Plansmith Blog

Jim Fugitte

is the Director of Strategic Services at Plansmith in Schaumburg, IL. He is a lifelong community banker and former Faculty Chair at the Graduate School of Retail Bank Management. In his role at Plansmith, Jim is here to assist you in devising and executing strategies that will facilitate building a successful future for your bank. To contact Jim directly, simply email or call 1-800-323-3281.
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Recent Posts

Focus on Customers Not Commodities

Posted by Jim Fugitte on 2/15/17 8:03 AM

With so many different community banks offering so many different products, banks often ask us how they can better compete on product offerings. If a bank is offering two checking accounts with no monthly fee, three with rewards, and one with insurance, what should a competitive bank offer in response?

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OCC: Risks Facing National Banks & Federal Savings Associations

Posted by Jim Fugitte on 1/6/17 2:55 PM

In its Semiannual Risk Perspective, the OCC said strategic risk remains high as banks consider business model changes and face revenue challenges.

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3 Ideas Out of the Wells Fargo Scandal

Posted by Jim Fugitte on 9/27/16 8:58 AM

Before we get into our own thoughts (or, what you might do to take advantage of the situation), we thought it would be helpful to include some other thoughts around the industry. The Financial Brand, if you have never landed on their site, is always a good first source. Their “3 Problems with the Wells Fargo Cross-Selling Scandal” by Ron Shevlin of Cornerstone Advisors, talks about the inequities created for the honest people in this story: 1) the employees who did not cheat and 2) the consumers who were harmed, neither of which stands to see compensation. But it’s Shevlin’s fourth problem (yes the title is 3, but he added a 4th) that helped us decide to give our readers some suggestions.

An excerpt from the text:

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Survey Results: Strategic Planning for Community Banks

Posted by Jim Fugitte on 7/21/16 2:21 PM

Most say strategic plans end up on the shelf!

Plansmith Corp. recently conducted a survey of CEOs and CFOs on the role of community bank strategic planning within their organization. It was not surprising to learn that 90% said they have a strategic plan, but a closer look revealed some interesting statistics on the implementation of their plans. 

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CEOs: 3 Thoughts on Strategic Thinking

Posted by Jim Fugitte on 6/8/16 10:00 AM


The cost of regulatory compliance, declining product prices, and technological threats from new entrants all narrow the path to future profits. Even if the yield curve improves, these threats will force community banks to search harder to improve earnings. It can’t be done on the fly; only strategic thinking and careful planning in the context of your market and the opportunities available will be successful. Would you coach a Super Bowl team without a playbook? Probably not.

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