In The News: 2007

Here are some articles that Jim Jones has either authored or been quoted in.

Dialog Banking’ Says It All At New TD Banknorth Branch
Amy Wyeth, Banker & Tradesman | October 8, 2007

…But Boston-area banking and marketing consultants said it’s too soon to tell how it will work.

“Wait six months,” said Jim Jones, president and founder of First Wellesley Consulting, a bank strategy consulting firm based in Wellesley.

The actual environment at a teller-less bank branch certainly appears to be more open and relaxed, he noted, but there’s a different kind of pressure.

“Customers won’t be talking to a teller, but a well-trained salesperson who will be looking for the opportunity to cross-sell,” Jones said. “Tellers are not sellers. They are not, by temperament or training, the best salespeople. When you create dialog banking, you need to recruit and train salespeople to play the concierge role.”

FHA Loan Backing Moves to Front of Pack
Amy Wyeth, Banker & Tradesman | October 1, 2007

About $1 trillion in existing U.S. subprime mortgages are due to reset to higher rates in the next 24 months, noted Jim Jones, president of Wellesley-based bank strategy firm First Wellesley Consulting Group...

Jones said some banks are interested in FHA backing, but said they also know that about 70 percent to 80 percent of borrowers with subprime loan looking for something better wouldn’t qualify for the conforming, prime loans banks tend to offer.

“On the federal level, there is not going to be a bigger [alternative loan program] than the FHA,” he predicted.

Wide Angles
Amy Wyeth, Banker & Tradesman | August 27, 2007

The financial troubles of Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation’s largest mortgage lender, have generated interest and speculation well beyond the attention paid to other troubled mortgage companies.

“I think they’re facing their biggest challenge since they were founded less than 40 years ago,” said Jim Jones, a bank strategy consulting and owner of First Wellesley Consulting in Wellesley. “I think it’s pretty likely that they’re not going to survive in their current form. They’re going to be acquired or [the business segments] broken up,” he predicted.

Local Banks Unlikely to Plug Subprime Hole
Amy Wyeth, Banker & Tradesman | August 20, 2007

“We’re undergoing a credit correction right now,” said Jim Jones, founder and president of First Wellesley Consulting, a Wellesley-based bank strategy firm. “People who shouldn’t have gotten loans, did.”

Lenders now are applying stricter underwriting standards, he said, and regulators are more interested in everyone’s lending patterns. “The result is that some loans made in the past won’t be made today…”

Jones said banks are likely to focus on conventional, construction and jumbo mortgage lending, and perhaps reverse mortgages, in the next couple of years.

Growing Core Deposits: A Few Ideas
James D. Jones, Massachusetts Banker | 3rd Quarter 2007

Banks can successfully wage war for deposits by following a multi-faceted approach that includes innovative products and targeted marketing. Here are three deposit generation ideas: remote deposit capture, reward checking and generation-based product bundling that can level the battlefield with community banks’ toughest competitors…

Remote deposit capture allows community banks to grow their commercial loan assets and grow commercial core deposits at the same time…

Early-stage remote deposit capture adoption by Massachusetts banks is promising. Twenty-three percent of banks polled currently offer remote deposit capture and an additional 42 percent of banks plan to offer the service within the next year….

Mortgage Made Simple – Four banks use a Web-based application to increase volume and efficiency
James D. Jones, Independent Banker | June 2007

This is a case where a new, innovative, online technology has transformed point-of-sale originations while exceeding bankers’ expectations for results.

Local Banks Increase Efforts to Encourage Debit-Card Use
Amy Wyeth, Banker & Tradesman | April 30, 2007

Jim Jones, president of the Wellesley-based banking strategy firm, First Wellesley, said encouraging debit-card use – a new take on better-known credit card rewards programs – is consistent with trends in the consumer and banking worlds.

“If you look back between 1995 and 2003, the number of checks processed by banks has gone down by 26 percent,” he said. But the big number is debit card usage. During the same eight-year period, the number of debit card transactions, which deduct money immediately from a customer’s checking account when the card is used, has gone up by 1,000 percent…

In the end, banks that marry the trend of increased debit-card use with attempts to attract new depositors can’t lose, Jones said.