Opportunities abound, in affordable housing, capital raising, consumer lending and more. We aim to get you thinking about how new developments on many fronts could affect your business as you plan for the coming year and beyond.

Think of Affordable Housing as an Opportunity, Not an Obligation
Banks can help ease a severe national shortage in affordable rental properties — and make money doing it.

Get Tech Expertise in Your Bank's Boardroom
A lot of bank boards have a big knowledge gap when it comes to technology. A recent Accenture study found that, of 109 large banks globally, more than 40% did not have a single board member with a technology background. And the situation is even more worrisome at small banks.

Learn to Love Consumer Lending
Consumer credit is better than ever before, even as Americans households have started levering up. But the big question for banks looking to re-commit to consumer lending is how.

Accept It: The Blockchain Will Be Part of Your Bank's Business
Many remain skeptical of the blockchain because it is associated with bitcoin. Eyes glaze over at the details of how it works. Applications for the average bank seem to be distant still. If this is how you think about the blockchain — that is, when you think about it at all — expect to be paying far closer attention soon.

New Ways to Raise Capital for Your Bank
Raising capital has been tough for community banks ever since the financial crisis, especially the smallest ones. But a few firms have developed structured products that offer banks a chance to band together to raise needed Tier 1 capital at relatively low cost, while avoiding the regulatory ire that befell trust-preferred securities.

Brace for the Return of Big M&A in Banking
M&A momentum is building, even among larger banks that have been sidelined for years.

Does Nature Want to Evolve a Bank?
Maybe disruptors, not bankers, are the ones who need to worry about an abrupt paradigm shift. Though many bankers fear having fintech startups pick off the most profitable parts of their business, history suggests this "unbundling" of banks is a recurring, temporary phenomenon that is generally followed by a period of "rebundling."

Consider Buying Instead of Leasing Your Bank's Branches
Having shored up capital following the financial crisis, many banks are flush with cash and in search of ways to put it to use. One option for banks that did sale-leasebacks in the past is to reacquire their branches.

Time to Actually Earn Those Mortgage Referrals
Mortgage loan officers have gotten a lot of referral business through formal marketing services agreements. Now that these agreements have come under regulatory scrutiny, referrals are going to depend even more heavily on providing real estate agents and consumers with the best mortgage experience, as a means to generate word-of-mouth marketing.

Bet On (or Against) Your Bank's Management
Prediction markets are the opposite of "yes men" — they're designed to induce experts to show what they really think. Could large banks, among the most siloed, opaque and politicized organizations around, use internal prediction markets to learn hard truths?

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