How seriously do you take efficiency at your bank? If the answer is a reluctant "not as much as I should," you are far from being alone. Community banks, particularly smaller institutions with under $100 million of assets, continue to be reluctant players in the drive toward efficiency.

According to the American Bankers Association's latest study of community bank practices, only 47% of the almost 800 respondents set a target for their efficiency ratio, which is calculated by dividing total noninterest expenses such as salaries and office costs by total revenues.

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