Current News

Automated ACH activity reporting reduces time and effort required for compliance- August 20, 2014

Bankers’ Bank of the West is a registered agent for the FedPaymentsTM Reporter Service (formerly known as FedEDI Plus). The service eases your bank’s compliance and operations efforts by automatically generating reports for return item, notification of change, death notifications, SEC codes, and routing transit activity. You can also set up encrypted email messages to be sent to business customers (e.g. health care providers) to help match ACH payments to invoices, payroll records, or healthcare claims.

For more information on the capabilities of this service, contact any of the BBW operations specialists at 303-291-3700 (toll-free 800-873-4722) or email ops@bbwest.com.


BBW’s Denver-based staff now settled into modernized workspace – August 20, 2014

The full renovation of Bankers’ Bank of the West offices in Denver was officially completed August 18, 2014, with the return of all Denver-based employees to the newly updated space BBW has occupied since 1988.

The project, which was begun in May of this year, brings the offices into conformance with current building standards. The contemporary layout features functional, flexible work stations, centralized storage, several conference rooms to accommodate small, medium and large groups, and some room for future expansion. The project positions BBW to adapt to the evolving needs of community banks and emerging technology.

Customers are invited to set up a visit to the new offices. Please contact your calling officer to arrange a tour of the Denver facility, or to reserve one of the available conference rooms for your next meeting.


Six Ways Not to Walk Naked Down the Street
by David M. Dye (posted by Bankers’ Bank of the West with the author’s permission)

How Did This Happen?

Mark stared at the floor, his jaw clenched in frustration.

I was sitting with a leader who had just crashed and burned. He’d made a decision that had cost him his reputation and maybe his job.

He looked up at me and with a quiet whisper, Mark asked, “Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

The sad part was that it didn’t have to happen this way. People in his organization knew it wasn’t a good call…

But he never heard their feedback.

Are You Wearing New Clothes?

People in positions of power often sabotage themselves and create environments where no one will tell them the truth – often difficult truths about themselves.

Even so, leaders and managers have to make difficult and important decisions. In order to make the best decisions possible, you need to have as much meaningful information as possible.

The old Hans Christian Andersen story of the Emperor’s New Clothes is based on this unfortunate tendency of leaders who no longer hear truth. If it’s been a while since you heard this tale, I won’t ruin it for you, except to say it results in the Emperor parading naked up and down the street after two tailors take advantage of him.

6 Ways to Not Walk Naked Down the Street

Here are six ways to ensure you have the truth you need (and don’t end up walking naked down the street):

1. Ask for the Truth
Regularly encourage dialog in your team. Ask people to teach you one thing you didn’t know. Become a person known for caring what’s really going on.

2. Say Thank You
When someone shares a hard truth, especially about you, thank them for having the courage, taking the time, and caring enough to share it with you.

3. Respond
If you ask for input, take time to respond. Even if not every idea is actionable, acknowledging that the ideas were heard and considered increases the likelihood of hearing more in the future.

4. Never Ever Shoot the Messenger
If someone has the heart and courage to bring you a difficult truth, even if you vehemently disagree, bite your lip. If you attack them, they probably will never bring you another concern.

5. Find Your Truth-Tellers
There are people who understand their team, environment, or processes and are willing to voice their observations. Find these people, keep in regular communication, and let them know you value their observations.

6. Look In the Mirror
If you suspect you are not hearing the truth from those around you, it is time to look in the mirror and examine how you are interacting with others. I would bet you are not doing one or more of the first four items on this list.
If you are struggling to see it, ask others for input, find a mentor, or consider a leadership coach.

Your Turn

It may take time, but if you consistently ask for the truth, show gratitude for input, and respond to it, you will earn trust, gain credibility, and have the information you need to make the best decisions.

Which step will you take to make sure you get the feedback you need to be effective?

David M. Dye, leadership speaker and business consultant, is the author of The Seven Things Your Team Needs to Hear You Say. To learn more about David, or comment on this article, visit www.trailblazeinc.com.

Banking Conventions and Educational Events – June, 2014

With a service area stretching from the country’s Great Plains to the western states, Bankers’ Bank of the West participates in many conventions and educational activities involving community bankers – especially during the summer and fall. Those events include:

Arizona Bankers Association Convention
Sedona, Arizona — June 8-10
North Dakota and South Dakota Bankers Association Convention
Fargo, North Dakota – June 8-10
Wyoming Bankers Association Convention
Sheridan, Wyoming — June 15-17
Idaho, Oregon and Nevada Bankers Associations’ Convention
Sun Valley, Idaho — June 18-20
Utah and Montana Bankers Associations’ Convention
Sun Valley, Idaho — June 29-July 2
Bankers Foundation of Colorado Benefit Golf Tournament
U.S. Air Force Academy — July 11
ICBA-New Mexico Annual Meeting
Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico — Jul 24-26
Montana Independent Bankers Convention
Whitefish, Montana — July 31-August 2
Bankers’ Bank of the West Bank Card Conference
Black Hawk, Colorado — August 28-29
Independent Bankers of Colorado Convention
Vail, Colorado — September 18-20
Bankers Foundation of Colorado Benefit Event
Brighton, Colorado — October 3
Loan Officer Financial Management Training
Denver, Colorado — October 16 and 17


Limiting exposure of the community bank directorate March 2014
Debbie L. Meyers, Senior Consultant
Bank Strategies LLC

The community bank director takes on significant responsibilities upon election to the community bank board. Given those responsibilities, the director would be exposed to various legal and personal liability should the director not fulfill these responsibilities with the duty and care expected of the position. In carrying out the significant responsibilities expected of the position, the directorate of a community bank must exercise sound and objective judgment and follow good governance practices given the special protection accorded the industry in the form of government insurance for bank deposits. Directors must be especially diligent to ensure they thoroughly review materials, request explanations to understand transactions for which they are unfamiliar or unclear, seek expertise or guidance as necessary for unusual transactions, and exercise their independent judgment. It is important that community banks orient new board members regarding the scope of their responsibilities and the extent of liability associated with their position by providing training. The community bank should also provide ongoing and periodic training for all directors to remind them of their responsibilities as well as keep them abreast of regulatory and industry changes. All regulatory agencies provide comprehensive director training programs, many of them online, which can be utilized for this purpose.

To evidence that actions and decisions of the board are considered with the duty and care of the position, a best practice is to prepare adequate documentation of the discussions and decisions of the directorate, both at the board level and in committee minutes, on all key matters facing the directorate. While the organization does not need to overly document all decisions, additional care should be taken to document any discussions regarding issues critical to bank operations and strategy. Those decisions and discussions warranting additional documentation should include, but not be limited to, those transactions associated with affiliates or insiders, actions which could raise potential questions regarding conflicts of interest, or those which could raise future concerns regarding if the transaction is in the best interest of the bank. Although directors and officers liability insurance provides protection under many circumstances, the coverage does not extend to acts of dishonesty and those that are criminal, conflicts of interest issues, or transactions that are undertaken for personal gain.

This is part of a series of articles providing suggestions for improving the performance and effectiveness of the directorates of community banks. It was posted by Bankers’ Bank of the West with the author’s permission.

About Bank Strategies LLC

Through a menu of strategic planning, profit improvement, corporate governance and other services, Bank Strategies, LLC has consistently demonstrated the ability to generate superior performance and profitability for its client banks while allowing them to continue to operate in a safe and sound manner. The firm’s professionals are well-known and respected in the community banking sphere of bank attorneys, bank certified public accountants, bank trade association executives, and the press due to their quality of service, expertise and knowledge, and bank reputation. More information about this bank consulting firm is available at www.bankstrategiesllc.com.