Slideshow What Community Bankers See Ahead in 2014

Published
  • December 02 2013, 8:00am EST
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Regulatory burdens, technology challenges and long-awaited M&A top the list of what small bank leaders see in the year ahead, according to a KPMG survey. Following are some of the study's key findings.

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Improved Economy

Roughly two-thirds of participants expect a "moderately improved" economy a year from now. Nearly a quarter of respondents expect "about the same."

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Threats Abound

More than 60% of bankers believe political/regulatory uncertainty is the biggest threat to their businesses. Nearly one-third of bankers surveyed expressed worries about new market entrants such as PayPal or Walmart.

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M&A Pickup

About 65% of participants expect more consolidation, with a third of those bankers saying their institutions could sell in 2014. Paramount to potential acquirers: a target's customer base, geographic footprint and asset size.

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Acquisition Hurdles Remain

Balance sheet issues were cited as the biggest impediment to deals, with 37% of respondents singling out the issue. Another 32% flagged regulatory restrictions.

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Slight Revenue Upturn

Eight-five percent of bankers surveyed expect to generate more revenue a year from now, but most expect no more than 10% growth.

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More Tech Investment

Nearly half of the bankers surveyed expect to increase IT spending in the next year; 37% plan to spend more on new products or services. One in four plan to spend more on regulatory compliance.

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Adjusting to the Cloud

Nearly 30% of the bankers said they have begun using cloud computing but have found "minor challenges" integrating it into their banks' business strategies and operations.

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Wealth Management Opportunity

KPMG found that 15% of bankers expect asset management to be the biggest driver of revenue growth over the next one-to-three years. Another 13% believe revenue will come from underserved markets, and 11% are looking toward mortgages and consumer loans.

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Hacking Concerns

Nearly half of the survey's participants say they are "moderately concerned" about cyberattacks. About 30% said they were "slightly concerned."

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Social Media Focus

Roughly 60% of the participants say they use Facebook and 43% LinkedIn. One-third of respondents tweet. More than 40% of respondents view social media as "somewhat important" and 56% use it for customer service.

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