Category: Financial Services

Financial Services

A banking resolution-Use enterprise software to eliminate courier costs

A banking resolution: No more courier costs

Yes, it’s true. Banks still use couriers – and have to deal with the costs that go along with them. To me, couriers are to electronic information sharing as telegrams are to e-mail. They’re outdated. Ineffective. Expensive. And it’s time to get rid of them. As Michael Croal, Senior Director at Cornerstone Advisors, stated in his recent GonzoBanker article, The Year of the Rabbit, “Shame on the bank that still has couriers schlepping interoffice mail and loan documents back and forth.” I couldn’t have put this any better. It’s not a matter of the tools being available. They are. It’s more of a matter of banks making sure they’re using the right tools, the right way. In the case of enterprise content management systems, there are many ways to do this, such as:
Workflow-3 ways credit unions can use it to take document management to the next level

Workflow: 3 ways credit unions can use it to take document management to the next level

To kick off the new year, I like to reflect on the trends and movement of financial services IT from the past year. While looking through my notes from customer meetings and tradeshows, I found one circled and starred among the scribble: “10 Tips for Increasing Technology and Operational Efficiency: Best Practices from the CUNA Technology Council” #1 suggestion: Increase efficiencies by implementing electronic workflow This was an enlightening moment for me. In the past, credit unions have focused so much time and effort on making content electronic that they simply haven’t had the time for the process part of it. But, a couple years ago, they quickly found that in order to meet their members’ needs and stay afloat, they need to re-evaluate processes and find more efficient ways to get work done. This session clearly reflected this notion. But that number one suggestion – Increase efficiencies by implementing electronic workflow – was just that – one suggestion. To give a bit more meat to it, and to kick off the new year right for credit unions’ process automation, here are three situations credit unions can benefit from workflow:

No note, no foreclosure: The records management issue in mortgage lending

It’s a delay tactic that might make George Bailey proud. Rather than walk away, homeowners facing foreclosure are asking banks to show proof they owe what the bank claims. Some lenders are failing to do so, turning a follow-the-dotted-line process into both a drawn-out court battle and a tangled, twisted paperwork nightmare. The revelation comes via a recent USAToday article titled “Homeowners use ‘show me the note’ to fight foreclosure.” Struggling borrowers argue lenders’ alleged devil-may-care attitude during the wild days of subprime lending created a document gap that’s muddying proper mortgage ownership. Read the article and you’ll see courts are listening to homeowners who claim shoddy document management by their mortgage lender. For lenders, that means no note, no foreclosure. Or at the very least, time to rethink that denied loan modification.
Bringing Front-Line Efficiency to Compliance

Bringing front-line lending efficiency to compliance

In the last post about back office automation, I mentioned that while the back office functions do affect the whole lending organization in one way or another, there’s an even bigger issue at hand: compliance. It’s a topic that every employee has had to be aware of at one time or another. In fact, most employees have had to take action based on it. What makes compliance so ubiquitous in lending? It’s because compliance simply isn’t an option for today’s financial institutions anymore. It’s a way of being. And to add to that, it’s also constantly evolving. The reality now is that the ongoing internal efforts and the cost to remain compliant can be staggering. That last point begs the question: What is the best way to contain the cost of maintaining compliance efforts as the financial sector faces tighter regulations? From an ECM perspective, here’s a short list of issues that I’ve seen and how they can be solved:

Bringing front-line lending efficiency to back office operations

Process automation isn’t a new concept for the mortgage industry. Over time, lenders have realized that the processes – new loan and renewal – are very paper-intensive. Not to mention, there’s a lot of sending documents back and forth among lenders, support staff and underwriters. So, naturally, they did something about it. In many cases, that something was software, a combination of document management, imaging, workflow and process management. However, that’s where the efficiency stopped – the front-office. Lenders found the competitive advantage they were looking for, and that was enough. Today, it’s not enough anymore.