Articles by Andrew Vahrenkamp
Andrew Vahrenkamp, managing strategic advisor
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Andrew Vahrenkamp joined RFG in 2002 following several years in direct marketing research and analysis for commercial banks in Richmond, Charlotte and Atlanta. As managing strategic advisor, Andrew assists clients in using and understanding RFG's research analytics to develop strategies and tactics to maximize institution growth and profitability. Along with these duties, Andrew conducts management and board sessions and leads CEO Strategies Group workshops across the country. Andrew holds an M.B.A. from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University with a concentration in marketing and a B.A. from Emory University in Atlanta. Both professionally and personally, Andrew is a travel junkie logging visits to 49 states, 26 countries and four continents to date. Some readers may know Andrew as the original rhythm guitarist and vocalist of Nashville’s seminal alterna-surf band, Mother Hubbard.
One of the fringe benefits of having a toddler son is that I get to watch a lot of children’s programming. Elmo, Mickey, Curious George: they feel like close personal friends. One of the chief tenets of today’s children’s programming is the notion that it’s OK to be different. No matter what you look like, we’re all the same inside, right? And even if someone looks different or talks differently, he/she deserves respect. It got me thinking. About banking. On a Saturday morning. I’m that kind of dad.
News from the Fed: On July 1, your customers will need to opt into your ATM/POS courtesy pay program. Getting opt-in agreement will be extremely onerous: after all, how often do your customers read statements …
Recently, Congress made news by passing, with President Obama’s signature, a lovely piece of legislation called the “Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.” That sounds nice, doesn’t it? We can all agree that customers who use credit cards ought to be accountable and responsible; that’s unsecured credit after all …
Most of us didn’t create the mess we’re in. Most of us didn’t lend overaggressively. Most of us had tight underwriting and strong internal controls. And yet, most of us still find ourselves with rising delinquencies and net chargeoffs, threatening bottom lines and, more critically, capital position.
So again, out in the wilderness, we hear a siren’s call. This time it sounds like “Rewards!”
I admit, Rewards! seem pretty appealing. Give your customers fabulous cash and prizes in exchange for their everlasting love and adoration. Certainly, it’s worked wonders for the airlines, who pioneered the points program concept. Look at how much their frequent flier programs have helped them become such successful, profitable… oh, never mind.
If you, like most Raddon clients, have been fairly conservative in your lending practices, you’ve found yourself in an enviable situation. You’re flush with liquidity and ready to lend.