Jamie Topolski
Oct 14, 2021

As people increasingly become digital-first, the credit or debit card may become one of the few physical touchpoints a bank has with its customers. 

Long-suffering time deposit account holders are hoping for better deals the next time their CDs mature.

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Bankers throughout the country are increasingly focused on both attracting properly-priced funds and creating more practical, customer-centric ways to retain quality deposits.

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As the likelihood of the Fed raising interest rates looms ever larger, it’s time for banks to consider the strategic implications of their time deposit funding portfolios, commonly referred to as certificates of deposit (CDs).

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What to do about overdraft (OD) fees, or the loss thereof? For banks with assets over $10 billion, service charge income on deposit accounts, with OD income being the largest component, fell by almost half between 2010 and 2013 and at a rate twice as fast as for smaller competitors.

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In the Bourne series by Robert Ludlum, Jason Bourne, the main character, is a highly trained (or mentally programmed) assassin for the United States who was highly successful at taking out targets.

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Deposit pricing is challenging because it involves making assumptions about tomorrow.

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It’s not a stretch to say the typical experience for a customer getting a consumer loan through their trusted community bank is only slightly more appealing than working with the sleazy finance desk at the local car dealership.

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In a recent article for BAI Banking Strategies, I broached a theory that deposit rates start rising prior to an anticipated increase in the Fed funds rate because of our tendency to try to outdo the competition.

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Ahead of any rise in interest rates, financial institutions continue to hunt for new revenue sources, first from retail fees and second by increasing minimum deposits on time accounts.

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Twice in the past twenty years we experienced a cycle of decrease and increase in the Fed funds rate.

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The Federal Reserve has signaled that rising interest rates might be on the way, raising the risk that community banks’ margins will be squeezed in the future.

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As the economic downturn that began in 2008 deepened, credit tightened, consumers switched to other payment methods and credit losses reached historically high levels.

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Talk about an under-appreciated tool.

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Last January, we published in BAI Banking Strategies our estimates for deposit interest rates in 2014.

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“Overdraft fees should not be ‘gotchas’ when people use their debit cards,” said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), after the regulatory agency published its most recent report, “Data Point: Checking Account Overdraft.

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Tracking trends in deposit pricing involves three fundamental principles, each of which provides an additional perspective for the analysis: Distinguishing between an event and a trend.

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Once again, technology has raced culture to the finish line and won.

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The question about rising deposit rates is not “if” but when and to what degree they will rise.

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The banking industry has anxiously awaited a rising rate environment, anticipating that interest income from loans and investments will rise more quickly than interest expense on deposits and other funding.

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The second quarter of 2013 (ending in June) marked the second consecutive quarter over a six-year period that deposit balances in FDIC-insured institutions declined in response to lower interest rates.

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