All banks, regardless of size, must invest more in technology despite shareholder pressure to cut costs, said Victor Nichols, a former CIO at Wells Fargo and current director at Bank of Hawaii.

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As consolidation heats up, bankers are pushing back against lawsuits challenging a deal's merits. Experts say the law firms pursuing litigation are motivated by fees and often withdraw when bank lawyers use legal maneuvers to lengthen the process.

A judge had ordered Joseph Stilwell to appear in court and respond to a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission tied to a securities fraud investigation.

Boards at community banks are being asked to have greater oversight of cybersecurity issues as data breaches continue to mount. The challenge is balancing such work with other demands.

Many banks are aggressively closing branches to cut costs. Those banks must be mindful about branches in moderate- and low-income neighborhoods or risk downgrades after their next Community Reinvestment Act examination.

A year ago, bank executives were taking a hard look at credit cards — if they didn't offer one, they were seriously considering it; and if they already offered a card, they wanted to boost its profile. The moves have paid off with huge growth rates.

An improved economy, hint of potentially higher interest rates and changing demographics are all aiding a lending rebound in the southern and western parts of the United States.

BBVA Compass will likely face restrictions on M&A and branching after issues turned up in its recent CRA exam. Though a CRA rating downgrade is bad, some believe the foreign-owned bank is better off than banks that have had compliance issues arise after submitting a merger application.

Susan Martore-Baker, president of Cambridge Trust Co. of New Hampshire
A generation shift could also create issues for community banks that are in search of fee income.

Eagle Bancorp CEO Ron Paul
Who says you can't have it all? Banks like Eagle Bancorp and Puget Sound Bank are adding loans at a fast clip, but that hasn't stopped them from looking for deals. Still, such banks must make sure their deals do not wreck the growth engine they already have.

Mutual-to-stock conversions are facing new hurdles, as evidenced by events at a pair of Massachusetts mutuals. Depositors at Beverly Bank recently rejected its proposed conversion, while Reading Co-op Bank changed its bylaws to make it more difficult to convert.

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