November 21, 2014

If you receive an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS requesting that you file a "tax refund request," do not fall victim to this identity theft scheme.

Numerous people are receiving unsolicited email (see the example below) informing them that a $9,390.55 IRS tax refund is due to them if they complete a tax refund request form. The email code will be forged to appear as if it orginated from a trusted source, usually the IRS or an IRS tax preparer (H&R Block, TurboTax, etc.), but viewing the "message header" or "message source" will reveal its origin to be something else, and the link will not lead to a trusted domain, but one controlled by identity theft criminals.

If you file a tax return and a refund is due, you will automatically receive your refund. You will never be contacted by the IRS, and there is no tax refund request form. Never disclose personal information to an unsolicited inquiry, as compelling as the story may be. If it's too good to be true, it's most likely not true.

If you have any questions or concerns about any IRS tax refund you may have due, you should access the official IRS "Where's My Refund" online application at the following destination: Click Here for IRS "Where's My Refund" online application.

Phishing Email Example:

Michael Cripps
President & CEO

October 6, 2014

What role do community banks play in today's environment?

The FDIC is still refining the definition, but based upon what is set forth, let's look at the primary role they are playing in today's turbulent economy. Community banks largely follow a traditional banking model - using short-term deposits to fund long-term investments resulting in risk issues stemming from this model behavior.

Using this model, community banks play a crucial role in the development of the U.S. economy being responsible for taking on the bulk of local lending activities that the large banks don't do. Because of the community bank's proximity to their customer base and understanding of the needs and issues in their communities, they are afforded the ability to be more flexible in the terms of their lending than the large institutions.

This agility, however, does not come without its challenges. Due to regulatory constraints, access to capital is tight with low return of investment bringing investor attraction down. Operating in the confines of a local community also results on a cap on growth. The bank's ability to succeed depends largely on the community it does business in - if the community thrives, the bank thrives. Community banks have to consider a wide range of issues to help ensure they can withstand the highs and lows of the national (and local) economic changes.

  • Should community banks be larger?
  • Is there enough asset diversification to withstand lending declines?
  • Princing versus connecting, and justifying new fees to customers for services once complimentary in different times.

 

Michael Cripps
President & CEO

 

September 2, 2014

September 30, 2014 will be the last day to visit our 14th Street Branch. We will be merging operations into our Main Bank office. Additional tellers will be added to our Drive-Up facility, located on South 15th Street, and to our Carbondale Branch. 

The original idea for the 14th Street Branch was to alleviate the stress and long wait times at our Drive-Up facility. However, because of the money we have invested in upgrades to equipment in that facility, the 14th Street location is no longer necessary.

In all honesty, the 14th Street Branch has posed a security concern for us, as well. We value protecting our employees and your assets. We can better handle this by not keeping cash assets in that building. 

 

Michael Cripps
President & CEO

 

June 1, 2014

There are almost 7,000 community banks, including commercial banks, thrifts, and stock and mutual savings institutions, with more than 50,000 locations throughout the United States. Assets may range from less than $10 million to $10 billion or more. Community banks constitute 96.6 percent of all banks.

Community Banks by Region
North Central - 24.6%
Southeast - 19.9%
Midwest - 19.7%
Southwest - 16.1%
Northeast - 10.6%
West - 9.0%

Of all U.S. banks, more than 90 percent have assets under $1 billion and 31.2 percent have assets under $100 million.

  • Community banks are the primary source of lending for small businesses and farms. Even though they compose just 10 percent of the banking industry by assets, community banks with less than $1B in assets made 37.5 percent of outstanding bank loans to small businesses. Community banks with less than $10B in assets made 57.9 percent of outstanding bank loans to small businesses.
  • Community banks' boards of directors are made up of local citizens who want to advance the interests of the towns and cities where they live and where their banks do business.
  • Most community bank loans benefit the neighborhoods where depositors live and work.
  • Research has shown that average fees for checking accounts and other depository services are lower at community banks than at large, multi-state institutions.

Community banks offer a wide range of banking services and products designed to meet the needs of consumers and businesses including:

  1. Anytime, anywhere electronic banking
  2. Automated teller machines, often with little or no surcharge fees
  3. Credit and debit cards with competitive rates and features
  4. Competitive mortgage- and consumer-loan products
  5. Competitive checking, savings, and investment products and rates, and
  6. Small-business and agricultural lending

 

Michael Cripps,
President and CEO

May 1, 2014

In 1889:

  • The year started on a Sunday and there was a total eclipse of the sun

  • Preston is declared the winner of the inaugural Football League in England

  • Herman Hollerith receives a patent for his electric tabulating machine in the United States

  • The Coca-Cola Company is originally incorporated as the Pemberton Medicine Company in Atlanta, Georgia

  • Columbia Phonograph is formed in Washington, D.C.

  • Meanwhile in D.C., President Grover Cleveland signs a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington as States

  • President Cleveland, 22nd President of the United States (1885-1889) is succeeded by Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)

  • The Eiffel Tower is inaugurated and opens May 6th. At 300 meters, its height exceeds the previous tallest structure in the world by 130 meters. Critics at the time regard it as aesthetically displeasing

  • Adolf Hitler is born in Baun au am Inn in Austria-Hungary on the border with Bavaria, a town where his father Alois Hitler is a customers official

  • The South Fork Dam collapses, killing more than 2,200 people in and around Johnstown, in western Pennsylvania

  • Vincent van Gogh paints Starry Night at Saint-Remy-de-Provence

  • The first long distance electric power transmission line in the United States is completed, running 14 miles between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon

  • The Wall Street Journal is established

  • The last official bare-knuckle boxing title fight ever held (under London Prize Ring Rules) as Heavyweight Champion John L. Sullivan, the "Boston Strong Boy," defeats Jake Kilrain in a world champonship bout lasting 75 rounds in Mississippi

  • The Prevention of Cruelty to, and Protection of, Children Act, commonly known as the Children's Charter, is passed in the United Kingdom; for the first time it imposes criminal penalties to deter child abuse

  • The Nintendo Koppai (later Nintendo Company, Limited) is founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce and market Hanafuda playing cards

  • The Moulin Rouge cabaret opens in Paris

  • Inspired by Jules Verne, pioneer woman journalist Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) begins an attempt to beat travel around the world in less than 80 days. She finished the journey in 72 days, 6 hours, and 11 minutes

  • The first jukebox goes into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco.

  • Clemson University is founded in Clemson, South Carolina

  • Woffard and Furman play the first intercollegiate football game in the state of South Carolina

  • Influenza pandemic originates in Russia

  • Yellow Fever interrupts the building of the Panama Canal

  • The Capilano Suspension Bridge is opened as the longest suspension foot-bridge in the world

  • Victor Fleming, American motion picture director, is born

AND

THE FIRST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY OF MURPHYSBORO is born as FIRST NATIONAL BANK!!

Our bank has seen all of this history and much, much more. In fact, we have had such a long and successful history ourselves that we have made it to the ripe old age of 125!

Not many businesses, anywhere in the world, can say that.

We are proud of our history, strength, patience, image, and ownership, but most of all, we are proud to serve Murphysboro and Jackson County for 125 years!

 

Michael Cripps
President and CEO

 

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