Student teams explore bank innovation

22. February 2018.

Now in its fourth year, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ 2018 Community Bank Case Study Competition is focusing on innovation. More specifically, participating college teams will study “how community banks utilize technology to streamline processes and better serve their consumers,” according to a CSBS statement.

Earlier competitions explored succession planning and CRE lending challenges.

Enrollment recently closed and the group announced that 54 student teams from 47 colleges and universities across the U.S. are participating. Working with a faculty advisor, the students determine appropriate banks to approach for the topic of technology innovation. The banks do not have to be in the same community in which the school is situated.

In-depth analysis of one bank

Once a bank agrees to participate, the teams do preliminary research using data on the bank from the Uniform Bank Performance Report and other sources, and then interview bank representatives. All this results in an in-depth analysis presented as a report of up to 25 pages and a video summary.

This year’s topic comprises four sections: Financial Analysis; The Community and Technology; Management and Technology; Third Party Vendors and Technology Service Providers.

Deadline for team submissions to CSBS is April 9. All the submissions will be posted on the competition website and the finalists will be announced May 10.

What winning teams get

Each student on the winning team receives a $1,000 scholarship; an invitation to present at the CSBS-Federal Reserve Community Banking in the 21st Century Research Policy Conference in October; and have their case study published in the CSBS Journal of Community Bank Case Studies. Second and third place teams also receive scholarship funds and have their works published in the journal.

On the competition website, CSBS President and CEO John W. Ryan states that the competition “provides valuable insights into the community bank business model, connects students with professionals in the banking industry, and provides many students with their first opportunity to have their work published.”

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Specifically in regard to this year’s topic, Ryan says that “Technology is changing the way we think about banking. That means banks need to embrace innovation to survive, which is not always easy.” The competition will offer a look at the successes some banks have had.

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