Getting Associated Banc-Corp back in shape required painful writedowns, fresh capital, lending discipline, cultural adjustments, new growth tactics, more transparency-and a leader to put it all together.
Banks large and small are finding trade finance services to be a useful tool for customer retention and loan book diversification not to mention a line of business that looks attractive in its own right.
For all the anxiety over low interest rates, net interest margins are higher now than they were for much of the last decade. For banks with less than $10 billion of assets, NIMs have been climbing for two and a half years.
The current regulatory approach to compliance has led bankers to stop offering certain consumer loan products or to increase what they charge. We all lose if the cost of compliance forces regulated lenders to send customers to the back-alley loan shark.
An increasing number of businesses are using trade finance products not just as a risk-mitigation tool as they wait for payment from foreign customers, but also as collateral to obtain more funding from banks.