Podcast February 19, 2019

Global banking capabilities for smaller communities

Cookie cutter solutions don’t work for everyone.  

Often, smaller community banks are left out, especially when considering international exchanges.

Mike Salerno, Vice President of Global Banking at FNB Omaha, saw a host of opportunities following the recession as larger banks tightened up. 

Mike and FNB have made a commitment to continue to service their downstream and correspondent banks.  This includes partnering with them to help them come up with and work on creating a solution set.

They thrive in partnerships and Mike has some insight on mutually beneficial relationships that allow smaller local banks to be proactive on a increasingly global scale.

Roadblocks to international productivity

There was a time when local banks were all there were for the most part.  Unfortunately, that was nearly a century ago. Over the past hundred years we’ve seen an escalation of technology that dramatically affected the banking industry.

In the past thirty years that growth has been exponential.  Failing to adjust for that truth and make wise business decisions can mean the end of small banks.  And sometimes this death is slow and anguishing.

Mike understands the difficulties of international exchange.  At FNB Omaha, he and his team are not only responsible for overseeing the overseas of the main branch, but look to make partnerships with other banks

“Our goal is to help them understand some of the challenges that we’ve learned,” Mike tells us, “But also give them access to the global resources we’ve built.”  

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.  In fact, it’s nearly impossible.

Path to partnership success

The common theme that I see throughout the US in these communities is that the corporations believe they need to be with a large national bank.

“They’re going with larger banks because they think that they have to.”

Mike and FNB Omaha are trying to provide the same service they can get from a larger bank.

“We come in and we’re not pitching a cookie cutter solution.”

Among other things, Mike pointed out three particular attributes that smaller banks looking to be productive in their offerings on a local, national, and international scale should consider:

1. Compliance

“I would say that after the recession banks had to look at a lot of different things.  One of the issues was compliance around third party risk,” Mike remembers.

This is not something that can be fully passed onto a partner, so when Mike’s team steps in it’s important for them to know what they’re looking at.

It means evaluating not only the systems are in place to not only ensure compliance for what the bank is doing now with their current offerings, but also looking to future compliance by staying on top of the standard measure for other local banks and what compliance is necessary for expanding offerings to customers.

2. Offerings

A major reason people bank with one institution or the other is due to what is offered.  Online offerings are the most obvious and popular option, but it hardly stops there.

Part of the goal in partnerships and relationships is to make use of resources in order to effectively and creatively increase offering safely and proactively.

3. Solution Set

First, Mike and his team come in and figure out what they have today, how are they processing, do they have an online and mobile technology, what are the capabilities.

Work with them on creating a solution set.

Second, now that you’re processing, what do you need from an operations perspective?

Do you understand how to communicate?

Do you have automated processes?

What are you doing from a transaction monitoring perspective?

How would you handle investigations and communicate a time table?

Mike wants to be sure that the bank still retains its identity, and that the automation present at the bank and what FNB introduces doesn’t leave revenue on the table.

Ultimately, the best partnership is the one that mutually benefits both parties.  This means achieving increased business success by actively engaging customers.  

And with a growing public sentiment of dissatisfaction with out-of-touch banks, it’s nice to have a partner who’s connected with their customers and is already doing this well.

This post is based on a podcast interview with Mike Salerno from FNB Omaha. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to Payments Innovation.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

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