The role of CEO at community-based banks or credit unions is often realized after years of experience on the leadership team or in bank regulation. Whatever the path to head of the board table, a CEO will need a trusted partner to support the complex technical demands of customers and the highly regulated financial industry, explains Stephen Lewis, President and CEO of Thomaston Savings Bank (TSB).
“Prior to joining my bank in 2006 as their CFO, I spent 15 years with the FDIC in the supervision division. As a result of my years as a field examiner, I see banking from two perspectives. This insight influenced our selection of, and ongoing relationship with, COCC.”
In November of 2013, TSB underwent a core conversion on to COCC’s platform. “It was a better experience than everyone had expected,” continues Stephen. “When you hear about conversions everyone gets very nervous — it’s a comprehensive change. In reality, we had very few problems — people, meaning our staff and our customers alike, transitioned very well. The COCC conversion team spent a great deal of time with us to train everyone so they understood the system, taking out as many of the unknown variables as possible beforehand.”
From this position of earned trust, TSB was comfortable in taking advantage of other products and services such as Contact Management, phone system integration, and the new Dashboard product. “We were one of their first beta banks to contribute to the Executive Dashboard solution,” says Stephen. “It’s a game-changing product, something we have been trying to get to for many years: a dashboard where we can see everything from the balance sheet and the core — all the business intelligence we need in one convenient location rather than managing dozens of individual reports.”
Because TSB was one of the early adopters of the Executive Dashboard product, this growing community bank was instrumental in developing a resource that met real-time needs.
“Anything we wanted programmed differently or delivered differently was updated immediately,” continues Stephen. “Our analysts can make customized reports, and dashboard views can be designed to meet the needs of different roles within our organization. While I can have a bank-wide overview, a branch manager can see a dashboard related to his or her specific branch. Our staff can see everything that is happening with their customers, with new accounts, overdrafts, new loans, maturing CDs and more — all things relevant to their day-to-day operation. There are not many core providers offering a product with this capability, and I anticipate there will be a lot of other banks very interested in this product. It makes the job of a CEO much easier.”
COCC is owned by TSB and other community financial institutions. As a result, both sides of the table have vested interest in providing leading-edge technology paired with outstanding customer service. “As a mutual bank, our end game is to provide the best products and services possible,” shares Stephen. “Therefore, both COCC and the institutions they serve have common missions.”
“As technology evolves, security becomes more and more important. All institutions, regardless of size, will need the ability to move quickly to maintain security and customer confidence,” concludes Stephen. “COCC is aware of the risks and needs, spending the necessary resources to address timely issues and, more importantly, anticipate future challenges. For us or any of our peers to continue to compete against larger institutions or FinTech vendors, it is important to have a partner that understands all aspects of the industry and share their knowledge. Through educational forums on cybersecurity or annual industry conferences, COCC helps customers like us right now and into the future.”
Stephen L. Lewis | President and CEO
Thomaston Savings Bank
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