in March, with its four nor’easters, cursing the snow each week and shivering in the cold.  We have […]


Consumer Lending: Should Banks Do It?

We’re running out of assets.   When I first read Standards Needed for Safe, Small Installment Loans from Banks, Credit Unions by the Pew Charitable Trusts that encouraged financial institutions to get back into small ticket consumer lending, I thought “what are they nuts!”   Consumer loans for those banks that utilize my firm’s outsourced profitability […]