Plansmith Blog

Key ALM/IRR Activities to Perform in 2020

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 4/22/20 9:09 AM

Given the historic low U.S Treasury rate environment and the recent 150 basis point near-immediate drop in rates, we’re expecting an increased regulatory focus on interest rate risk (IRR) and liquidity management.

It’s no doubt that financial institutions will see pressure to not only reforecast their 2020 budgets, but also to run future IRR shocks and more custom “what-if” scenarios as part of their regular IRR modeling program. Liquidity management and stressed-scenario cash flow modeling are also more important now than ever.

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Surge Deposits: R.I.P. (2018-2019)

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 4/8/20 10:57 AM

For the past ten years or so, surge deposits have been a material issue in asset/liability management. At the time of, and following the 2007-2009 Great Recession, the banking industry saw a substantial influx of deposits as real estate and equity investors liquidated positions and sought safe places to store their money and ride out the storm. The impact of this flight to safety was compounded by Government sponsored initiatives such as the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) Program and increases in Federal deposit insurance levels.

As a result, banks experienced significant deposit growth, and while these surge deposits would have normally been seen as a good thing, the near evaporation of loan demand left many banks with far more deposit dollars than they could effectively put to use. In turn, market liquidity levels skyrocketed, but margins were compressed. For the purpose of this article, we’ll refer to these funds moving from real estate, equities, or any other investments into the banking system as Type I Surge Deposits.

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Wayne Gretzky, the Barber Shop, and Your Contingency Funding Plan… What They Have In Common, and What You Should Be Doing NOW - Part II

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 3/25/20 9:37 AM

In my 20+ years at the FDIC and now 8 years here at Plansmith, I honestly never imagined that all those Contingency Funding Plans (CFPs) I’ve read and written would actually be relevant. I always viewed them as a good way to layout the framework for monitoring funding risk and alternate sources of liquidity, but I certainly didn’t think that the “systemic stress” scenarios would really ever be something we’d actually be dealing with. 

For those of you who didn’t see it, click here to read the blog I posted yesterday focusing on some things you can do help your community get through this current crisis. Today, we’re going to turn our focus to what you can, and should, be doing to limit the impact that this crisis might have on your institution.

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Wayne Gretzky, the Barber Shop, and Your Contingency Funding Plan… What They Have In Common, and What You Should Be Doing NOW - Part I

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 3/24/20 9:40 AM

In perhaps the most overused sports quote of all time, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” That piece of advice is usually used to inspire people to look ahead to emerging markets and business opportunities. Right now, however, I think that quote can serve as a guide for us to examine where this is all going, and how we should be planning for what’s coming next. We know where the puck has been; rates have dropped to historic lows, the stock market has plummeted, most of you have closed your lobbies to commercial traffic, and you’ve probably taken numerous other steps to try to limit the impact that this pandemic will have on you and your bank or credit union.

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Planning In Crisis Conditions

Posted by Sue West on 3/23/20 8:42 AM

The world is turned upside down and inside out as we confront the unexpected challenge of a pandemic. None of us has been here before and confusion is rampant. Yet, as business leaders expected to carry on for the survival of our companies, the World War II expression, Keep Calm and Carry On, seems applicable today.

At Plansmith, we communicate with hundreds of financial institutions like yours across the country who are affected by this crisis. We understand that you face even greater challenges ahead as you try to adapt. We know you have to assess the financial impact of lost wages, increased unemployment, low interest rates and a fragile economy and we ask ourselves, “How can we help?”

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How Will Rate Changes Impact Your Budget?

Posted by Craig Hartman on 3/11/20 9:48 AM

Everyone probably has their budgets in place for 2020 by now. And now comes along the Coronavirus and messes everything up. The Fed has already lowered rates by half a point. So, now you’re scrambling to figure out how this will impact your 2020 plans?

Seems like you have a few choices:

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Communicate Your Numbers Like a PRO!

Posted by Jennifer Mello on 3/4/20 11:16 AM

I know my numbers, but how do I communicate them to others within my organization?

It’s a valid question that Plansmith fields regularly from our clients. We’ve got some answers for you.

Everyone relates to numbers, no matter who you're talking too, but not everyone reads them in the same way. So how do you make the most out of your conversations with everyone who needs to relate to the same numbers?

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Planning Doesn’t Stop At 5:00 On Friday

Posted by David Schwieder on 2/12/20 1:45 PM

At Plansmith, we focus on not only helping our clients with preparing an annual budget, but identifying the action items involved in making the plan come to fruition. When you work all week helping banks and credit unions do a better job of planning, it’s probably not uncommon to take a step away on the weekend and refresh the batteries.

But do we ever really stop planning?

Last weekend, I was making plans (there’s that word again) to attend a concert at Chicago’s Thalia Hall. Since this was a general admission show, my goal was to arrive early in order to be relatively close to the stage. If you’re a bank or credit union CFO, think of this as my desired ROI.

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The 4 Big Backtesting Questions Revisited

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 2/5/20 2:50 PM

As we move into a new year, you may still be working on a few of those items you didn’t quite get to in 2019. And for a lot of our clients, one of those items is often backtesting. Given all the confusion surrounding backtesting, it can be pretty easy to keep pushing it to the bottom of the “to-do” list.

So, we thought it might be a good idea to dust off a blog I wrote back in 2015 to jump start your 2020 so you can get one more thing crossed off your list. In that blog, we looked at a few of the most common questions we get on backtesting. Specifically, we discussed who should do it; how often it should be done; what period should be covered; and if you need to backtest just model results, or also key model assumptions.

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Stop Budgeting and Start Planning

Posted by Craig Hartman on 1/17/20 9:16 AM

Most of us have been building annual budgets forever. First on paper spreadsheets, then with electronic spreadsheet like Excel, and now with software budgeting tools that amount to little more than more convenient spreadsheets. But a budget is typically all numeric built with trending and last year’s information. Usually the CEO provides a growth and earnings expectation and we build the budget to make the math work. If you have a system that can also provide rate risk analysis and draw detailed data from your core system, you really have a great system. So, what’s the problem?

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