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[Pinned] Business eBanking Overview

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Watch a video overview of our new Business eBanking system.

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How Your Business is at Risk for Fraud (And What You Can Do About It)

With technology changing at such a fast pace, it can be difficult to keep up with ever-changing fraud schemes, scams, and various regulations. The 2018 AFP Payments Fraud Survey1 uncovered some alarming numbers; fraud hit a record high in 2017 with 78% of all organizations being affected by payment fraud. Check fraud continues to be the number one form in which payment fraud is attempted with 74% of respondents reporting this as an issue. Unfortunately, check fraud remains prevalent due to advanced technology making it easy for criminals to replicate your checks. As scams become more sophisticated, so does check fraud; all an offender needs is a valid account number and printing software to wreak havoc on your business’ finances. While modern technology creates more intricate forms of check fraud, the leading scheme involves fake checks. Businesses are a hot target for criminals and are likely victims of fraud due to the amount of checks written for vendors, bill payments and more. In a 2016 Ameri ...

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What if No One in the Family Wants the Family Business?

As generations before us, most family business owners have invested considerable time, energy, savings, hopes, and dreams into the longevity of their business. Like many founders, family business owners often establish their business with the long-term intent of positioning the next generation to one day assume leadership. But, what if assumptions are wrong and they simply don’t want the business or they have other career aspirations in mind? Regrettably, it can—and does—happen. In fact, a recent survey indicated that fewer than half (45.5%) of those expecting to retire in five years and fewer than a third (29%) of those expecting to retire in under 11 years have selected a viable successor. (MassMutual, American Family Business Survey, 2007) The time to ask those all-important questions are sooner versus later. A large part of any solid succession plan is knowing who will assume the leadership role once the next generation assumes the reins—even if it means knowing the successor ...

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Spring Cleaning Made Easier with a Home Equity Line of Credit

Spring comes with a sense of renewal and rejuvenation – and your home should be no different! Spring is the perfect time to get a head start on remodeling your deck, sprucing up the garden, or completing routine maintenance on your roof and windows to keep your biggest investment in tip-top shape. Whether you’re simply keeping your house in working order with various updates and repairs, or overhauling and replacing an HVAC unit or other large household fixtures, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) could provide some relief. What is a HELOC? A Home Equity Line of Credit is a line of revolving credit similar to a credit card, but this form of credit uses your home as collateral. Home Equity Lines of Credit are loans set up as a line of credit in which funds can be drawn when the borrower needs the money, rather than in a lump sum. Funds in a Home Equity Line of Credit can be accessed at any time, however, cannot exceed the amount originally set from the beginning. Because a HELOC is a revolv ...

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Market Month: February 2019

The Markets (as of market close February 28, 2019) Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted positive monthly gains, led by the Russell 2000, which lapped the field after gaining over 5.0% for the month. The small-cap index is almost 17.0% ahead of its 2018 closing value. Signs that a trade accord with China may be in the offing helped stimulate investors to trade throughout February. Also, word from the Federal Reserve that it may not raise the target interest rate range as aggressively as proposed last year has had a positive impact on stocks. Corporate earnings season continued on a relatively positive trend, while energy stocks rebounded as oil production was curbed, sending gas prices at the pumps higher. Overall, following the Russell 2000, the Dow posted the next highest monthly gain ahead of the Nasdaq, S&P 500, and the Global Dow. By the close of trading on February 28, the price of crude oil (WTI) was $57.26 per barrel, up from the January 31 price of $53.95 per barrel. The national ...

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Seven Ways to Make Your Tax Refund Count

More than 70 percent of the nation’s taxpayers received a tax refund averaging nearly $3,000 in 2018, according to the Internal Revenue Service, and it’s anticipated they will get a similar amount this year. As Americans receive their refunds, the American Bankers Association has highlighted seven tips to help them use the money wisely. “Prioritizing your tax refund to create an emergency fund and pay off debts first will help position you for financial comfort the rest of the year,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “As those who have been affected by the federal government shutdown this year can attest, financial challenges can arise quickly and it's critical to have money set aside for those unexpected hardships.” Carlisle highlighted recent changes to the tax code as a reason for consumers to file their returns as early as possible this year. “There are a lot of new wrinkles to the tax code that may surprise people, so you ...

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Family-Owned Businesses and Strong Cultures Can Go Hand-in-Hand

When I ask family-owned and other privately-held businesses about their competitive advantages, one of the most common answers I hear is about their ability to create a great environment for employees to thrive. Often, the culture of the organization is described as having a “family feel” in which employees feel closely connected to their colleagues, more engaged, face less turnover, and can be more nimble in how they anticipate and react to their customers’ needs. So, how do successful family-owned and other privately-held businesses create great cultures? By playing to their strengths. Such businesses may not have the resources available at larger organizations to help them develop a strong culture, such as large human resource departments to maximize team engagement, and the depth of talented leaders at the top of the company. Yet what they lack in resources, they make up for in other ways. By MICHAEL DIERBERG, Chairman of the Board, FB Corporation ( ...

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Cash Reserves – How Much Is Enough for My Business?

Money clichés are a dime a dozen, however, some of those financial catchphrases can truly be applied to your real life and pay off in the long run. One such saying is especially true for business owners. The saying that “cash is king” legitimately represents the importance of liquidity for any business of any size. Cash is needed for everything involved to successfully run your business. There are many reasons a business can fail, but one of the leading factors is running out of cash. A safety net is imperative to successfully persist through common events like a significant decline in sales, a mainstay customer not paying your invoice, or even being able to maintain seasonality. Every business’s safety net will be different and dependent on the volatility of the business or industry, therefore determining how much cash your business needs. While liquidity is never a one-size-fits-all solution, all businesses must consider the following key elements: Proper forecastin ...

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Brexit Update - February 2019

Summary of Brexit On June 23, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom voted by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the European Union (EU), a customs, trade, political, and partial currency bloc comprising 28 countries in Europe. This outcome to the referendum was a surprise, effectively ousting UK Prime Minister David Cameron and briefly disrupting global markets. On March 29, 2017, the new Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, starting a two-year clock for the UK’s exit from the EU. In the months since, May and her government have been working to negotiate an exit (or “Brexit”, as a conglomeration of British and Exit) that both the UK and EU could abide that would ensure an orderly separation. An issue of particular importance in the Brexit negotiations is how to establish a custom’s border between the UK and EU. While for the most part the English Channel makes such a custom’s border between the two rather natural, the border between No ...

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Market Month: January 2019

The Markets (as of market close January 31, 2019) Investors celebrated a month in which several indexes posted their best January performance in three decades. A strong labor market, low inflation, and a more "patient" Federal Reserve Board all sent encouraging messages to investors who were hungry for good news after last December's precipitous plunge. The Russell 2000 led the charge, closing the month more than 11% higher than its 2018 close, followed by a nearly 10% gain in the Nasdaq, while the S&P 500, Dow, and Global Dow all topped 7%. By the close of trading on January 31, the price of crude oil (WTI) was $53.95 per barrel, up from the December 31 price of $45.81 per barrel. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.256 per gallon on January 28, down slightly from the December 31 selling price of $2.266 and $0.351 lower than a year ago. The price of gold rose by the end of January, reaching $1,325.70 by close of business on the 31st, up from $1,284.70 at the end ...

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