Raddon Report

Raddon is an industry-recognized research firm that guides strategic decision making for banks and credit unions. Stay mindful of the latest financial industry research and analytics by reading the Raddon Report, the official Raddon blog.

May 17, 2024  |  Greg Ulankiewicz, Performance Analytics Program Manager

Raddon Roundtable Recap

We learn better together. Read about our recent in-person Roundtables and find more information to join us at one of our upcoming Raddon Roundtables that brings together financial institution leaders and industry experts to discuss the key strategic issues banks and credit unions face in today’s environment. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024  |   Becky Summers, Thought Leadership and Strategic Guidance 

What Is Old Is New Again!

"A car loan is a car loan, so how can I be creative around that?” Consumers buy a car based on the monthly cost to them. If we take that perspective, how can we structure a financing product in a way that is more suitable to the consumer? 

March 26, 2024  |  Alexandra Romjue, Data Analyst, Senior

Creating Long Lasting Accountholder Relationships

Consumers are opening deposit accounts today, it is more of a matter with how to retain new and current accountholders. With a focus on saving in today’s economy, it’s time to ask ourselves, what products and services can my institution highlight to help build confidence and create long lasting relationships? 

Tuesday, March 5, 2024  |   Becky Summers, Thought Leadership and Strategic Guidance 

Get Noticed!

Consumers tell us today that they pay attention to advertising. In the financial services industry, we must focus on what consumers are noticing and why. We must be sure our ads are attention getting and brand appropriate.

February 13, 2024  |  Bill Handel, General Manager and Chief Economist

Economic Resilience: Navigating the 2024 Landscape

In 2024, financial institutions find themselves navigating a complex landscape marked by economic headwinds and myriad challenges. As the financial ecosystem undergoes dynamic shifts, institutions must meticulously chart their course to ensure resilience and sustained growth.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024  |   Alexandra Romjue, Data Analyst, Senior 

Is Social Media Really Just a Young Person's Game

In a recent study conducted by Raddon Research Insights, we took a deep dive into how consumers react to marketing and advertising in general, and for financial institutions specifically. While many think of Gen Z and Millennials when social media is the topic of discussion, we found that Gen X and Baby Boomers may be more influenced by social media advertising than one would think.

December 28, 2023  |  Bill Handel, General Manager and Chief Economist

Economic Perspectives Heading Into 2024

As the US economy reacts to the effects of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, we take a closer look at what we think the economy will look like in 2024. In an excerpt from our recent workshop for participants in Raddon Performance Analytics, Raddon’s chief economist Bill Handel explores the key factors influencing the direction of the economy and how financial institutions might be impacted. Understanding these trends can help you gain insights to strategically position your bank or credit union amidst an ever-evolving economic environment.

Thursday, November 30, 2023  |   Marcus Rothaar, Data Analytics Development and Delivery 

Five Key Questions to Strengthen Small Business Market Share

Small business resiliency is being put to the test against the backdrop of economic uncertainty. As small business owners enter 2024, what can financial institutions do to help small businesses manage through the uncertainty and become their trusted partner in the process? In this article, we delve into five pivotal questions that can serve as strategic guideposts for financial institutions looking to strengthen small business market share.

November 9, 2023  |  Alexandra Romjue, Data Analyst, Senior

Homeownership … A Not-so-Distant Goal?

While there is no doubt that there are many obstacles that stand in the way of homeownership today, a large percentage of Millennials and Gen Z have not attempted to obtain a mortgage. With homeownership being a goal of many young adults, it is important to understand that this may be more attainable than many think. How can you help your younger consumers achieve their goal of homeownership?

Thursday, October 5, 2023  |   Alexandra Romjue, Data Analyst, Senior 

Employee Financial Literacy = Cross-Sales Success

When trying to help younger generations meet certain financial milestones, it's important that they are educated on exactly how to get there. On top of that, twenty-somethings are needing to be educated on credit, purchasing a car or home, etc. Their peers are also working the frontlines at financial institutions. Educating employees on your products and services and how they work can lead to not only your consumers gaining more financial knowledge, but also your employees meeting their sales goals and gaining that knowledge as well. 

September 14, 2023  |  Greg Ulankiewicz, Performace Analytics Product Manager

Lending in a Brave New World

The economics and consumer behaviors surrounding the pandemic have certainly entailed a roller-coaster ride where the fallout has ushered in a brave new world in lending. Without coming across as too hyperbolic or even macabre, it might be fair to say that lending is at a crossroads where there are only two paths forward for traditional lenders: adapt or die.

Thursday, August 10, 2023  |    Becky Summers, Thought Leadership and Strategic Guidance

Product Adaptation

With the world constantly changing around us, it is time to start thinking about adapting products to the current consumer. Instead of developing brand new products, how can you as institutions tweak current products and services to fit the needs of todays consumers? We have a discussion with Becky Summers to gain more insight.

July 28, 2023  |  Helen Acke McComiskey, Strategic Advisor

“Please no attendees under the age of 40”!

Why would Financial Institutions not include the largest generational segments in their investment services targeting and marketing? Great question, because it is quite literally money left on the table and missed opportunity to build relationships. Nearly 3/4 of Millennials are willing and ready to consult a fincial advisor. It is time to start including them in the conversation.

Thursday, June 29, 2023  |    Becky Summers, Thought Leadership and Strategic Guidance

High-Tech and High-Touch …YES!

While the virtual world continues to entice consumers, the demand for online banking has remained a game-changer and transformed the way many of us manage our finances. But the need for an in-person branch persists, and surprisingly is becoming quite popular among younger generations. Regardless of the digital prowess of these younger consumers, the data shows that for navigating complex financial needs, the guidance of in-person experts within brick-and-mortar branches remains a high priority.

June 15, 2023  |   Alexandra Romjue, Senior Data Analyst

Fraud Risk 101: Educating and Protecting Customers from Scams

Fraud risks are higher than ever in the year 2023. Today’s technological and scientific advancements allow us to browse millions of websites on the Internet, FaceTime over thousands of miles, transfer money in minutes over our smart phones, and much more. While these advancements and convenient solutions have made many lives easier, especially in such a fast-paced world, it has also come with many opportunities to be a victim of a scam. 

Thursday, June 2, 2023  |   Helen Acke McComiskey, Strategic Advisor 

Financial Education in Times of Trouble…or “Less Panic at the Disco”

Consumers may want or need your help, even if they don’t realize they do.  So, what can you do to offer financial education to all customers?

May, 2023  |   Bill Handel, General Manager and Chief Economist

Economic Update

With economic uncertainty still looming, we have a discussion with Bill Handel, General Manager and Chief Economist for Raddon, regarding his view on the economy. Bill addresses the factors behind the recent economic slowdown, his expectations for the second half of the year, and what it all means for financial institutions.

Thursday, April 13, 2023  |   Becky Summers, Thought Leadership and Strategic Guidance

Connecting the Dots Between Your Brand and Account Holder

Interpreting critical data can pave the way to better performance

Thriving financial institutions have certain strengths in common. First and foremost, they develop deep relationships with accountholder households by actively cross-selling their products and services to ensure an increased share of wallet and fewer single-product households – resulting in stronger household profitability.

Thursday, March 30, 2023  |   Helen Acke McComiskey, Strategic Advisor

Gen X: The “Middle Child” Generation! Unhappy, Unprepared and Overlooked?

They were the first generation to grow up with personal computers. They popularized terms like “totally,” “chill pill,” “dude” and “yuppie.” And they are still trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube.

Born between 1965 and 1980, there are roughly 65 million Gen Xers in the U.S.; they are also known to many as the “middle child” generation because they are smaller in numbers compared to baby boomers and millennials. And, like many middle children, they have often felt overlooked by, well, everyone, including the financial services industry.

Monday, March 20, 2023  |  Jenny Armistead, Strategic Advisor

Financial Institutions Should Join the Conversation and Put Accountholders at Ease. After All, You Should Be Their Most Trusted Financial Resource, Right?

The safety and soundness of the financial services industry is built on consumer trust and confidence. In an uncertain economy and seeing headlines of bank failures such as Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Signature Bank and even bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, consumers’ level of confidence and trust has been reduced, in some cases rapidly. This decline in trust is similar to that of the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the Great Recession in 2008/2009 where fear and lack of confidence in the credibility of financial institutions eroded, causing a banking panic where accountholders rushed to withdraw their deposits, in some cases in significant amounts, thus causing institutions to fail. Even the largest of institutions are not immune to the powerful contagion of fear. 

Thursday, March 2, 2023  |  Alexandra Romjue, Senior Data Analyst

Millennials Are Preparing for Their Financial Future and Need Your Help

Millennials are not teenagers anymore. As often as Millennials and Gen Z get placed together when discussing generational patterns, let us not forget that Millennials alone account for about 72 million of the U.S. population. They also have recently surpassed the baby boomers as the largest generation and will continue to hold that slot for many years to come.

This generation, now in their 30s and 40s, are in desperate need of financial guidance. With many of them preparing for their children’s higher education expenses, purchasing a house while prices are at all-time highs, and thinking about retirement, it is no surprise that they want and need guidance on their financial future. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023  |  Alexandra Romjue, Senior Data Analyst

Rates on Deposits: What’s the Big Deal?

With the cost of living on the rise, it is not surprising that rate tracking has increased among credit union and banking consumers, especially among younger generations. If you were able to make money on your funds in your deposit accounts, that would be very appealing, right? Based on rate-tracking activity and the intention to switch financial institutions for better rates may not actually be the be-all and end-all of customer satisfaction. 

5 Key Takeaways – Performance Analytics Workshop

Thursday, December 22, 2022  |  Marcus Rothaar, Data Analytics Development Manager

Raddon recently hosted our final workshop of the year for participants in the Performance Analytics program, to review this quarter’s financial, profitability and growth results. With over 500 financial services executives registered for the event, it was a great opportunity to reflect on the year and look forward to what 2023 has in store. Over the course of two days, we polled those in attendance on a wide variety of topics. The results below offer insights into what is top of mind for financial institutions as the calendar rolls over to 2023. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022  |  Alexandra Romjue, Senior Data Analyst

Fintechs ... Should You Compete or Partner?

So, what exactly are fintechs? Fintechs, a portmanteau of ‘financial technology’, are companies that are using cutting-edge technology to compete with traditional financial methods and services. Fintechs touch every part of financial services. They range from payments with well-known companies like Venmo and Zelle™ to lending superpower Rocket Mortgage, investing pioneers Acorns and Robinhood, and others venturing into crypto and beyond.

In fact, according to our most recent study on fintechs, as age decreases the number of fintech applications a consumer has increases. Gen Zers statistically have the highest number of fintech apps on their mobile devices for several services. 

Thursday, October 13 , 2022  |  Helen Acke McComiskey, Strategic Advisor

Spilling the Tea on Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting, or as it has been recently re-branded “Act your Wage” is a term and a movement that has lots of people talking these days. But what exactly are they talking about?

Despite what some generations might think, quiet quitting is not new, it’s been around for decades but social media has now made it more popular, and it was gone virtual and spread quickly. The notion of quiet quitting is employees, and specifically younger employees have become so disengaged with their job and employer that they are doing the bare minimum or less to fulfill their day-to-day job requirements. This, as we know, causes several problems for employers' quality of work suffering, increased conflicts between co-workers, missed timelines, the list goes on and on. What’s an employer to do?

Thursday, September 29, 2022  |  Jenny Armistead, Strategic Advisor

It’s Time to Disrupt the Traditional Deposit Strategy

When it comes to targeting and growing deposits with millennials, why do community banks and credit unions continue to deploy the “same old, same old” approach of launching a certificate of deposit (CD) special or adjusting their money market tier rates? Targeting a millennial with the same CD special campaign that worked for their Aunt Carol 20 years ago will not work.

Institutions that are serious about growing deposits with younger accountholders will need to rethink and innovate their deposit strategy. In this article, we will explore the behaviors and attitudes that millennial accountholders have regarding deposit accounts and their needs and expectations around savings and identify institutions that are disrupting the traditional deposit marketing strategy.

Thursday, September 15 , 2022  |  Jody De Valk, Strategic Advisor

Lending Decisions: More to The Story

For banks and credit unions, a large chunk of their profits comes from their loan portfolios and the interest income realized from this core activity. Generally, lenders partner with one or all three national credit reporting agencies (CRAs): TransUnion, Experian or Equifax. This data is far less accurate in predicting creditworthiness for minority groups, largely due to limited credit histories. The use of alternative data is becoming more common, particularly when an applicant has little or no credit history. But how and where can lenders access alternative data?

Thursday, August 18, 2022  |  Caroline Vahrenkamp, Program Manager, Raddon Research Insights

The Impact of Fast-Changing Rates on Raddon’s Profit Model

An institution’s household profitability may look very different when rates change rapidly. But that is not a reason to adjust strategy. The keys to high performance remain the same: effective cross-selling, deepening relationships, adhering to your long-term strategy.

This report will go over the importance of changing rates in relationship to the Raddon profitability model.

Thursday, August 4, 2022  |  Marcus Rothaar, Data Analytics Development Manager

Key Takeaways from the 2022 Raddon CEO Forum

For our first in-person event in over two years, Raddon recently brought together many of the industry’s top leaders and visionaries for our invitation-only CEO Forum. More than 70 executives collaborated in Laguna Beach, California, for two days of engaging and interactive discussions about the opportunities and challenges facing the financial services industry. As Theo Curey, president of Credit Union Solutions at Fiserv, commented in his opening remarks, it was an impressive group of leaders representing a sizeable portion of the industry. Altogether, Raddon partners with credit unions representing more than 53 million consumers and 43 percent of the industry’s total assets. Join us as we reflect back on some of the key takeaways from the 2022 Raddon CEO Forum.

Thursday, July 14, 2022  |  Jenny Armistead, Strategic Advisor

Using TikTok to Target Gen Z: Learn How One Credit Union Has Achieved Success Using This Untapped Channel

Community banks and credit unions continue to struggle to attract and engage Gen Z accountholders. Institutions that are afraid to try new strategies will continue to lose relevancy with younger consumers and limit their future growth potential.  

Since a substantial portion of teens and young adults spend so much time on TikTok, financial institutions should use the channel in their marketing strategy – and meet young consumers where they are in an authentic way. Now is the time to leverage this unsaturated channel and take advantage of lower costs, higher reach, and greater engagement versus what is available through other, more saturated social media platforms. Learn from a credit union that has achieved success using this untapped channel.   

Thursday, June 30, 2022  |  Caroline Vahrencamp

Deposit Strategies in the Face of Rising Rates

The Federal Open Market Committee has once again increased the federal funds target rate – for the third time this year. The increase was a full 75 basis points, increasing the target rate from 0.125 percent to 1.675 percent in only three months. That is the fastest increase since 1994, signaling the Fed’s determination to manage inflation more aggressively.

While rates have not yet passed the peak of 2018–19, the rapid increase is noteworthy.

Financial institutions with deposits now face intense pressure from accountholders to raise rates, yet the billions of excess liquidity that entered deposits during the pandemic can make institutions question the right approach to deposit rate management. What is a depository institution to do?

Thursday, June 9, 2022  |  Marcus Rothaar, Data Analytics Development Manager

Home Equity in the Face of Rising Rates

As the Federal Reserve increases interest rates in an attempt to lower inflation, a confluence of factors point toward home equity growth opportunities for financial institutions. With dramatic changes in the mortgage market, soaring home values and a shift in market share among institutions competing in this space, what can your organization do to win its fair share of the market opportunity?

Thursday, May 26 , 2022  |  Karen Kislin, Strategic Advisor

The Cure for Workforce Corrosion: Culture Cultivation

Why are so many people quitting their jobs, and what can financial institutions do about it? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more people quit their jobs in 2021 than ever before, and the first quarter of 2022 show no signs of this trend slowing down. Understanding the “Why?” behind the workforce leaving is the first step for organizations in solving how to reengage the workforce. Reducing the degree of attrition and fostering an engaged employee base is achievable when leadership takes action to nurture a culture of trust. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022  |  James White

Fintech Trends: How Will Financial Institutions Compete?

We have seen the landscape change at a lightning pace and in a myriad of directions due to this high investment threshold. Financial institutions are facing difficulty determining their biggest threats as this aggressive trend continues to evolve. As an industry, should we be concerned about financial wellness; buy now, pay later (BNPL), cryptocurrency; P2P payments; neobanks; or the next unknown? The answer is an unequivocal yes.

Thursday, April 28, 2022  |  Helen Acke McComiskey

Financial Wellness: Just Words?

Money, lending money and borrowing money have historically been taboo discussion topics, but that should not be the case when it comes to a consumer’s financial institution.

Consumer financial wellness should be a top priority for financial institutions, but a lot of institutions merely pay lip service to the concept. What exactly does financial wellness mean anyway? Is that short-term financial wellness, long-term or somewhere in between?

Thursday, April 14, 2022  |  Becky Summers

Best Practices From Financial Institutions Using Predictive Analytics

Financial institutions that are successful at using data can reap the benefits of more engaged accountholders to drive greater distinction from competitors. Data must be connected and used within the organization to answer strategic questions.

Thursday, March 31, 2022  |  Caroline Vahrenkamp

Branch Self-Service Kiosks: Can Consumers Get Behind Them?

Rising personnel costs, the pandemic and the changing transaction environment are pushing financial institutions into considering branch self-service kiosks. Consumers are following suit, though maybe not in the ways you’d expect.

Thursday, March 3, 2022  |  Bill Handel

A Review of the Raddon 2021 Forecast

Each year Raddon makes a series of predictions as to what the upcoming year will hold for both the economy and the financial services industry. Prognostication can be a dangerous business, and many prognosticators hope that the previous year’s predictions are simply relegated to the dustbin of history without further review. However, integrity compels us to review what we wrote, so here are the Raddon Predictions for 2021 made last January and an analysis of the accuracy of each.

Thursday, February 24, 2022  |  Jody De Valk

Solar Energy as a Loan Product

What do you get when you have raising global awareness of dire environmental issues, a crumbling national power grid predicated on expensive and dwindling fossil fuels, and unpredictable weather patterns that put tremendous pressure on existing systems?

In the financial services space, that adds up to opportunity.

Thursday, February 17, 2022  |  Jan Trifts

Changes in the Real Estate Market Create Lending Opportunities

Significant increases in both interest rates and home values are changing the real estate market. Mortgage refinancing that has dominated lending is beginning to disappear, and higher home values have driven up home equity values. Now is the time for a renewed focus on home equity lending and particularly on home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

Thursday, February 10, 2022  |  Caroline Vahrenkamp

The Rise and Risks of Buy Now, Pay Later

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) programs have taken the country and world by storm, with balances expected to top $181 billion globally by 2022. The rapid rise represents both a threat and an opportunity for traditional lending institutions such as banks and credit unions, but moving into this space will bring its own unique set of risks, as well.

Thursday, February 3, 2022  | Bill Handel

After the Pandemic – What?

While it may feel premature to talk about life after the pandemic while we remain in the midst of it, it is also important to look forward and to plan with an eye to the future. Despite the concerns many may currently harbor, the pandemic will end. There will be a point when life returns to “normal.”.

Thursday, January 27, 2022  | Jenny Armistead

Say Goodbye to Overdraft Fees: How to Plan to Protect Your Earnings

This is the time of year when we reflect on accomplishments, strengths and opportunities for improvement. The same is true for financial institutions. If we look back on the past two years, we see the only constant has been change. Those institutions looking to improve and thrive in this environment will be those that embrace change and can proactively prepare for challenges, with a focus on minimizing risk and leveraging opportunity. One of the biggest changes impacting the financial services industry is the evolving overdraft and nonsufficient funds (OD/NSF) fee landscape.

Thursday, January 20, 2022  | Greg Ulankiewicz

A Roadmap for Effective Strategic Planning

There is a common expression that “failing to plan is planning to fail,” but simply having a plan does not guarantee success. Many financial institutions periodically go through the exercise of strategic planning. To do that effectively, it is important to have the right approach to developing your strategic plan.

Thursday, January 13, 2022  | Marcus Rothaar

Emerging Trends in Small Business Banking

Over the past year, small businesses transitioned out of survival mode and into a more optimistic position. In our latest Raddon Research Insights survey, 63 percent of small businesses said they expect sales to increase over the prior year, and nearly half expect the economy to improve.

That’s not to say everything is back to “normal.” Challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic persist, with supply chain shortages and hiring difficulties topping a long and varied list of challenges cited by small businesses in our survey.

Thursday, January 6, 2022  | Caroline Vahrenkamp

Strategic Issues for Financial Institutions in 2022

2020 and 2021 threw the consumer banking industry for a loop, and 2022 looks to be just as exciting. Four key strategic issues seem to deserve our particular focus.

Thursday, December 16, 2021  | Megan Cummins

The New Value of Checking

Checking accounts are important to financial institutions for many reasons, and those reasons have shifted over time. Typically, financial institutions have valued checking accounts because:

Thursday, December 9, 2021  | Jan Trifts

Repackage Consumer Loans to Increase Higher-Margin Loan Balances

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in fundamental changes in consumer spending patterns that, at least for now, continue as we begin to emerge from the crisis. Reduction in consumer spending and the resulting increased savings rate has led to double-digit deposit growth. This, combined with declining year-over-year loan growth, has driven loan-to-deposit ratios and net interest margins to decline significantly. By repackaging consumer loan products, financial institutions can drive additional lending and increase loan margins.



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