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First National Bank of Waynesboro Case Study

First National Bank of Waynesboro was established in 1905. With assets of $115 million and three locations, the community owned, home-operated, independent bank takes pride in providing its customers with “more banking hours than any other financial institution in Burke County, GA.”

The importance of establishing long-term relationships

For more than a century, the bank has been focused on knowing its customers on a personal level and offering services to meet their individual needs. So in 2010 when bank management decided it was time to replace First National’s existing overdraft program, Bank President Jesse Palmer called on an expert for input.

Palmer had met JMFA Regional Director Waid Thompson previously at Georgia banking conventions, and Thompson had called on the bank from time to time. So Palmer was comfortable contacting Thompson to inquire about JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®. “Initially we were impressed with JMFA’s compliance guarantee and the additional income they projected for the bank,” said Palmer. “When we decided that we were indeed going to replace our existing overdraft program, JMFA was the only new product we considered.”

Client support and follow-through are instrumental to a smooth transition

When it came time to install the program, Palmer credits JMFA’s support and expert personnel with making the transition smooth for bank personnel. “Anytime you change a major product offering there is going to be additional work for staff,” he explained. “JMFA has been great from the beginning with on-going reviews and visits by the support team. Our employees know that someone is monitoring our program, which gives them the assurance that it is being maintained correctly.”

Program provides benefits for both the bank and its customers

When asked about the benefits of implementing JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®, Palmer noted his two main goals: to have a manageable program that results in a substantial revenue increase for the bank and to provide customers with the assurance that in the event they overdraw their checking account, they won’t be embarrassed by bouncing a check.

In 2011, the bank netted a 37 percent increase in non-interest income and since the implementation of Reg E opt-in requirements on charging fees for electronic transactions, more than 2,500 customers have signed up for overdraft coverage on their debit card and ATM transactions. “Thanks to JMFA we have a better organized program for the bank that has become a better program for our customers,” Palmer said.

Confidence in the future

Like most bankers these days, Palmer is concerned about the uncertain regulatory environment and how changes on overdraft programs by the FDIC and OCC could affect First National’s income. But with JMFA as its overdraft program partner, he is 100 percent confident that the bank’s program will remain compliant. “Overall, the quality of their reports, their efficiency and follow-up have reinforced for us that we made the right decision to hire them."

ABOUT

Like banks across Michigan, ChoiceOne Bank in Sparta is committed to providing its customers with products and services to support their financial well-being. With roots dating back to 1895, when it was established as a private bank, ChoiceOne has continued to grow and demonstrate their commitment to their community.  With more than $600 million in assets they are focused on helping the individuals, families and businesses throughout western Michigan seek financial well-being.

CHALLENGE

ChoiceOne Bank provided its personal banking customers with an overdraft program to protect them from the inconvenience and added expense of having a returned item. However, ChoiceOne management discovered that with the JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® program there were some additional advantages that would enhance their program offering. Not only were its customers provided a valuable financial safety net, the bank was also protected from regulatory scrutiny by JMFA’s written 100 percent compliance guarantee.

SOLUTION

After reviewing the program’s many benefits, ChoiceOne determined that JMFA was the best overdraft provider for the newly merged institution. The company's compliance guarantee was at the top of the bank's priority list as regulatory uncertainty continued on financial products.

THE RESULTS

After implementing JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®, the bank realized an increase in its non-interest income that allowed it to thrive in difficult economic conditions, This boost to the bottom line also gave the bank one of the highest non-interest income percentages among its peer group. 

Plus, JMFA’s program has helped the bank’s staff manage a more efficient program with such features as:

  • reports which alert staff to excessive overdraft activity;
  • management of risk for all negative balance accounts, not just those in the bank’s overdraft program;
  • reduced risk associated with charge offs;
  • a streamlined collection process; and
  • periodic reviews and recommendations regarding any necessary modifications of program processes and procedures.

Another benefit is the program’s employee training component, which has provided the staff with all of the information and materials they need to explain the program to customers and help them get the most benefit from from the financial safety net it provides. Furthermore, the program’s Privilege Manager CRM® software helps to take the guesswork out of managing an effective overdraft strategywhich translates to improved customer service.

LESSONS LEARNED

As the economic forecast continues to be somewhat uncertain and banks continue to face challenges from possible regulations and legislation that threaten revenue, the bank appreciates the advantage a program like JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®. It turns out that the benefits are a win-win for both the bank and its customers




About JMFA

JMFA is a leading provider of profitability and performance-improvement consulting. For more than 35 years, JMFA has been recognized as one of the most trusted names in the industry, helping financial institutions reach their goals. JMFA is recognized for earnings enhancement and expense control programs, executive placement, as well as product, service, pricing and technology-improvement consulting. Simply stated, JMFA’s programs and services are designed to increase income or reduce expenses. JMFA is proud to be a preferred provider for performance-enhancement consulting services among many industry groups.

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