Strategic Planning: Blind Spots, Black Swans, and Black Elephants 

If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that change sometimes comes in major ways that we can’t control.

Last year’s plans didn’t know about PPP cash flows, wide-scale loan modifications, bloated balance sheets or extra fee income. Strategic plans aren’t designed to expect significant interruptions. They have been, and should remain, as the roadmap for the bank’s “Plan A” even if, like last year, “Plan B” intercedes.

Updating a plan that was “toast” within six months, how do we pivot? 

Your Upcoming Strategic Plan and Budget: Don’t Forget the Underpinnings

Adding new shiny tech-based “baubles” this year?

Good strategic planning and budgeting includes a cost-benefit analysis for new initiatives. New customers, volumes, and fees on the plus side; tech and marketing costs on the minus side.

But what about the overhead burden?

The Simple Key to Retail and Business Banking Virtual Selling

Bankers are always on the hunt for the secrets to being more successful in sales. Yet today so many are avoiding embracing video-based virtual selling.

With the pandemic end unknown, that avoidance will negatively impact performance short and long term. If you want to beat the competition, win faster, and guarantee retention of existing client relationships there is no choice but to embrace virtual selling.

Customer Digital Transformation:  Priorities for Retail Banks

Across all demographics, the pandemic is forcing “digital-first” to become a way of life, and how customers engage with their banks is changing. 

Trial and routine usage over just the course of a few months leads to enduring behavior changes. Banks that do not invigorate their digital transformation plans, making innovation part of how they operate, will get left behind.


Putting the Cart Before the Horse: A Case Study on Branching

Often community banks seem to take a backwards approach to branching. First, they see a property available for sale or rent or they are approached by a real estate broker or an insider with a property that would be great for a branch. Then they start to look at the market to see if it would indeed support a branch in that location. That seems like putting the cart before the horse. 

Unlike prior years, there are even greater uncertainties that financial institutions face as they navigate the pandemic with priorities rightfully shifted towards stabilizing and supporting their customers.

But when it does come time to relocate, consolidate, or expand your footprint and choose the right branch location, the best approach is to analyze your current market and identify communities or neighborhoods that would support a new branch and enhance your existing branch network to best serve those that depend on your services.

Can Banks and Credit Unions Uncover Business Loan and Deposit Growth in This Downturn? Part 2

This is the second of two articles recapping some of the insights that can be gleaned from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey which was conducted from the end of April through the end of June with over 900,000 Small Businesses across all states and targeted business sectors.

Part 2 of this series will help you understand the impact that delays in re-opening, unemployment and decreased sales have had on small businesses in your markets, which can inform your planning and strategies to support your customers. 

Preparing Your 2021 Plan and Budget: Accounting for the Pandemic

A recent survey by McKinsey & Company estimates that more than 25 percent of small businesses anticipate declaring bankruptcy in the next four months. It is highly likely that some of these businesses are your customers.

Planning and budgeting in these uncertain times requires a responsive approach to on-going change. Comprehensive, up-to-date local market data analyses overlaid on your internal data and supported by expert interpretation will supply you with the insights you need to build into your 2021 plan.

Can Banks and Credit Unions Uncover Business Loan and Deposit Growth in This Downturn? Part 1

PFT examined a survey of 900,000 small businesses nationwide conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau to understand how small businesses are responding to the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses.

Part 1 of this 2 part series will provide you with perspective and insight into the shifting trends of your loan portfolio customers and communities, highlight which industries need the most support, and provide you with important data to support more informed business decisions related to growth and performance improvement opportunities in your business banking portfolio.

Who Moved My Cheese Deposits?

From the 1998 best selling book, Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, MD, the story stresses the need for embracing change because they keep moving the cheese.

For a community bank with a network of branches, “cheese” is represented by the deposits and relationships that each branch develops. And in response to the changing market, banks must adapt by adjusting their branch strategy accordingly.

The Need For a Branching Strategy

Every community bank needs a branching strategy. 

A single office bank may consciously avoid branching as an unwarranted additional
expense, and for them, that is an acceptable branching strategy. Other banks may view
adding branches as an opportunity to lower their cost-of-funds, expand market share and provide new opportunities for retail staff, which could…

The “Grow Deposits” Problem

It’s that time of year when you start thinking about next year’s budget and how you’re going to grow retail and business banking deposits in order to fund the loans you anticipate making.

By mining market intelligence data, it’s possible to forecast deposit balances in specific geo-coded locations.

The Importance of Staying Informed During Strategic Planning

Integrating market intelligence with existing internal metrics will highlight the specific areas in a bank’s communities with the greatest growth opportunities, providing an added dimension to their view as they adjust their annual plans.

Your Branch Portfolio

Historically, bank branches have been viewed as a deposit gathering source. Over the years as a banker and a consultant, I have encountered many bank branches that were on sites owned or offered by insiders or friends of insiders. In many cases, that has left the bank with a marginal or unprofitable branch. Management needs to figure out how to deal with some of these legacy branches.


Branch Opportunity Grid Solution Demo Video

PFT COO Richard Buttermore provides an overview of our Branch Opportunity Grid, a solution that uses bank-specific and branch-specific metrics, correlated to market data, to highlight the branches in your network that have the greatest opportunities for retail and business banking deposit and loan growth, relative to performance and market opportunity.

Using Market Intelligence to Grow Deposits and Improve Branch Performance

PFT COO, Richard Buttermore, talks about how banks can leverage market intelligence to grow deposits, increase business relationships, and improve branch network performance.

A Note From Our Founder: The Launch of Paramount Financial Technologies

Our President & Founder, Michael Purchia, tells the story of Paramount Financial Technologies: who we are, our roots, and what we do.


Using AI to Find the Ideal Branch Location

Dedham Savings was “virtually unknown” to residents of the South Boston neighborhood, commonly referred to as Southie by locals, when it opened a branch there in the fall of 2016, according to the bank’s chief financial officer…

New Fintech Launches to Help Banks Optimize Branches

A new fintech in Quincy that helps community banks solve critical challenges like growing core deposits, improving branch network performance, increasing business relationships, and managing performance has formally announced its launch.


Fintech Startup, Paramount Financial Technologies, Announces Company Launch, Community Banks Sign-on As First Investors

Paramount Financial Technologies (PFT), a newly formed fintech startup, publicly announced today its company launch in New England with community banks as its first investors.
© 2021 Paramount Financial Technologies, Inc. - All Rights Reserved

Providing the best-in-class retail and business banking solutions for banks.