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Greensky Bluegrass Unveils Lineup For Inaugural Camp Greensky Festival

first_imgThe wait is over, Greensky Bluegrass fans. The Michigan-based bluegrass jam band has finally revealed the lineup for its inaugural Camp Greensky Music Festival, which is slated to take place May 31st – June 2nd at the Hoxeyville Festival Grounds in Wellston, MI.In addition to three nights of Greensky Bluegrass, the event will feature sets from Mike Gordon, Jeff Tweedy, Trampled by Turtles, Billy Strings, Fruition, Rayland Baxter, Joshua Davis, and Cris Jacobs Band. The lineup will also be expanded with more artists in the coming months.Tickets for the first-ever Camp Greenksy Music Festival are now on sale, and the event is currently accepting vendor applications via its website.last_img read more

Watch Common Join Robert Glasper For A Surprise Collaboration During Jazz Fest

first_imgJazz Fest is, of course, a celebration of jazz. But it’s also a celebration of the many musical forms that have flowed from jazz, as well as the intersection of those new forms with the older styles that preceded them. This intersection was on full display this past Saturday night, when Grammy and Academy Award-winning rapper Common made a surprise appearance with the Robert Glasper Rotation Trio in New Orleans during Jazz Fest at Ace Hotel New Orleans’ Three Keys music venue.After joining the band for a brief collaboration during their first set, Common teamed up with the Robert Glasper Rotation Trio for an impromptu, hour-long second set. The rapper opted to make his second stanza free to the public, and the venue even opened its doors to the Ace Hotel lobby to allow additional fans and unsuspecting spectators to take in the music. Jazz Fest will continue this Thursday, May 3rd to Sunday, May 6th.Robert Glasper Rotation Trio feat. Common[Video: Three Keys]Live for Live Music will also be in New Orleans for Jazz Fest, where we’ll be putting on a series of after shows and daze between shows at clubs across town. You can check out our late night guide for a comprehensive list of what New Orleans has to offer during Jazz Fest, and you can take a look at our own late night calendar below.last_img read more

Les Miz Comes Home and Starts Previews on Broadway

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 4, 2016 Keala Settle The cast also features Caissie Levy as Fantine, Nikki M. James as Eponine, Andy Mientus as Marius, Samantha Hill as Cosette, Kyle Scatliffe as Enjolras, along with Cliff Saunders and Keala Settle as the villainous Thenardiers. Les Miserables Will Swenson Star Files Ramin Karimloo View Comments Les Miserables originally opened at London’s Barbican Theatre in 1985. The Broadway production premiered at the Broadway Theatre on March 12, 1987, before transferring to the Imperial Theatre in 1990, where it ran for 6,680 performances. The first Broadway revival opened on November 9, 2006, and ran through January 6, 2008. The show remains the fourth longest-running Broadway show of all time.center_img Related Shows It’s time to hear the people sing! Preview performances of the new Broadway revival of Les Miserables will begin March 1. Directed by James Powell and Laurence Connor and starring Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean and Will Swenson as Javert, the newly imagined production will officially open March 21 at the Imperial Theatre. Nikki M. James Andy Mientus Les Miserables is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and is based on the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Schonberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, original adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird and additional material by James Fenton. Caissie Levy View All (6)last_img read more

Sweet summer

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaApril’s cold weather taught many Georgia gardeners the wisdom of waiting. It’s seldom safe to plant annuals and vegetables in Georgia before mid-April. On “Gardening In Georgia” episodes airing the week of May 5, University of Georgia Extension horticulturist Bob Westerfield will show host Walter Reeves how to determine the right time to plant.”Gardening in Georgia” airs on Georgia Public Broadcasting stations across Georgia each Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.Georgia gardening guru and retired UGA Extension agent Walter Reeves hosts the show. Each episode features valuable gardening information specific to Georgia soils, climate and growing conditions.Also on this episode, viewers will learn about ferns. When trees gradually shade your landscape, ferns become an indispensable ally. Dozens of ferns grow well in Georgia. Reeves will highlight some of his favorites, including autumn fern, Japanese painted fern, log fern and lady fern.Nothing says summer like fresh sweet corn. David Chambers of Callaway Gardens will give tips on the best corn varieties and planting techniques. And if you like fresh peaches with your sweet corn, it’s time to tend the trees.The secret to growing good peaches is the right balance of tree leaves to fruit. Peach trees should be thinned in May. Knowing how to space the fruit is also essential. Reeves will tell why tightening your belt is equally important.”Gardening in Georgia” is a coproduction of GPB and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The 2007 season is made possible through an underwriting gift from McCorkle Nurseries and support from the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association. More on “Gardening in Georgia” can be found at read more

Organic grain production

first_imgThere are about 1 million acres of certified organic grain and oil seed fields in the United States, but not many in Georgia. The growing demand for organic grains and seed oils in the southeast could change that. With several new potential mills that can handle organic grain coming on line in Georgia, there are new opportunities to enter this growing market.Extension specialists with the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University, along with scientists from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, will host a day-long Organic Grain and Oilseed Workshop for farmers who are interested in organic row crop production. The workshop, set for June 27 at the NESPAL building at UGA’s Tifton campus, will feature classroom presentations, farmer roundtable discussions, and a field tour that will highlight cultivation practices that make organic grain and oilseed production possible in Georgia’s climate. USDA’s Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, the Georgia Center of Innovation in Agribusiness, UGA Cooperative Extension and Georgia Organics are sponsoring the workshop. This program is free and lunch is provided, but farmers do need to register for the workshop before hand by emailing Kate Munden-Dixon at or calling (706) 542-8084. For directions to the NESPAL building, visit read more

2020-21 CAES Ambassadors

first_imgThis year’s slate of student ambassadors at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) face a much different semester from previous years, but they are on hand to help the college’s prospective and current students navigate both new challenges and traditional back-to-campus activities.Thirty-nine students will serve as 2020-21 CAES Ambassadors on both the Athens and Tifton campuses. The program gives ambassadors the opportunity to develop leadership and professional skills by representing the college at events, helping with activities such as Orientation 2.0, and speaking to other students and the community on topics related to admissions and student opportunities at CAES.Students who don the signature red blazer that identifies ambassadors have a broad knowledge of the college, their respective campuses and the university as a whole, said Pam Cummins, director of student recruitment for the college. They also benefit from weekly meetings that provide professional development activities that prepare them for careers after graduation.“The CAES Athens ambassadors are involved in student recruitment and assist at college and university-sponsored events. CAES Ambassadors normally have the opportunity to travel, meet and network with college leaders, expand communication and leadership skills, meet potential students and network with alumni,” Cummins said. “This year will be a little different as ambassadors will not have the college and university-sponsored events to attend like they usually do. The professional and leadership development will still take place during their weekly meetings, however all will be adhering to UGA’s on-campus social distancing policies.”This is the second year as an ambassador on the Athens campus for senior biological science major Zion Eberhart.“Being a CAES Ambassador has provided me with a platform to advocate for and share my experiences with others for a college that has poured so much into me and my future endeavors. This program has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and develop a broader perspective of the importance of agriculture and environmental sciences in our everyday lives,” Eberhart said.Returning ambassador Amelia Payne, also a senior biological science major, recalls the first campus tour she gave to prospective students as an ambassador.“As an ambassador for CAES, I thoroughly enjoy meeting alumni, current students, and prospective students. Through providing advisors’ contact information as well as major brochures, I appreciate the opportunity to answer questions and alleviate concerns of prospective students and their families while tabling at campus events such as the First Look and Scholar’s Preview Admissions events,” Payne said. “I will never forget sharing about how my two study abroad experiences and internship at the UGArden have enhanced my medical school application through my biological science degree within such a supportive college.”While traditional fall semester events like Orientation 2.0 and alumni relations events will be held on virtual platforms this year, Payne said that ambassadors will continue to build community and increase networking opportunities for students throughout the college.“With the presence of COVID-19 and to ensure everyone’s safety, this upcoming school year will look very different in terms of our programs and outreach,” said Eberhart. “Nevertheless, we are prepared to follow the guidelines set in place by CAES and UGA.”Below is a list of 2020-21 CAES Ambassadors for the Athens and Tifton campuses:Athens campus:Pope Arline, Sophomore, Agribusiness and Risk Management and Insurance, Saint Simons Island, GeorgiaKatelyn Bickett, Senior, Agricultural Communication, Chickamauga, GeorgiaLaurabeth Bland, Junior, Agricultural Communication, Statesboro, GeorgiaCourtney Cameron, Senior, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, Valdosta, GeorgiaAynslee Conner, Sophomore, Applied Biotechnology and Entomology, Madison, GeorgiaEdith Copeland, Senior, Agribusiness, Fort Valley, GeorgiaJared Daniel, Graduate Student, Agribusiness, Bogart, GeorgiaMaggie David, Senior, Agricultural Communication, Statesboro, GeorgiaGrace Dodds, Senior, Agricultural Communication, Columbus, GeorgiaKristen Dunning, Senior, Agricultural Communication, Summerville, GeorgiaBenjamin Easter, Sophomore, Agricultural Communication, Peachtree City, GeorgiaZion Eberhart, Senior, Biological Science, Ellenwood, GeorgiaLily Gerrell, Junior, Hospitality and Food Industry Management, Gainesville, GeorgiaCarter Henry, Senior, Agribusiness and Agricultural and  Applied Economics, Valdosta, GeorgiaKenne Hillis, Senior, Animal Science and Dairy Science, Evans, GeorgiaNicole Hofland, Fifth year, Agriscience and Environmental Systems and Agricultural Engineering, Suwanee, GeorgiaMorgan Jones, Senior, Animal Science, Americus, GeorgiaBailey Lawson, Senior, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, LaGrange, GeorgiaDavis Mathis, Senior, Agribusiness and Agricultural and Applied Economics, Valdosta, GeorgiaTristan Melton, Senior, Biological Sciences, Dawsonville, GeorgiaAmelia Payne, Senior, Biological Sciences, Euharlee, GeorgiaTaylor Pearson, Sophomore, Applied Biotechnology and Entomology, Reidsville, GeorgiaBrooke Raniere, Sophmore, Environmental Economics and Management, Peachtree City, GeorgiaLindsey Smith, Senior, Biological Sciences, Lithia Springs, GeorgiaBrantley Swindell, Sophomore, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, Claxton, GeorgiaHamp Thomas, Junior, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Summerville, GeorgiaKelly Tims, Graduate Student , Entomology, Canton, GeorgiaMary Logan Tostenson, Senior, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, Moultrie, GeorgiaDouglas Vines, Sophomore, Applied Biotechnology and Plant Science, Marietta, GeorgiaJackson Wadsworth, Senior, Agribusiness and Agricultural and Applied Economics, Monroe, GeorgiaRebecca Wallace, Senior, Agricultural Communications, Alpharetta, GeorgiaMakayla West, Senior, Biological Science, Comer, GeorgiaTifton campus:Courtney Conine, Junior, Senior, Agricultural Education, Camilla, GeorgiaMarlyn Grantham, Senior, Agricultural Education, Columbus, GeorgiaMakenna Mabrey, Senior, Agricultural Education, Baldwin, GeorgiaGrace Padgett, Junior, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, Abbeville, GeorgiaSummer Steele, Junior, Agribusiness, Concord, GeorgiaMorgan Sysskind, Junior, Agricultural Education, Valdosta, GeorgiaJosh Thrift, Senior, Agricultural Education, Alma, Georgialast_img read more

Chittenden Bank parent reports earnings of 4 cents per share, 62-cent dividend

first_imgPeople’s United Financial, Inc.(PBCT 16.64, -0.01, -0.08%) today announced net income of $13.6 million, or $0.04 per share, for the first quarter of 2010, compared to $24.9 million, or $0.07 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009, and $24.2 million, or $0.07 per share, for the first quarter of 2009. Included in this quarter’s results are $23.4 million of merger-related and system conversion expenses. The net impact of these items reduced first quarter 2010 net income by $15.6 million, or $0.04 per share. Excluding the effect of these items, net income would have been $29.2 million, or $0.08 per share, for the first quarter of 2010. As previously reported, People’s United Financial completed its acquisition of Financial Federal Corporation on February 19, 2010. Accordingly, Financial Federal’s results of operations are included as of the acquisition date, and prior period results have not been restated to include Financial Federal Corporation.The Board of Directors of People’s United Financial voted to increase the annual common stock dividend by $0.01 per share, resulting in an annual dividend rate of $0.62 per share. The quarterly dividend of $0.1550 per share is payable May 15, 2010 to shareholders of record on May 1, 2010. Based on the closing stock price on April 14, 2010, the dividend yield on People’s United Financial common stock is 3.8 percent.For the first quarter of 2010, return on average tangible assets was 0.28 percent and return on average tangible stockholders’ equity was 1.5 percent, compared to 0.51 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2009. At March 31, 2010, People’s United Financial’s tangible equity ratio stood at 18.6 percent.”During the first quarter of 2010, we completed our acquisition of Financial Federal, a leader in equipment financing, providing a valuable complement to our existing equipment financing company, People’s Capital and Leasing,” stated Philip R. Sherringham, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As anticipated, the transaction was immediately accretive to earnings, though our results will not reflect a full quarter’s benefit until the second quarter. We also successfully completed the first phase of our core systems conversion and are now focused on the final phase, which is slated for July.”Sherringham added, “We continue to diligently pursue acquisition opportunities for both FDIC-assisted and open bank transactions. As we have previously stated, we are evaluating our current market as well as non-contiguous, attractive high-growth markets for acquisitions.”Sherringham concluded, “We are pleased to reward our shareholders with an 18th consecutive annual dividend increase. The strength of our capital and liquidity, asset quality and earnings, as well as the fact that our balance sheet remains funded almost entirely by deposits and stockholders’ equity, continue to set us apart from most in the industry.””On an operating basis, excluding merger-related and system conversion costs, earnings were $29.2 million, or 8 cents per share this quarter,” said Paul D. Burner, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Significant drivers of the company’s performance this quarter were an improvement in the net interest margin, modest loan growth across our strategic lending businesses, and lower net loan charge-offs for the second consecutive quarter. The net interest margin improved 28 basis points to 3.47 percent, reflecting the combined benefit of Financial Federal and a 16 basis point reduction in our cost of deposits this quarter.”Commenting on asset quality, Burner stated, “Loans acquired in connection with the Financial Federal acquisition were recorded at fair value, including a reduction for estimated credit losses, and without carryover of that portfolio’s historical allowance for loan losses. As such, selected asset quality metrics have been highlighted to distinguish between the ‘originated’ portfolio and the ‘acquired’ portfolio. For the originated loan portfolio, representing all loans other than those acquired in the Financial Federal transaction, non-performing loans totaled $192.3 million at March 31, 2010, and the ratio of non-performing loans to originated loans was 1.36 percent, compared to $168.8 million and 1.19 percent, respectively, at December 31, 2009. Non-performing loans in the acquired loan portfolio, which represent those loans acquired in the Financial Federal transaction that meet our definition of non-performing but for which the risk of loss has already been considered in connection with our estimate of acquisition-date fair value, totaled $51.7 million at March 31, 2010.”Non-performing assets totaled $247.5 million at March 31, 2010, a $41.9 million increase from December 31, 2009, of which $19.8 million is attributable to repossessed assets acquired in connection with the Financial Federal acquisition. Non-performing assets equaled 1.74 percent of originated loans, REO and repossessed assets at March 31, 2010 compared to 1.44 percent at December 31, 2009. At March 31, 2010, the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of originated loans was 1.22 percent and as a percentage of non-performing originated loans was 90 percent, compared to 1.21 percent and 102 percent, respectively, at December 31, 2009.First quarter net loan charge-offs totaled $9.5 million compared to $13.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Net loan charge-offs as a percent of average loans on an annualized basis were 0.26 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 0.38 percent in the prior year’s fourth quarter. The level of the allowance for loan losses is unchanged from December 31, 2009.Selected Financial TermsIn addition to evaluating People’s United Financial’s results of operations in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), management routinely supplements this evaluation with an analysis of certain non-GAAP financial measures, such as the efficiency and tangible equity ratios, and tangible book value per share. Management believes these non-GAAP financial measures provide information useful to investors in understanding People’s United Financial’s underlying operating performance and trends, and facilitates comparisons with the performance of other banks and thrifts. Further, the efficiency ratio is used by management in its assessment of financial performance specifically as it relates to non-interest expense control, while the tangible equity ratio and tangible book value per share are used to analyze the relative strength of People’s United Financial’s capital position.The efficiency ratio, which represents an approximate measure of the cost required by People’s United Financial to generate a dollar of revenue, is the ratio of (i) total non-interest expense (excluding goodwill impairment charges, amortization of acquisition-related intangibles and fair value adjustments, losses on real estate assets and nonrecurring expenses) (the numerator) to (ii) net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis (excluding fair value adjustments) plus total non-interest income (including the fully taxable equivalent adjustment on bank-owned life insurance income, and excluding gains and losses on sales of assets, other than residential mortgage loans, and nonrecurring income) (the denominator). People’s United Financial generally considers an item of income or expense to be nonrecurring if it is not similar to an item of income or expense of a type incurred within the last two years and is not similar to an item of income or expense of a type reasonably expected to be incurred within the following two years.The tangible equity ratio is the ratio of (i) tangible stockholders’ equity (total stockholders’ equity less goodwill and other acquisition-related intangibles) (the numerator) to (ii) tangible assets (total assets less goodwill and other acquisition-related intangibles) (the denominator). Tangible book value per share is calculated by dividing tangible stockholders’ equity by common shares outstanding (total common shares issued, less common shares classified as treasury shares and unallocated ESOP common shares).1Q 2010 Financial HighlightsSummaryNet income totaled $13.6 million, or $0.04 per share.Operating earnings were $29.2 million, or $0.08 per share.Net interest income totaled $159.6 million.Net interest margin increased 28 basis points from 4Q09 to 3.47%.Average short-term investments and securities purchased under agreements to resell totaled $2.9 billion, or 16% of average earning assets, and yielded 0.25% in 1Q10.Average deposits decreased $71 million and the interest cost on deposits declined 16 basis points from 4Q09.Provision for loan losses totaled $9.5 million.Net loan charge-offs totaled $9.5 million in 1Q10.Non-interest income totaled $70.6 million in 1Q10 compared to $71.7 million in 4Q09.Non-interest expense totaled $200.3 million in 1Q10 compared to $172.2 million in 4Q09.1Q10 and 4Q09 include $23.4 million and $4.5 million, respectively, of merger-related and system conversion costs.Effective income tax rate was 33.2% in 1Q10.Commercial BankingAverage commercial banking loans, excluding shared national credits and acquired loans, increased $66 million from 4Q09 to $8.8 billion.Loans acquired on February 19, 2010 in the Financial Federal transaction averaged $543 million in 1Q10.Shared national credits totaled $526.9 million (3% of total loans) at March 31, 2010, a $41.0 million decrease from December 31, 2009.Non-performing commercial banking assets, excluding non-performing acquired loans, totaled $168.3 million at March 31, 2010, a $25.9 million increase from December 31, 2009.Repossessed assets acquired in the Financial Federal transaction accounted for $19.8 million of the increase.Includes two previously disclosed non-performing shared national credits ($13.8 million in non-performing loans and $9.4 million in real estate owned).The ratio of non-performing commercial banking loans, excluding non-performing acquired loans, to originated commercial banking loans was 1.25% at March 31, 2010 compared to 1.17% at December 31, 2009.Net loan charge-offs totaled $7.5 million, or 0.30% annualized, of average commercial banking loans in 1Q10, compared to $9.8 million, or 0.42% annualized, in 4Q09.Wealth ManagementWealth Management income increased $0.2 million from 4Q09.Insurance revenue increased $0.3 million, reflecting the seasonal nature of insurance renewals.Assets managed and administered, which are not reported as assets of People’s United Financial, totaled $16.8 billion at March 31, 2010 compared to $16.1 billion at December 31, 2009, primarily reflecting the improvement in equity markets.Retail & Small Business BankingAverage residential mortgage loans totaled $2.5 billion, a $103 million decrease from 4Q09, reflecting People’s United Financial’s strategy to sell essentially all newly-originated loans.Net loan charge-offs totaled $0.1 million, or 0.01% annualized, of average residential mortgage loans.The ratio of non-performing residential mortgage loans to total residential mortgage loans was 2.70% at March 31, 2010 compared to 2.07% at December 31, 2009.Average home equity loans totaled $2.0 billion, unchanged from 4Q09.Net loan charge-offs totaled $0.9 million, or 0.17% annualized, of average home equity loans.Average indirect auto loans totaled $0.2 billion, unchanged from 4Q09.Net loan charge-offs totaled $0.6 million, or 1.19% annualized, of average indirect auto loans.People’s United Financial, a diversified financial services company with $22 billion in assets, provides commercial banking, retail and small business banking, and wealth management services through a network of nearly 300 branches in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and New York. Through its subsidiaries, People’s United Financial provides equipment financing, asset management, brokerage and financial advisory services, and insurance services.Certain statements contained in this release are forward-looking in nature. These include all statements about People’s United Financial’s plans, objectives, expectations and other statements that are not historical facts, and usually use words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe” and similar expressions. Such statements represent management’s current beliefs, based upon information available at the time the statements are made, with regard to the matters addressed. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause People’s United Financial’s actual results or financial condition to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such statements. Factors of particular importance to People’s United Financial include, but are not limited to: (1) changes in general, national or regional economic conditions; (2) changes in interest rates; (3) changes in loan default and charge-off rates; (4) changes in deposit levels; (5) changes in levels of income and expense in non-interest income and expense related activities; (6) residential mortgage and secondary market activity; (7) changes in accounting and regulatory guidance applicable to banks; (8) price levels and conditions in the public securities markets generally; (9) competition and its effect on pricing, spending, third-party relationships and revenues; and (10) the successful integration of acquired companies. People’s United Financial does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.Access Information About People’s United Financial on the World Wide Web at is external).Source: BRIDGEPORT, Conn., April 15, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — People’s United Financial, Inc.last_img read more

Workshop Focuses on Improving Security of Trinidad & Tobago’s Energy Infrastructure

first_img U.S. experts in energy security met with counterparts in Trinidad and Tobago earlier this month for a workshop to discuss the protection of the Caribbean nation’s critical energy infrastructure. The workshop, dubbed the Critical Infrastructure Subject Matter Expert Exchange, focused on helping Trinidad and Tobago improve its energy infrastructure protection and develop mechanisms for private/public information sharing across the energy sector. One of the adopted plans included the exploration of modeling Trinidad and Tobago’s National Security Training Academy (NSTA) after the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Training Center. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, members of the Delaware National Guard and SOUTHCOM met with members of the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Sector Security Initiative (ESSI). Details on planning a visit to the center will be worked out to determine how its curriculum and training techniques can be modified to suit the local environment. center_img By Dialogo July 24, 2013 A trip to Delaware will be planned to offer the ESSI firsthand knowledge on how the State catalogs its critical infrastructure and administers protection related programs.last_img read more

Remember overdrafts?

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Erin O’HernThere’s no time like the present to review your credit union’s overdraft program and ensure it is not only compliant with existing regulations but that members are fully informed about the terms of the program. I’ve said it before but I will say it again, this time with more urgency, the CFPB is taking a close look at overdraft programs. It’s easy to be lulled into complacency given the length of time the CFPB has been studying the issue, however, times are changing.The CFPB recently announced an enforcement action against a bank in Alabama for its non-compliant and deceptive overdraft program. The CFPB found that the bank failed to obtain required opt-ins from certain customers, delayed fixing the violations until almost a year after discovering them, and misrepresented overdraft fees related to its deposit advance product. The CFPB ordered the bank to provide refunds to any remaining affected customers, correct errors on credit reports, and pay a $7.5 million fine.Even before this enforcement action the CFPB has conducted extensive studies to collect data from consumers and financial institutions. The CFPB also included overdraft issues in its semi-annual rulemaking agenda. Recent comments from the CFPB and their rulemaking agenda suggests the credit union community can expect a proposed rule on overdrafts as early as this fall. continue reading »last_img read more

Leveraging your credit union’s data to guide branch strategy

first_imgSetting aside any arguments for brick & mortar expansion vs. online/mobile growth – I think we can all agree that it’s an exciting time when your credit union is ready to expand. Whether you’re looking to expand to a nearby location in a market you know well, or are rapidly expanding into new markets with which you are less familiar, the question remains, where will you locate the new branch?Investing in a new location is one of the largest financial commitments a credit union undertakes – opening a new branch can exceed two million dollars, depending on the region and other customization. And, this is before considering ongoing operational costs. Making a mistake can be costly – not only in real estate and construction costs, but also to your brand if you enter a market in a less-than-ideal location or end up exiting the market when results are not as you desired.Your knowledge of the area is very valuable and so is that of local experts when entering new markets. The key is to support your knowledge with data that provides an objective analysis of market demographics and the competitive environment to reassure you, and your organization, that the underlying market/trade area drivers are as you perceive.Here are four proven reasons why investing in a study and leveraging your credit union’s data on the front end of your strategy development can save you time and money: Remove subjective biasWith strong business acumen, your executive team has successfully grown your credit union to the point of being ready to expand. One part of why they’ve been so successful is because they know the business so well. Yet, this same internal entrenchment may also blur their sightline to broader trends and indicators.While it may seem counter-intuitive to say that someone from “the outside” can help you understand your local dynamics, a structured, objective analysis can provide a fresh perspective and often highlight trends that are overlooked by those who are in the market day to day. Understand the trade area in terms of your membersA real estate broker is skilled at understanding the overall market and finding available property. Your broker likely does not specialize in credit union operations or have access to information about how members use your existing network.You serve a unique set of members with their own behaviors and needs. Take time to assess retail activity in the area and analyze your existing markets and member patterns to cull out what has led to past success for your organization. Understanding your existing members, where they live, and how they currently transact within your network, provides essential insights into how you can best serve them in the market.Leverage your member data to answer key questions, such as:How far do your members travel to a branch/ATM?How often do they visit? What types of transactions do they conduct in person?What other channels are they using for transactions? Gain stakeholder consensus Adding a branch is a big deal. It’s a change to the way things have been done and it’s expensive. Consequently, stakeholder discussions leading up to a branch strategy decision can get emotional with strong feelings about whether a new branch is necessary or disagreements about the best place to locate it. So often, in the absence of objective third-party criteria, the decision-making process is unnecessarily drawn out and market opportunities are missed. Having well-researched, data-driven evidence to share with the board of directors and the executive team will focus discussions, support or debunk theories, and streamline the decision process.Once you commit to a property and open a branch, it’s not only pricey to relocate the branch, it can also negatively impact the credit union’s reputation and frustrate members. A little investment up front in a branch strategy analysis will equip you with a better understanding of your members and markets and lead you to the location(s) that will best serve your current and future member base. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Catherine Lewis Catherine has worked with financial institutions for 14 years, first contributing to delivery network decisions at a top-five national bank and then advising financial institutions across the country, as they … Web: Detailscenter_img Quantify opportunity and competitive pressures“Our members have been asking for a location in Springfield.” Listening to members is incredibly important, and it’s one piece of the puzzle. Another vital puzzle piece is assessing the potential of the recommended area.Are there sufficient households to support a location? How much growth is projected?What financial products are market households purchasing?How competitively intense is the market?Quantifying the financial product potential and competitive environment in the trade area is valuable for setting growth goals and estimating what market share you can reasonably expect to grab and how that will affect your profit. It will also influence the type of building and services offered at this location.An important consideration at this step is determining where you will obtain the market data and understanding whether you will have the ability to customize the data for the geographies you are considering. Free data sources generally offer zip code or county-level census data. While county or zip code level data helps narrow a search betweendifferent markets (i.e. which cities or counties are attractive for expansion?), it is less helpful in pinpointing areas of growth or targeting demographics withina submarket (i.e. where do we place a branch in this city or neighborhood?).For example, the maps of Charlotte, NC below illustrate how a map showing the median income for a zip code (left) washes out the variation within the market, which is evident when you assess the market at the block group level (right). Missing these variations may lead to misinterpreting a submarket and building a branch in an unfavorable location. It’s much less expensive to spend a little on verifying the data sources of your analysis inputs than it is to relocate a misplaced branch.last_img read more