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In a recent article for Bank Director, Dory Wiley offers nine areas of note for banks as they determine how to direct their future. Strategizing in these areas will be beneficial to banking institutions in the future.

Rising Rates. “Banks should position for moderate hikes and a slower pace of hikes than the Fed predicts,” recommends Wiley. Rather than just using uniform bank performance reports or a local peer group, check your bond portfolio against a well-defined national peer group of banks with similar growth rates, loan deposit rates, and liquidity needs.

Deposits. Banks tend to overestimate what portion of their deposits are core deposits. Consider buying/gathering more core deposits than you think you need.

Mergers and Acquisitions. Don’t wait, sell now! Optimism and confidence are at 10-year highs—if you are planning on selling sometime in the next three years, today is better than tomorrow.

Get Capital While You Still Can. Investors, while perhaps overconfident, want to invest in banks right now—so let them.

Real Estate Carries Risk. With the rapid growth of online retailers, store retailers are often overextended. Commercial real estate investment is viewed more often these days as a high risk investment.

Beware of Relying on Credit Scores. Credit scores are often a deficient measure of a consumer’s risk. Look for additional indicators—be wary of putting confidence in credit scores alone.

Get Ahead of Your Risks. Growing areas of risk include cyber-crime, 401(k) plans, and wealth management—educate yourself on the issues facing these areas and take steps to mitigate your risk.

Marketing. Technology is booming—be sure to invest in digital marketing for computers and mobile devices.

Millennials. This generation holds very different ideas about jobs and work than their parents. Educate yourself about their views and expectations in order to learn how best to utilize and recruit younger workers.

For more information, read the article in full at Bank Director.