The Headache: Finding business opportunities that the rest of the world isn't also chasing.
Our Question: Has your bank found niches—product, market segment, geography, or otherwise—that give it a leg up?
Come see what other bankers think, and add your own views
Nichemanship: Have you found a special opportunity for your bank?
The October 2010 ABA Banking Journal Community Banking column features a discussion of the nichemanship strategy for community banks. The column describes the challenges of persuading regulators to approve business plans that involve niches, and sketches out the broad outlines that will pass muster. The article focuses on three community banks that have found special niches to supplement mainstream earnings.
• California's Beach Business Bank, for instance, set up a division called "The Doctors Bank," which caters to the needs of medical professionals not only in its local markets, but nationwide, through tools such as remote deposit capture.
• Suburban New York's Madison National Bank saw an opportunity nearby, in New York City. Yellow cab driver-owners and fleets need to finance the "medallions" that allow cabs to pick up street hails. These special permits are expensive. Madison saw an opportunity by stressing service to the brokers who arrange these loans.
• And a troubled thrift being reorganized by new ownership and management believes "green" is a viable niche. Read about "GreenChoice Bank" and its plans in the Chicago area.
But first, tell us about niche opportunities your bank has found that other community banks can try in their local markets.
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