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BarCampBank - Chicago

Posted by Wendell Brock on Mon, Jul 21, 2008

On July 16, 2008, DCI, De Novo Strategy and CREED hosted a BarCampBank in Chicago at the Drake Hotel - it was a great success! All who attended enjoyed a lively discussion on the current affairs of several banking topics, such as de novo banking, enterprise zone marketing, Islamic finance, bank loyalty, and market trends. Read on for an overview of the information shared at the meeting.

De novo banking is always a topic of interest. Industry folks want to know how many new banks are being started and what the consensus is on whether it's wise, in the current environment, to start a new bank. In the first quarter of this year, 38 new banks received permission to open. Annualizing that number indicates a run-rate of 152 for 2008. However, as the financial crisis has deepened, I suspect that the latter half of the year will slow down, such that 2008 will possibly close out with about 100 new bank openings nationwide.

Attendees also discussed the wisdom of starting a new bank in these difficult times. As the question was turned over and thoughtfully discussed, the general opinion was that while capital would be difficult to obtain, starting a bank now would be a good thing. After all, the bottom of a market is normally the right time to enter. And, since it takes 14-24 months to actually open the doors, the economic environment is likely to be much different by the time a bank started today is ready to begin doing business. These factors may be contributing to the encouraging market trends for DCI thus far this year; trends have been up and DCI has seen an increase in its activity.

Islamic Finance was perhaps the most interesting topic discussed. While there are approximately 7 million people in the United States of Muslim heritage, there are very few sources of Sharia compliant banking. A few banks have started offering Sharia compliant residential mortgage loans, but this is a small subset of a larger market. Most Muslims are small business owners and need other sources of small business loans and commercial real estate loans. If a bank is interested in labeling its loans and deposits as Sharia compliant, it must employ an Islamic Scholar to research all the terms of the transactions and compare them with Islamic law to make sure they are valid. Once this is done, the bank can offer its banking products to the Muslim public as "Sharia Compliant." The average Muslim in the U.S. is educated with a bachelor's degree and earns an average income of $67,500. This places this demographic in the highest income bracket of the immigrant population, along with other Southeast Asians. Within this group, the default rate is relatively low, so the opportunity for a bank to place good, profitable financial transactions on the books is strong.

Another topic discussed was how to increase bank loyalty. There were several ideas put forth and one was to offer better financial education, specifically with the goal of matching bank products to customer needs. This ultimately means providing customers with easy-to-understand information about how specific products will help their businesses and what options are available to enhance those products to the customer's advantage. The philosophy of ‘helping someone else get what he truly needs and he will help you' comes to mind here. Banks might consider adding more customized products to the portfolio of customer solutions. Then, give customers the information and ability to pick and choose product features that will contribute to their own success. Ultimately, this is where the community bank will flourish - by building success through its customers. This is easy to talk about and more difficult to implement, but the banks and core providers will have to figure it out.

This leads to the Enterprise Zone marketing ideas. Forty-three states have enterprise zones, each with different tax credits for businesses that operate within these zones. Approximately 95 percent of the tax credits every year go unclaimed, mostly because businesses are unaware that the benefits are available or unaware of how to do the accounting so the credits can be claimed. Often it is a matter of education, on the part of the business owner and its accountant. The bottom line is that there are billions of dollars available and bankers - if they learn how to help their customers - can capitalize on this great opportunity.

There are many workshops, seminars, and conferences that people attend, but the discussions at a BarCampBank are amazingly insightful for all who attend. We want to thank our attendees and wish them the best of success in their endeavors. A sincere thanks also to our sponsors as we greatly appreciate their support; we at De Novo Strategy will certainly plan to sponsor more of these events in the future.

By Wendell Brock, MBA, ChFC

Topics: BarCampBank, Bank Marketing, De Novo Banking, Islamic Banking, Enterprise Zone


Posted by Wendell Brock on Sat, Jun 28, 2008


A BarCamp is a unique and engaging
conference, where the attendees actually
drive the agenda topics and lead discussions.
Visit to get up to speed.
We at De Novo Strategy recently attended a
BarCampBank in Dallas. It was engaging and
enlightening. A great experience.
Because we believe in building smarter
banks we thought it would be smart to hold
a BarCampBank during the Interagency
Minority Depository Institution National
Conference on July 16 - 18. It only made
sense with all the bankers in town.
Topics can include new banking products,
customer retention, web 2.0 your bank,
enterprise zone banking, ROI marketing,
etc.... and other topics you may want to add.

July 16, 2008, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Drake Hotel
140 East Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611


- Includes a light lunch.

Participate. Present. Sponsor. Visit.


Wendell Brock
De Novo Strategy

Topics: Building Smarter Banks, BarCampBank, Bank Marketing


Posted by Wendell Brock on Fri, Jun 06, 2008

  BarCamp Bank - Chicago

July 16, 2008 @ 9am - 4pm

A BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment.  It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees. This BarCamp will focus on banking in the 21st century - and how to do it better.  How can banks relate more effectively with their clients?  How are banks growing and improving their clients' business or lives? How are new and community banks creatively competing and getting results? These and many other topics will be discussed at the BarCamp Bank - Chicago.

Because a BarCamp is not intended to "make a profit" we are using CREED a registered 501(c)3 non-profit to accept the money and pay the bills.  CREED, which focuses on Economic Education and Development has an interest in improving financial education among the general population as well as bankers.

The BarCamp Bank - Chicago location will be at the Drake Hotel, a Hilton Property, and within one block of the Interagency Minority Depository Institutions National Conference (MDI Conference), being held July 16 - 18, 2008.  The MDI Conference will start with an evening cocktail party at 5:00 p.m.; there would be enough time for attendees to walk over to the MDI Conference.

BarCamp Bank - Chicago:

Site:                            The Drake Hotel

140 East Walton Place, Chicago, IL 60611, 312.787.2200

Spot:                                     $69.00 per person, (limited to 30 people)

Sponsor:                              $500.00 (limited to 3 sponsors)

Other Stuff:                        A light lunch will be served.

Current Sponsors:    De Novo Strategy, Inc.; CREED;

Topics: BarCamp Bank - Chicago will cover six topics total. 12pm - 1:00 p.m. is for sponsors to facilitate short discussions.  Sponsors may discuss recent trends in their markets, ask questions, or drive ideas by the group. Sponsors may also provide topics for the general session and assist in those discussions.  This is an open forum requiring participation from all attendees. You should expect to enjoy the engagement with your peers.

Contact: Wendell Brock, Principal
De Novo Strategy, Inc.


Topics: Chicago, Community Bank, Minority Banking, BarCampBank, Commercial Bank

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