The Problem:

After only three years in business, a young entrepreneurial community bank had exciting prospects for growth and was one of the best performing banks for its age nationwide. While many people don’t think of a bank as a small business, many community banks have less than 50 employees and are just one more small business trying to find their way to success.

Like most young businesses with limited resources, the bank could not yet afford to hire a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CEO not only ran the bank, but also was the CFO. Although he was extremely smart and knew how to make good financial decisions, doing both jobs simply took too much time. When the Board of Directors asked for additional financial reporting and a better understanding of the bank’s product profitability, he realized he needed help. He knew that a CFO service could augment his team by filling in on a part-time basis until he could find a longer term solution.

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Our Solution:

First, Clarity FI stepped in to help the CEO update his financial reports and financial models to better meet the board’s request. When those were well received, we were asked to seek out opportunities to reduce the bank’s expenses. Now in its third year, the bank needed to widen their focus beyond growth and evaluate if it had been spending too much on some expenses. We were able to identify both strategic and tactical opportunities to reduce expenses, save costs, and even find a few bonus opportunities to increase revenues.

Finally, the bank needed to understand key drivers of profitability. Management also had specific questions about the financial effectiveness of their sales team. We built financial models to provide insights on the breakeven point for each major product, and helped the executives understand the value and opportunity generated by their sales team.

The Results:

Armed with these new insights, the bank reduced a few key expenses, confidently expanded its financial products sales force, and boosted profitability.

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