OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MONTANA INDEPENDENT BANKERS ASSOCIATION

Pub. 9 2021 Issue 2

The-Granite-Tower

Bankers’ Bank of the West Bancorp, Inc. Forms CivITas Bank Solutions, LLC

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In 1980, a group of visionary community bankers founded Bankers’ Bank of the West (BBW) for one purpose: to establish a service provider chartered to do business only with community financial institutions. Our holding company is owned entirely by more than 140 community banks, and our board of directors includes seasoned executive officers from shareholder banks across our service area.

This mutually beneficial relationship with community banks ensures that BBW will never compete with our customers for their customers – a promise many other correspondent service providers cannot make.

BBW adapted its competitive correspondent solutions over the decades to meet community banks’ needs in a dynamic environment. They offer loan participation for overline, share-the-risk and concentration management, as well as bank stock and direct loans to bankers, banks, and their directors and holding companies.

We provide cash letter processing and settlement for your bank’s operations area, agent-fed funds and fed funds lines, wire transfers, and international services. Our well-established bank card department provides ATM and debit processing, merchant services and mobile payment solutions, and credit and debit card programs. BBW’s knowledgeable safekeeping professionals perform clearance and custody services with attention to detail.

In recent years, BBW’s holding company added two subsidiary companies that provide increasingly vital high-demand services. Bank Strategies LLC, under the leadership of Jim Swanson, brings decades of financial industry experience and balanced perspective to consulting projects in the areas of loan review, strategic planning, enterprise risk management and governance, and regulatory safety and soundness consultation, to name just a few.

The 2020 launch of the second Bankers’ Bank of the West subsidiary, CivITas Bank Solutions, has given community banks access to real-world technology and information security services at reasonable prices. Every member of the CivITas team has experience in community banking from the technology, security or compliance side. Their firsthand awareness of the challenges community banks face makes CivITas uniquely qualified to serve those highly regulated institutions.

One platform CivITas has leveraged to support and enrich the education of community banks effectively is the webinar. Free to attend, these webinars have been held within a few days following significant information technology- and security-related events to discuss them, their likely ramifications, pertinent risk mitigation strategies, and other applicable technology and security issues. In 2021 alone, three CivITas-led webinars drew 208 attendees from community banks. Typically, each focused webinar session draws attendees with a cross-section of roles such as senior management, audit, compliance, finance, risk management, and information security.

The lead presenter at those webinars has been the president of CivITas Bank Solutions, Anne Benigsen, whose certifications include CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) and CISO (Chief Information Security Officer). It is worth mentioning that Anne’s interest in helping community banks operate securely, efficiently, and profitably runs deep, as reflected in her support of education for professionals who support the security and technology side of the bank. She has spoken and facilitated panel discussions at trade group events, industry conferences, Federal Reserve Bank meetings, and the Western States Director Education Foundation annual symposium.

Bankers’ Bank of the West, together with CivITas Bank Solutions, will hold an April 27-29, 2022 conference for community bankers in Denver. All community bankers and directors are welcome to attend the educational event; the schedule and program topics are in development. If you’d like to receive conference details when registration opens, please send your name and email address – indicating “2022 Convention” in the subject line – to conferences@bbwest.com.

If you want to be notified of future complimentary webinars on IT and IS topics, include your name, the name of your bank and your email address in an email to training@bbwest.com using “complimentary IT/IS webinar” as the subject line.

We champion community banking. Today your community bank competes against ever-growing regional and national entities in a fast-changing, complex environment. Our objective is to provide community banks with specialized expertise and a spectrum of solutions that enable them to compete effectively in their markets. To learn more, visit us at bbwest.com or email info@bbwest.com.

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