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Bankers can bolster investor confidence by showing they are taking a disciplined approach to M&A. That involves thorough due diligence, strong rationales for deals and the ability to step away from the table.

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Randolph Bancorp raised $57 million in a mutual-to-stock conversion and is using the proceeds to both fund acquisitions — it closed its first-ever deal in July — and dramatically improve its digital capabilities.

The activist investor is irate that the company's board will not meet to discuss concerns it has over executive compensation and corporate governance.

An independent chairman could uncover or minimize damage from fraud while also meting out punishment more impartially after the fact. The longtime corporate governance argument has new legs in light of the account scam at Wells Fargo, whose board is led by CEO John Stumpf.

Bankers generally expect loan demand to increase over the next year, but global shocks, domestic politics and regional economic variations may be prompting them to prepare for slightly slower growth than before.

Banks that are heavily involved in commercial real estate lending may shy away from buying institutions with similar concentrations.

The Bancorp is keeping its cards close to its vest when it comes to job cuts it made last week. The move is leaving analysts guessing as to exactly how many people — and what types of positions — were cut.

Bankers may have a reputation for being old-school, but their rapidly growing digital-ad budgets are in step with the rest of the business world. Banks can both gather valuable demographic data from who clicks on their ads and better measure returns on their investments.

Digital has been seen as the death knell of branches, but banks like JPMorgan, B of A and UMB are among those making the case that branches can still set banks apart from rivals provided they get leaner and offer customers a blend of tech support and financial expertise.
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With prolonged low interest rates, Centric Bank is targeting niche groups while eyeing ways to poach customers from recent sellers in Pennsylvania.

Andy Cecere is widely viewed as the successor to Richard Davis as chief of the Minneapolis bank — Davis has repeatedly backed him in public forums — but Cecere may get several years to prepare for the daunting growth challenges facing banking's next generation of leaders.

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