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.

The simplest (and best) strategy is to avoid regrettable retirement decisions in the first place. Following are examples of those decisions.

Check fraud accounts for more deposit account losses – $1.3 billion in 2018 – than any other payment method, according to the American Bankers Association. Our bank’s Treasury Management team has a few suggestions for businesses to avoid becoming victims of check fraud.

For much of the last six months or so, the inflation data has remained high, the Fed raises rates, the markets react thinking the Fed is going to slow or reduce the size of their rate hikes only to have those hopes dashed. Rinse and repeat. The whole thing is getting old for everyone.

When shopping online during the holiday season—or any time of year—always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Do your part to avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim.

Media coverage of Social Security going “bankrupt” has been prevalent for years, but it is not based on reality. Being proactive and taking the following steps can help reassure you that comfort in retirement is still within reach.

July was awesome, August was a reality check, and September was a horror story. At times, this year it has felt like we have been on a thrill ride at an amusement park – and I am not talking about the Dumbo ride at Disney World.

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.

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