Triangle Background

Wisconsin Bank AttorneyThe Board of Bar Examiners of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin has approved the following completed WBA educational programs for use toward the Wisconsin mandatory Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirement for attorneys. None of the activities listed below include Ethics and Professional Responsibility (EPR) hours or qualify for GAL education.  

WBA Compliance Forum, February 2020
3.0 CLE Hours

February 18, 2020 – Stevens Point
February 19, 2020 – Wisconsin Dells
February 20, 2020 – Pewaukee

WBA Compliance ForumJune 2020
3.0 CLE Hours

June 23, 2020 – live webcast

WBA Compliance ForumOctober 2020
1.5 CLE Hours

October 28, 2020 – live webcast 

WBA Compliance Forum, June 2021
3.0 CLE Hours

June 22, 2021 – Stevens Point
June 23, 2021 – Madison

WBA Trust Conference, May 2021
5.5 CLE Hours
May 18, 2021 – live webcast

WBA Compliance Forum, November 2021
4.0 CLE Hours

November 9, 2021 – Wausau 
November 10, 2021 – Madison

WBA In-House Legal Counsel Webinar Series  

September 2021: Mergers and Acquisitions, Pre and Post M/A Issues to Consider
2.0 CLE Hours 

October 2021: Troubled Business Borrowers, Deal with Real and Personal Property in a Defaulted Loan
2.0 CLE Hours 




Triangle Background

By Kenneth D. Thompson, WBA Board chair, president and CEO of Capitol Bank, Madison

Ken Thompson HeadshotWe are closing out this calendar year with a better understanding of COVID-19 than we had at this time one year ago in 2020, however the ongoing pandemic casts a heightened degree of uncertainty onto predictions for the 2022 economy. As bankers, we are responsible for interpreting economic data and trends that will impact the financial health of our institutions, our customers, and our communities. To support us in this important aspect of our work, the Wisconsin Bankers Association and partners organize the Midwest Economic Forecast Forum annually. This year’s event is set to be an exciting opportunity to hear from nationally renowned experts as they present their perspectives on economic conditions that continue to be susceptible to the risks and challenges posed by the pandemic.

The forum will be held virtually on January 4, 2022 from 10:30 a.m.–noon CT. Individual and group rates will be available, giving banks the opportunity to invite their staff, business customers,
directors, and others to join in on the viewing as part of their group registration.

Headlining the event will be Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari, who will provide an economic outlook. Kashkari took office as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on January 1, 2016. In this role, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the Ninth District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington, D.C. In addition to his responsibilities as a monetary policymaker, Kashkari oversees all operations of the Bank, including supervision and regulation, treasury services, and
payments services.

Presenting on the topic of “Economic Mega Trends 2022 and Beyond” will be David Kohl, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Virginia Tech. Kohl will cover questions such as: What are the global economic disruptors and power shifts? How will trade, geopolitics, supply chains, climate changes, and weather in extremes impact competitors? How will the stimulus package and Central Bank’s accommodative policy impact strategic positioning? What are some major mega trends on the horizon? What are the lead and lag indicators that need to be on the dashboards of decision makers?

With the level of uncertainty surrounding our economy moving forward, bankers should be especially interested in attending this engaging and informative event. The year ahead will no doubt be affected by excess liquidity in the banking system, supply chain delays/disruptions, labor shortages, and inflation fears. Bankers need to have a keen eye on how these key economic drivers will impact their banks and clientele. I look forward to the discussion on these topics at the Midwest Economic Forecast Forum and hope many of you will join us.

By Daryll J. Lund

With the Building Our Leaders of Tomorrow (BOLT) Winter Leadership Summit just days away on November 4, it’s a good time to share more about what WBA’s BOLT section has to offer. We now have 507 BOLT members from 137 banks out of 210 WBA-member banks. That works out to about 65% of the member banks having at least one BOLT member. There is no cost to the bank to join — in fact, many banks have multiple individuals from their organization as BOLT members. The section is popular in part because of the access to the biannual Leadership Summits, and because of the year-round connections and opportunities it provides.

As existing bank leaders approach retirement, BOLT can provide the networking and leadership skills to prepare your next leaders faster. Succession planning is key to the long-term success of any bank. Through BOLT, bankers are exposed to education that touches on every role in community banking and helps them to round out their skills. After events, attendees often speak of the spark that was ignited in them. They bring back new ideas and renewed motivation to their banks.

Networking opportunities are another big draw of the BOLT section. The ability to connect with peers and converse about important topics provides value that can’t be found in call reports. Being a part of the BOLT community is a unique benchmarking opportunity that enables bankers to better understand the market and where their peers are. Members are also able to support each other through shared successes and challenges.

Becoming a strong advocate is an important attribute for bank leaders, both in their communities and in their civic engagement. The BOLT section is integral in planning and promoting WBA’s annual Power of Community Week, during which all members are encouraged to engage in community service activities. BOLT members can also participate in the annual WBA Capitol Day and Washington Summits, which include training and materials to develop effective advocacy skills.

With all that BOLT members bring back to their banks, it’s easy to make the case for participation. Also, in today’s tight labor market, it is essential that banks invest in their people. Feeling valued and having a bright career path are key factors in employees’ decisions to join or stay with an employer. BOLT is a WBA program that stands ready to partner with our members on helping banks to develop their most important asset — their people.


Join Us for the WBA LEAD360 Conference on November 16-17 in Wisconsin Dells!

By Hannah Flanders

When Josh Mabus founded Mabus Agency in 2008, customer relationships with banks had already begun evolving. What started as general services creative agency soon morphed into a bank-focused marketing agency with a mission to both help people and raise the creative bar. Mabus and his team have reimagined marketing with banks and their customers in mind.

This year at the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s LEAD360 Conference, Mabus will be hosting a session that will assist banks in creating strong customer relationships through branding.

“Attendees will gain new perspectives in how an overarching brand can affect all areas of a customer’s life. I’ll share Mabus Agency’s unique perspective of the five key components of bank marketing, and how they work together to build effective and efficient strategies,” said Mabus.

LEAD360 is an annual conference that gathers retail bankers, sales/marketing bankers, and financial literacy bankers from across Wisconsin for two days of comprehensive breakout sessions and networking among peers.

“I love the focused learning that comes from smaller groups like these,” said Mabus. “Not only is it easier to communicate to smaller groups, but everyone in the room has similar experiences marketing to shared customers.”

If you are interested in learning more, make sure you’re registered for LEAD360 in Wisconsin Dells November 16–17. For more details on Josh’s LEAD360 session and the full agenda, visit the event page.

For the first time, this year WBA’s Secur-I.T. Conference will be combined with the annual BSA/AML Conference! These meetings — which cover many functions of a bank such as Bank Security Act (BSA)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Operations, Security, and Technology — draw banking professionals from all around the state of Wisconsin for education and networking. The 2021 WBA Secur-I.T. & BSA/AML Conference will be held September 21–22 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells.

Attendees will benefit from over seven hours of presentations from general session topics to breakout sessions by nationally recognized speakers and local professionals; networking with more than 125 banking peers; and meeting several exhibitors who offer products and services geared to help banks with customer experiences, BSA/AML programs, security, and technology.

The conference will kick off with a discussion on virtual currency as that continues to emerge as a hot button conversation for BSA/OFAC risk. The first conference speaker, Robin Guthridge of Wipfli LLP, will discuss FinCEN and the U.S. Treasury advisories regarding the risk virtual currency transactions could present. The event will also explore monitoring and SAR-filing responsibilities relating to virtual currency transactions.

Terri Luttrell from Abrigo will be diving into a topic that is closer to home than many may think. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world, exploiting over 45 million people and generating an estimated $150 billion in profits each year. Financial institutions have a critical role to play in identifying and disrupting human trafficking. This next session at the conference will discuss what financial institutions and BSA professionals can do to help identify, flag, and prevent human trafficking.

The conference will close out with Alex Weber, international speaker, American Ninja Warrior, and awardwinning performer for NBC. Weber’s contagious energy and strategic methods to transform audiences to achieve at their highest levels will certainly leave attendees feeling their best and excited to return to the bank post conference. Whether you are looking for BSA updates, high-tech discussions, peer networking or all of the above, you will want to make sure you are in attendance at this year’s Conference. We hope to see you there!

By Charlie Kelly and Brian Hink, Remedy Consulting

Bankers provide digital tools to their customers, but many community bank CEO’s and even most “Digital Experts” from large financial technology organizations struggle to answer two questions related to their digital users:

“What incremental revenue does an engaged digital user bring me?”


“What does an engaged digital user cost me?”

If you want to determine an ROI for each active digital user you recruit, it may help to have a better understanding of the two sides of the equation — how to quantify the revenue and the cost of each digital user.

Throughout this piece, we will try to get bankers thinking about the questions to ask when deciding what a digital user is worth to your bottom line.

A recent McKinsey study suggests that the number of “channels” a customer uses from your financial institution to access their money has a direct correlation to both the number of products they purchase, and the revenue per customer. The number of products purchased increased from five on average for the less engaged customer up to nine products for the most engaged customer. The revenue per customer the study used was $100 per customer for a single channel (less engaged) customer, and $210 per customer for a client who used three or more channels. So, $110 in incremental value for an engaged customer vs. non-engaged customer.

We have seen other studies that suggest the incremental value of the digital customer is somewhere between $75–$200 per customer. Oddly, we have yet to find an expert to show us how they calculate the value of the engaged digital customer. The reason that they may not want to commit to the secret sauce behind their estimates is because there are so many variables in this equation. The two most obvious might be:

  • Using the concept that more channels equal more products purchased, which additional products can you anticipate that the engaged digital client will purchase?
  • Can the average community bank CEO estimate the value of the additional products?

Let’s look at some revenue drivers a bank could use to calculate the value of a digital user. For the purposes of this argument, let’s ignore loans and use just the value of a deposit account for an active digital user. When we build a model for a client, we start with three revenue and one expense reduction driver:

Interest Revenue on primary account: When building ROI models for our clients, we start with $9,000 as an average balance, with 25 bps as a conservative estimate of the spread between investments/loans and what a client might pay on account balances. This comes out to $1.88/month.

Fee revenue on a primary account: Use $6 per month per account as an average, which varies significantly depending upon a bank’s fee policy.

Debit card interchange revenue: Average transactions used per user = 15 per month, $.30 per transaction after blending PIN and Signature interchange revenue. $4.50/month.

Savings for eStatement users: An active Digital user will offset some account expense that a paper user would not, so we plug our model with $1.90/month savings in postage, labor, statement composition, etc.

A bank might be better to use their own customer transaction and revenue estimates rather than mine, since the “expert” opinions on the monthly value of each vary significantly. And these are meant to be gross numbers, they do not net out expenses such as the incentives you are paying your team to bring in new business.

But, if we use these numbers we come to an estimated $13 per user per month for the deposit relationship. If you multiply that number times four incremental products for an engaged user, you are at $52 per month in gross revenue. Most loan products generate more income than a deposit account, so you can see where an incremental value of $75–$200 might be coming from.

Not a perfect science by any means, but perhaps a framework you can use to plug in your own assumptions while validating how much a digital strategy means when growing your bank.

Now let us look at the direct cost side of the equation. Your vendor invoices will give you the direct vendor costs-per-user you currently pay but consider using incremental costs only. By which I mean that every user these days will require a core account, ecommerce, and a mobile application. Those are must-haves that you pay for regardless, so you might ignore when thinking about digital power users. Now look at tools like direct deposit, estatements, bill payment and mobile capture. The use of these tools is what separates a truly active digital primary account user from a laggard. You can consider them incremental as they drive more cost with each power user and are likely not used by someone who just parks a laggard account with your bank.

Divide these by the price you pay each month for these incremental tools by the number of active primary checking account holders, and you will come up with a cost-per-primary-account holder per month. For simplicity’s sake, you could use checking accounts with an active direct deposit as your divisor.

If your direct, incremental cost-per-user is $4 per active user, and your potential monthly income from selling those products exceeds that number, then you have a decent way to figure out your return on investment, at least in helping you decide whether to purchase and install additional technology that may draw users to your bank.

After running this analysis quite a few times, perhaps the best advice I can provide is to build yourself a model with both the revenue and expense assumptions that your team is comfortable with and use that as a baseline to make decisions. This type of a model can help you decide in what tools to invest in, and once you dig out all the numbers you need for the analysis, it can also help you develop a baseline for your internal digital guru to use to decide how you want to grow the user base going forward.  It can become a great strategy planning tool. Do everything you can to negotiate your technology expense, and it will improve your ratios.

The evidence strongly suggests that large banks are well ahead of their community bank counterparts when it comes to active digital users. Since larger banks have more customer data to analyze that suggests that they see a strong ROI in investing in digital tools. We have seen the same assumptions at Remedy Consulting when analyzing data across multiple community banks.

Charlie Kelly is a Partner at Remedy Consulting and host of BankTalk Podcast. Brian Hink is a Senior Director at Remedy Consulting and manages the vendor negotiation and bank strategy practices.  Remedy Consulting helps financial institutions (FI) thrive through best-in-class fintech consulting services specializing in System Selections, Core Contract Negotiations, Outsourcing/In-House Advisory, Bank Mergers & Acquisitions, and FI Strategic Planning.

Charlie Kelly will be presenting a breakout session “Digital Transformation — Where to Spend Your Time and Money” at the WBA Management Conference, September 13–14, 2021 in Green Bay.