Banknotes Blog

Senate Bill 451: Understanding the Differences Between Credit Unions and Banks

By: Stephen Eager

The Wisconsin State Senate is currently considering a bill to help modernize some language that no longer applies in today’s financial landscape, and therefore causes some administrative hassles for credit unions, specifically. To be clear, we are in support of the majority of the bill. However, there are four provisions that blur the lines between credit unions and banks that we believe should be removed.

While leaving an inheritance is not a new concept, Baby Boomers have developed some trends around the practice that distinguish them from their parents and the giving habits of previous generations. These creative strategies enable the gifter to do all they can to give a little extra and enjoy the process along the way. We delve into several such strategies here.

If you are already making regular contributions to a cause and/or plan to initiate a large gift in the near future, we recommend having a conversation with your wealth advisor. By approaching your charitable giving strategically, you can make your money go further to create a bigger impact.

Moreso than others in recent memory (with the notable exception of 2020), this year has been hard to figure out – all the twists, turns, ups, and downs have left many investors yearning for direction. Borrowing an analogy from the world of entertainment, it’s been more Animal House (i.e., chaotic, shambolic) than Animal Planet (i.e., relaxed, broadly appealing). Let’s enter the zoo and attempt to make sense of the market monkeyshines…

Losses from check fraud continue to rise steadily nationwide, and our market here in the Greater Madison Area is no exception. The silver lining is, there's an easy solution that can greatly reduce the opportunity for check fraud impacting your business deposit account: It’s called Positive Pay.

For scammers, this time of year is reliably fruitful, as they know that parents and students alike are opening their wallets to gear up for the new school year. If you're getting ready to send a kid off on their next academic adventure, or if you're a student yourself, this article can equip you with some tools to keep you safe from fraudsters and allow you to start the school year on the right foot.

Given how far we've come in the digital age, no one needs to be convinced of the importance of cybersecurity. It's crucial. But when it comes to protecting online privacy, it's not only consumers who need to be vigilant. In much the same way that we, as individuals, need to safeguard against divulging our personal information, so, too, do businesses of all sizes need to make sure that things that are meant to stay private online remain that way. The following article provides a good foundation for small business owners to build on, when considering how they can keep their operation safe from online scammers.

People are concerned that everything that could go wrong with the economy is going wrong right now. But the truth is that our economy tends to balance out. When one aspect is less than ideal – let’s say inflation – another aspect is thriving. For example, during times of high inflation, jobs tend to be strong, resulting in low unemployment. The trick is to find the parts of the economy that are doing well and figure out how your small business can fit into that trend.

You don’t have to look back very far in history to realize that the financial industry was built by men, for men. In fact, as recently as 1974, single, widowed, or divorced women were required to have a man cosign any credit application, regardless of the woman’s income. Luckily, most modern wealth management professionals not only include women in the process, but often recognize and respect that women have developed significant financial power.

When choosing a banking partner, non-profit organizations need to consider many factors to determine the best financial relationship for their size and operational needs – things like cultural fit, security, account accessibility, fair pricing, and opportunity to earn revenue on excess funds. Here, we explore the importance of these considerations in helping to further an NPO's mission.

One of the only things hotter than this Wisconsin summer and recent inflation data is the debate surrounding whether the economy has officially entered a recession. Some economists say, and have been saying for some time, that it has; others, including those at the White House, beg to differ. So, who’s correct? The short answer is, it’s complicated, and in this article, we’ll explore why.

It's every business owner's worst nightmare: They attempt to log in to their computer, only to find it's been hijacked by malicious software that's demanding money in exchange for access. That software, called ransomware, has become more and more prevalent since its inception more than 30 years ago, but its potential to do damage hasn't diminished any in that span. This article from the Federal Trade Commission contains helpful information that you can use, should you find yourself an unwitting victim of ransomware scammers.

It's a job seeker's market, with open positions in many regions and fields outnumbering available candidates. For that reason, employers have needed to be increasingly creative in the ways they find and attract talent. Applicants are looking for more than just a salary – when considering new career landing spots, they're paying closer attention to the benefits a company offers than ever before. One such benefit that a small company can provide to its staff is a SIMPLE individual retirement account (IRA) plan.

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) can serve as a useful tool in your overall financial toolbox. It's a line of credit that uses your home as collateral, in a general sense working more like a credit card than a typical loan. Let’s look at how a HELOC can help you meet your cash flow needs.

Revenue quality matters, because ignoring it often leads to poor decisions that commoditize the business and threaten profitability, particularly when facing economic headwinds similar to those currently in play. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to significantly improve your quality of revenue and overall financial well-being. Here are several, for your consideration.

In the beloved children’s folk tale, Chicken Little famously tells anyone who’ll listen that the sky is falling. You'll hear a similar refrain about the economy from the talking heads on any given market-focused cable program. There are reasons for their prognostications, but are things really as bad as they're made out to be? Cover your head, if you must, but read on.

One of the most frequent questions we in Treasury Management hear from our business clients is, “Should I pay by an Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment or a wire transfer?” After all, choosing correctly can translate to enhanced security, sounder cash management, and a better position to capitalize on trade discounts. But the short answer is, it depends on the situation, as both methods have their pros and cons.

If you're in the market for a new job, you've got enough on your plate without adding the consequences that come with falling prey to scammers. However, bad actors know that job seekers can be especially vulnerable to their schemes, so they target them relentlessly, and often with much success. If you count yourself among the many exploring new career opportunities, or if you've been presented with a business proposition that seems like it may be too good to be true, the following article – "Looking for a New Job or Considering a Business Opportunity? Spot Signs of a Possible Scam," by Rosario Méndez of the Federal Trade Commission – has some tips that can ensure you stay safe and free from the clutches of fraudsters.

We’re in the midst of a particularly unpredictable and challenging economic period. Yet, regardless of whether times are tight or plentiful, your bank should serve as a strategic business partner. If your banker simply takes orders and responds to requests rather than getting to know your business and anticipating needs, it could be costing you money.

Most consumers are all too familiar with the term inflation. But stagflation is a rare economic condition that few are familiar with and even fewer have had to experience. While the country is not dealing with stagflation at the moment, it is a term that is starting to be used occasionally in the media that deserves a more in-depth explanation, and warrants some information about steps both businesses and individuals can take to reduce the chances of stagflation occurring in 2022.

Estate planning is an important element of financial preparedness. It confers a wide range of important benefits on you, your family, and possibly others. One group of benefits accrues during your lifetime, while the other set addresses post-death considerations. Let’s explore both.

As expenses increase with inflation and interest rates rise to combat it, small businesses are especially feeling this crunch. The labor shortage has a bigger impact when your team is comprised of significantly fewer people to start with. When you are missing even one or two people, the whole team feels the added burden. Here's what can you do as a small business owner.

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