Financial Reform: One Year Later – What Is the Future For Community Banks?

  • July 25, 2011

Last fall, our lead article in this newsletter detailed the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act...

Hot Topics for Community Banks – What I Learned at the 2011 FMS Conference

  • July 20, 2011

written by Chris Griesemer This past June, Tom Beisner and I went to Boca Raton to attend the Finance and Accounting...

Final Rules on Loan Originator Compensation

  • April 26, 2011

Some important changes recently went into effect impacting how bank mortgage loan originators and mortgage brokers can be compensated. Effective with mortgage loan applications received on or after April 1, 2011, loan originators and mortgage brokers can no longer receive compensation incentives based on the pricing of the loan (e.g., the APR or loan origination charges). Instead, compensation must be based either on a fixed percentage of the loan amount or a flat dollar amount per loan.

New Appraisal Guidelines Adopted for Appraisals and Evaluations

  • April 26, 2011

In December, federal financial regulators adopted the appraisal and evaluation guidelines that were originally issued for public comment in 2008. These new guidelines were issued in response to heightened concerns that arose regarding collateral appraisals and credit quality in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Repeal of Reg Q – Competitive Strategy in a Post-Reg Q World

  • April 26, 2011

On July 21, a banking regulation on the books for nearly a century and considered by many to be one of the most antiquated laws will finally be repealed. That’s the date when Reg Q, which has prohibited banks from paying interest on commercial demand deposit accounts since the Great Depression, will officially become part of the history books. The repeal of Req Q comes courtesy of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill passed last summer. The big question now is what will be the impact of this repeal on community banks?

Troubled Debt Restructures – What You Should Know About TDRs

  • April 26, 2011

In the current post-financial crisis lending environment, financial regulators are taking an especially close look at restructured small business loans. Most banks are working with at least some of their small business and commercial real estate borrowers to rehabilitate troubled loans by modifying loan terms and granting certain concessions.

Wireless Security – How to Protect Your Network

  • March 1, 2011

Isn’t wireless technology the greatest? I think I have a total of 10 wireless devices attached to my wireless network at home. I use my notebook to browse the web, I use my phone to send emails and texts, my son’s Xbox, I even print to a wireless printer. I wonder if The Whitlock Co knows I use my notebook on this network (Oops!)? Actually, we have followed the guidelines listed below to ensure The Whitlock Company's risk is reduced to none. How many businesses have notebook computers or other wireless devices that wonder into the wireless world without so much as even a guideline for them to follow? Whether it is an employee using their notebook on their unsecured wireless network at home, using it at a public hotspot like Panera Bread or using it at a hotel when they are on the road. All of these locations are security risks.

Preparation Through Disaster

  • February 1, 2011

written by Chris Griesemer I am looking out the window at the enormous amounts of snow falling. Am I thinking how...

Is Adobe or Java Software Making Your Business Vulnerable to Hackers?

  • January 21, 2011

We have performed vulnerability exams for banks for the past 11 years. What are vulnerability exams? I’m glad you asked that question. Basically we use special software to scan all nodes (computers, firewalls, servers, printers, ect.) for vulnerabilities on a network. An example of an especially high risk vulnerability might include a patch not being installed on a computer, passwords less than 8 characters or default administrator usernames still being used.