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Jack Hartings is a vocal proponent of reduced regulation for small banks. But the CEO of Peoples Bank in Ohio wants Washington to force other industries to share the burden of improving cybersecurity and cleaning up after breaches.

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Popular and FirstBank gained critical branches and deposits in a region where growth is hard to come by. Some observers said it could also benefit the island to have one less competitor.

The Northeast has always been a competitive market for deposit gathering. Loan growth and the potential for rising interests are forcing banks in the region to find new ways to bring in low-cost liquidity.

American Banker’s Index of Banking Activity hit a three-year low in January as falling oil prices and harsh winter weather tamped down borrowing.

Community bank earnings surged 28% to $4.8 billion during the fourth quarter, compared to a 7.3% decline for the industry as a whole, according to a report released Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Sheila Bair, the former chairman of the FDIC, has the answer for significantly reducing the regulatory burden on small banks: give regulators the power to exempt institutions with less than $10 billion of assets from any new or existing regulation.
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Sunwest Bank in Irvine, Calif., has been sending employees to Africa and South America since 2011 to do philanthropic work. While such projects could help recruit Millennials, industry experts also see challenges selling foreign missions to employees and customers.

The OTC Markets Group has opened up its community bank marketplace to privately held institutions, offering a chance for investors to monetize their holdings without selling the bank.

Pinnacle Financial recently bought a 30% stake in a firm that originates most of its loans to doctors online and then auctions them to community banks. The move promises higher fee income, but could also put Pinnacle at the forefront of banking's hottest trend.

Online banking, ATMs and other advances have limited face-to-face transactions, but new Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. research says the brick-and-mortar office isn't going anywhere just yet.
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Several Korean-American banks are entering markets and businesses designed to target mainstream clients and other ethnic groups. Such moves are viewed as a way to improve the bottom-line as revenue growth proves daunting.

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