About the Author
Josh Young is the Director of Banking Solutions for Global Wave Group. Mr. Young is a 25-year commercial banking veteran, spending the past 10 years in Senior Management roles. Josh’s LinkedIn
A Bankers Toolkit: Effectively Working Remote
After spending the past month trying to manage the current banking environment, it has become very clear that financial institutions must find ways to have a functional remote workforce or the ability to allow their teams to work remotely, when needed, without a decrease in productivity. Instead, some Bank and Credit Unions may simply try to dig-in and attempt to cut costs due to the financial stress that results from the considerable shutdowns caused by COVID-19. Other financial institutions will go further than simply looking for efficiencies to craft completely new business models and solutions that will impact all areas of performance. At this very moment, there is a unique opportunity to reevaluate how technology can accelerate the growth and competitiveness of your financial institution. Working remote a decade ago meant struggle and lack of interaction, today’s tools are designed to see, talk, share and work together as if we were all in the same room. Credit Track was designed to adapt to this new way to interact.
Our bank partners are working remotely without missing a beat, which is critical right now as an essential business. Being that our entire application, Credit Track, is in the cloud (for those who don’t have a laptop with VPN), including integration with their core systems, all of their loan related departments/functions (Relationship Managers, Analysts, Underwriters, Processors, Approvers, Doc Prep, etc.) can work remotely. Additionally, through our tasking system and client portal our partners are not slowing down while their teams work from home. Here are some of the specific benefits our clients are receiving:
Having spent 25 years in Commercial Banking and managing teams, my biggest concern with a remote workforce was productivity and the ability to stay current on all portfolio management and workflow process needs. Credit Track offers a feature set that allows bankers to create tasks remotely and send email notifications, based on business flow and to manage the loan queue for the department. The application integrates these workflow measurements and helps manage various tasks and departments in tracking performance metrics.
A challenge for any department or division of a bank is to manage staff metrics and workflow while maintaining credit quality and timely receipt of financial information. Credit Track offers a simple and intuitive interface to help track all tasks related to the credit origination, underwriting, approval and monitoring process. Managers can assign user defined weights to specific tasks and may perform regression analyses to determine performance and workforce efficiency within their organization.
Tasking is also very important from the Relationship Manager standpoint.
”How many times has an RM wondered who was spreading their financials, or how many times did an RM wonder who was working on their deal, how long did they have it, and what the status was?
All of this is solved by tasking and having defined SLAs within Credit Track.
There is no question that Managers are under pressure more than ever before to understand the pulse of their business unit and to manage to their SLAs. I’m still surprised by the number of banks that continue to use excel spreadsheets saved to a desktop or in a shared drive to manage their teams. There are numerous and obvious issues with saving to a desktop, and shared drives are being used for purposes they weren’t exactly built for. As your bank, business documents, and pipeline reports grow, shared drives struggle to scale and it certainly isn’t just about storage space. Between naming conventions, folder hierarchies, and duplicate content, shared drives can become cluttered fast and therefore managers find more frustration than usability.
Credit Track allows executives, managers and their teams to view their respective pipelines, tasks, ticklers, etc., at any given time, and with real-time information. Gone are the days of guessing, and wondering what stage a deal is in, gone are the days of wondering how many deals are past due (ticklers, covenant compliance, renewals, reviews, etc.), and gone are the days of the inability to hold your teams accountable. Lastly, your pipeline is a living, breathing entity that changes all the time and thus the need to understand and monitor metrics is critical. The ability to do it remotely is even more important when allowing team members to work from home; fortunately Credit Track is the solution.
Working remotely can impact your customers and the documentation they need to get to you. CT Portal allows a Bank’s customers to submit loan documentation and related information in an automated, secure manner allowing Banks to gain further operational efficiencies. The Portal is integrated with the Credit File inside of Credit Track, so the documents will automatically appear in Credit Track upon upload and can be saved in the cloud.
CT Portal creates a two-way file storage/retrieval for both Bank & Customer. Send files to your Customer securely through CT Portal product or ask your Customer to send you files through the same interface. All of this allows clients to send information securely and more efficiently while the bank team works remotely as if they were sitting at their desk. CT Portal also removes any concerns with team members who may be out sick or if an employee leaves the bank, as documents will not be lost in email or lost if someone saved it to their desktop or a shared drive.
Electronic Credit File
How many times have you been at home and had a thought about something specific within the Credit File on a deal currently in the pipeline, how many times has an RM asked a processor what is still missing from the needs list, how many times has a client stated that they have already sent in a piece of information? The Electronic Credit File will digitize your files and move you to a true “paperless” environment therefore saving office space by eliminating paper files, credit folder and cabinets.
Our clients use the Electronic Credit File for the life of the loan—It improves data management and increases efficiency for renewal and extension work. Our clients are able to respond quickly to regulator or auditor’s requests for supporting loan information during exams, loan reviews, and more efficiently address renewals each year by accessing all related loan documents centrally stored in the Electronic Credit File. The ability to effectively manage a credit file while working remote will allow your processing, underwriting, risk and review teams to continue serving clients and meeting the SLAs.
Relationship Managers are on the front line in terms of communicating to the client with the status of a loan and when and if a loan was approved. Oftentimes a file or credit memo is placed on an approver’s desk and the RM doesn’t know where it is, who has it or is simply waiting to hear from the underwriter that it was even submitted. Further, there are times where approvers are on vacation, traveling or simply out of the office and this can hold up the closing of a loan and frustrate managers, RMs and most importantly clients. Credit Track not only allows for absolute clarity on who has the deal at any given time, but also the status of the approval. Our Bank Partners are able to approve, decline, ask questions (without numerous emails), or approve with conditions remotely with the press of a button.
In closing, most of our client Banks’ technology departments have had to take stock in determining the existing infrastructure of many things like security, VPN setup, laptop issuance, and even conference line access; business has to continue and meet the needs of the customer. While each of us certainly hopes that COVID-19 won’t become a major health event in their part of the world, the reality is that financial institutions need to consider every contingency plan to avoid a serious disruption of their operations and simply cutting costs will not solve the issue at hand. The road you choose now will determine, more decisively than ever, your institution’s long-term financial success.