Situation: Implementation of new overdraft regulations leads to compliance
concerns surrounding existing
Established in 1907 by a group of Rockland, MA businessmen, Rockland Trust is a full-service community bank and business financial institution serving southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Over more than 100 years, Rockland has grown from one location to more than 85 branches across the two states. The $7.2 B institution has over 1,000 employees and serves more than 200,000 businesses and individual customers.
While the bank had maintained a profitable, in-house, undisclosed overdraft program for many years, management became concerned about changes in compliance expectations following the 2010 implementation of Regulation E restrictions on ATM and debit card transactions. According to Rockland’s Business Analyst Cheryl Falkenstein, the bank has a strong commitment to compliance so it was imperative to offer a fully-disclosed, fully-communicated program – one that met all regulatory requirements - while providing customers with the valuable service of a financial safety net and the bank with additional revenue.
Solution: Compliance guarantee, proven regulatory expertise and excellent service provide optimal solution
After reviewing the specific details and benefits of two or three possible overdraft solutions to replace its existing program, Rockland management selected JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® due in large part to JMFA’s 100 percent compliance guarantee and its depth of regulatory expertise, according to Falkenstein. “We felt that JMFA’s team of experts, along with its full compliance guarantee would be the best option for the bank and our customers.”
She continued, “Once JMFA’s EVP Compliance Review Cheryl Lawson understood our concerns regarding new regulatory expectations and explained to us how JMFA’s program could help us reach our performance goals – with a fully-communicated program – we were good to go.”
Proof is in the compliance review
The proof of JMFA’s compliance expertise was reinforced during a routine FDIC exam of the bank’s overdraft program. “Given our on-going compliance concerns, we were very pleased when examiners took a look at our overdraft program and found no issues,” Falkenstein said. “Regulations are a real challenge for banks today, so it was very reassuring to know that our decision to implement JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® had paid off so well in that area.”
High-performing program benefits the bank’s bottom line as well as its customers’ needs
Among other benefits of implementing JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® were the increased revenue the bank experienced and the appreciation of its customers who were able to pay for unexpected expenses or cover an error in their check book that resulted in an account overdraft.
According to Falkenstein, Rockland experienced a 50 percent improvement in non-interest income following implementation of JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®. Plus, she reports that customers have thanked bank personnel for providing them with the service that helps them make ends meet when they are faced with an emergency expense or unforeseen circumstance.
When it came time to renew the contract with JMFA, the bank’s overdraft program was performing so successfully the bank decided to maintain the program on its own. “JMFA provided us with an easy-to-maintain program and on-going user support, along with valuable tools – such as comprehensive employee training, user-friendly software – and excellent counsel on how to manage the program ourselves,” said Falkenstein.
While the bank has gone off-contract, it continues to use JMFA’s Privilege Manager CRM® software. “In the beginning, we used the software primarily in the collections and tracking process,” Falkenstein explained. “Now the system continues to contribute greatly to the management of our program by streamlining the processes and simplifying decision-making with comprehensive reporting capabilities. It also has remained an important component of our customer communications program by monitoring account activity and providing customer alerts and notices. I don’t think we would be as successful without these on-going resources.”
Additionally, she maintains contact with JMFA Relationship Manager Steve Frazier. “I have continued to stay in touch with Steve and don’t hesitate to reach out to him with software questions or whenever I need advice,” Falkenstein added.
In a highly-regulated environment, proven compliance expertise is key
As regulators continue to look at overdraft solutions, having confidence that every component of a program is compliant can be a real concern for banks, according to Falkenstein. However, she credits JMFA’s expertise and continued focus on compliance as a real benefit to Rockland Trust. “I am confident that JMFA will help us keep our program compliant going forward,” she said. “The on-going guidance they provide is very helpful and I really appreciate being able to reach out and know that the advice I get is correct and up-to-date.”
In fact, Falkenstein wouldn’t hesitate to recommend John M. Floyd & Associates to another institution that was interested in updating its overdraft solution to ensure it is compliant. “We have enjoyed a great collaboration with JMFA,” she continued. “They are very responsive if we need anything and they provide a great deal of expertise in the compliance area. Working with them has been one of my most positive vendor experiences.”