Today's community financial institution has proven that it is a survivor. When "analysts" and "experts" point to an industry in decline, they fail to recognize these institutions for what they truly are: healthy, well-capitalized, well-managed businesses serving a genuine need in their communities. Assistance in serving those needs is the basic mission of Savings & Community Bankers of America, the national trade association representing community financial institutions.
Sound financial and operational systems have been a primary element in the continued success of most of SCBA's members, at both the corporate and customer levels. Each day, SCBA members handle millions of personal and business-related financial transactions. SCBA represents the institutions that put people in homes, make credit available to them, and plan for their long-term investment needs and retirement.
SCBA and its subsidiaries answer the questions that are constantly posed in that basic business. How does today's community financial institution manage its own corporate investment portfolio? Maintain proper insurance coverage? Control its operating costs?
Who helps the depository institution manage its own resources? Institutions must be as careful with their own systems as they are with the finances of their customers. Support of that goal is a top priority for SCBA Management Services.
As the holding company for SCBA's family of operating subsidiaries, it is the mission of Management Services to round out the products, programs, and services available to SCBA members and the financial services industry at large. Through Management Services, its subsidiaries and endorsed vendors, SCBA members and nonmember financial institutions can access a full range of business assistance, from the most basic form to the most complicated nonqualified deferred compensation program.
Many trade association service programs are expanded strictly through the endorsement process. SCBA Management Services, however, is a good deal more than a holding company shell for such arrangements; many of the service programs are produced in-house by dedicated subsidiary staff.
In fact, one of the nation's most dynamic specialty broker/dealer and funds management operations is conducted under the Management Services umbrella. This is the partnership between the Shay Financial Group and SCBA Investment Services.
The combination provides a unique blend of securities market expertise and depository sector regulatory sensitivity. Shay Financial staff brings a wealth of experience in fixed-income and structured products, while the Investment Services half of the partnership offers ready access to the full range of SCBA technical staff insights. The result is genuine synergy for the benefit of community institution customers.
Partnership personnel have conducted well-received seminars for the Education Department of SCBA at the Center for Financial Studies and for Federal Home Loan Banks. But the most direct benefit for customers has been the quality of investment product and service advice.
The partnership offers a full range of debt securities broker/dealer services and a family of mutual funds to institutional clients. These services are tailored to depository institution investors looking to access the best securities transaction executions and professional asset management for a portion of their liquidity and longer-term asset portfolios.
Shay Financial provides comprehensive investment services through its full-service institutional broker/dealers, Shay Government Securities Co. and Shay Financial Services Co. In addition, Savings & CommUnity Bankers Trust Company holds several billion dollars in securities for member clients, giving them cost-saving, accurate, and reliable custodial service, including detailed monthly statements and records of security pledge activities.
Since 1982, Shay Asset Management Co. has served as investment adviser to the AMF Asset Management Funds, Inc. for Financial Institutions, a family of five professionally managed institutional portfolios with nearly $2 billion under management. Shay also assists clients in integrating their transactions and mutual fund placements with capital plans, investment portfolios, and asset-liability management strategies.
The operation has now expanded to eight locations nationwide, and offers "street level" structured product sophistication in a local community institution setting.
There are many aspects of sound financial management. Generating fee income and controlling operating costs can be as important as sound investment planning. Bearing this in mind, two additional "in-house" lines of business are available to community financial institutions through SCBA Financial Services' Payment Services and Systems and Forms operations.
The Payment Services division of SCBA Investment Services concentrates mainly on the "plastic card" business: credit, debit, point of sale, and ATM service cards. Institutions have access to both VISA and MasterCard credit cards, a developing debit card system, travelers checks, CIRRUS and PLUS ATM networks, and a choice of credit card enhancement programs. The sponsored issuer credit card program is designed for small and midsize institutions. SCBA Financial Services sponsors institutions for membership in VISA and MasterCard, and all transactions are processed via the BIN/ICA accounts owned by Financial Services.
The direct issuer program is available to larger institutions with sufficient cardholder account bases and sales volume to qualify for individual membership in VISA and MasterCard. Because of increasing institution interest, Financial Services will expand its card programs by yearend 1995. Additional value-added services are currently in development.
SAF Systems and Forms
SAF Systems and Forms offers a comprehensive line of more than 2,000 products that include signature cards, transaction tickets, coin wrappers, passbooks, truth-in-lending forms, mortgage and loan documents, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac forms, retirement savings forms, and specialty items designed to meet an institution's daily needs. Most of SAF's standardized forms can be imprinted with an institution's name and logo, and such customized forms can be ordered in quantities as low as 100 pieces.
Technical advisors are also on hand to assist with questions regarding regulatory compliance when using these forms. SCBA members are entitled to a 5% discount on most equipment, and a 10% discount on most forms products. A full-color product catalog is available upon request.
The need for sound financial management in this industry is so great, and there are so many products and services on the market today, that choosing the right one for a particular institution can be something of a challenge. Management Services can address that need as well. Products, programs, and services that are not generated "in-house" are available to SCBA members through a series of endorsements. Management Services and its operating subsidiaries-SCBA Financial Services, SCBA Insurance Services, and SCBA Development Services -- carefully select products and services based on market interest. In fact, it is very often the calls and inquiries from SCBA members that will start the search for a particular product, program, or service.
The endorsement process always begins by identifying several providers of a product or service. Each is examined for product/service quality, after-purchase training (if appropriate), after-sales support, and price.
The next step is a thorough "due diligence" review. The reputation of SCBA Management Services and the endorsing operating subsidiary are at stake. This is the most rigorous and time-consuming stage of the endorsement process: The prospective endorsee's current customers are contacted via questionnaire, responses are evaluated, and the results are reviewed not only by staff but, generally, by the boards of directors of the operating subsidiaries. Only after successfully meeting all these requirements and standards does a vendor become endorsed.
Management Services is proud of its family of products, programs, and services. At all times, in all aspects of the business, serving community financial institutions is its number one priority. For more information, please contact Ms. Marne Gordan at (202) 857-3134.
Currently Endorsed Products
From SCBA Financial Services
Transamerica Life Companies. Nonqualified retirement plans, which give greater flexibility to top management in constructing compensation arrangements for senior staff and boards of directors. These special policies feature no-load and no-surrender charges. Transamerica has a combined asset base of more than $20 billion, with highly rated funds-management results.
The Pentegra Group. Comprehensive retirement benefits and services for financial institutions. Pentegra's services for community based financial institutions include the Financial Institutions Retirement Fund, a tax-qualified pension trust which enables financial institutions and other organizations serving them to cooperate in providing for their employees retirement, and the Financial Institutions Thrift Plan, a tax-eXempt, trusted capital accumulation plan.
Proactive, Inc. A regulatory compliance software program for use in monitoring an institution's regulatory compliance on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It can be an effective tool to prepare reports for examiners.
IPS. A profitability management software service. SCBA Financial Services is a licensed dealer of two financial software packages: a functional cost-analysis system that can assess an institution's cost accounting practices, and an interest rate risk module that can import data directly from an institution's database, ensuring accuracy and flexibility.
From SCBA Insurance Services
St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. Property-liability coverages include financial institution bond, directors' and officers' liability, and specialty and standard property and casualty coverages. The value of this program alone can often cover the dues for an SCBA member. St. Paul is currently rated A+ by A.M. Best, AAA by Thompsons's Insurance Watch, AAA by Standard and Poor's, and Aaa by Moody's.
Financial Institutions Consulting Corp. Comprising certified public accountants and attorneys working primarily with financial institutions, FICC offers custom-designed "nonqualified" deferred compensation plans for officers and directors, and retirement plans. These nonqualified plans give institutions the flexibility to design special packages for top management and directors. FICC arranges regulatory approval of these custom-designed plans.
Progressive Casualty Insurance. Progressive provides surety bond signature guarantees for securities transfer agents. Through the STAMP program, endorsed by the Securities Transfer Association and administered by Kenmark Financial Services, Inc., institutions can guarantee customer signatures on the transfer of securities.
From SCBA Development Services
Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARl). This background check service operates a database with information about individuals and companies in the financial field that have been formally charged with fraud, misrepresentation, breaches of standards or fiduciary responsibilities, and violations of laws, regulations or rules.
The sanctions have been brought by federal and state agencies, national or regional stock exchanges, financial institutions, and private companies.
Sheldon Good and Co. This leading real estate marketing and auction firm provides turnkey marketing, promotion, showing and closing services to institutions seeking to dispose of surplus real estate. In addition, it provides a quick-close financing program. By participating in a multi-owner, multi-property auction, a single institution can benefit from an increased marketing budget shared by a pool of sellers.