Bankers’ Bank of the West is among the more than 110 organizations selected to participate in the Federal Reserve’s FedNowSM Pilot Program.

The financial institutions and processors involved in the program will help shape its functions and features, offer user experience feedback, and assure readiness for testing. What’s more, they will become the first to experience the FedNow Service before it becomes widely available.

The Federal Reserve Banks are creating the FedNow Service to facilitate nationwide reach of instant payment services by financial institutions – whatever their size or geographic location – in practically real time, around the clock, every day of the year. By working through financial institutions participating in the FedNow Service, individuals and businesses will be able to send and receive instant payments easily. Recipients of instant payments will have access to funds within seconds, enabling them to manage their money and make time-sensitive payments.

To access more news, the full list of Pilot Program participants, and other pertinent information, visit

Amelia Moore is optimistic that consumers’ interest in supporting small business over the holiday season bodes well for her business, Mimi’s Minis, whose products—miniature stuffed animals—will be available exclusively online from late November to early December.

“No two Minis are exactly alike, and they make a special holiday gift for young children, teachers—anyone, really!” she said.

A fifth-grade student at Steele Elementary School in Denver, Amelia is one of some 40 young entrepreneurs planning to sell their products at the online YouthBiz Marketplace from Nov. 27 through Dec. 6. She intends to donate 50 percent of her profits to local animal shelters.

The online event is hosted by Young Americans Center for Financial Education, a nonprofit that also houses the world’s only bank specifically designed for youth up to age 22: Young Americans Bank. The Center offers programs that complement and reinforce one another to build life skills, work skills, and financial self-sufficiency.

The Center’s YouthBiz Director Maite Wantwadi noted that the inability to hold a live in-person sales event during a pandemic seemed like an obstacle at first. Instead, it became an opportunity for the young business owners to develop new skills suited to ecommerce.

Customers looking to “shop small” are encouraged to check out Amelia’s business and those of the other participating entrepreneurs at the YouthBiz Marketplace from Nov. 27 through Dec. 6.

Bankers’ Bank of the West has supported Young Americans Center for more than a decade on the belief that the early and effective financial education provided by the Center makes a lasting positive impact on children’s lives. Find more information on the Center at

by Chris Hill, SVP & CFO | Bankers’ Bank of the West

While unemployment trends are improving, the current environment has created a new vector for fraudsters.

Numerous state governments and law enforcement agencies have been getting reports from citizens who received cards used to facilitate unemployment payments and accompanying paperwork even though they had never applied for unemployment.

At a time of severe strain on states’ budgets, this scheme is targeting the pandemic assistance programs that provide unemployment assistance for self-employed workers and those unemployed as a result of COVID-19.

Law enforcement encourages anyone affected to report what happened for the purpose of creating a record of it. Authorities note that those targeted could be victims of identity theft.

People who receive a card they did not expect or request are advised to immediately contact the card issuer to deactivate the card. Additional recommended action steps include initiating a fraud alert with the consumer credit bureaus and reporting the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has received new claims requesting back pay from dates as old as February, forcing it to modify the process for obtaining backdated benefits. That shift, which requires applicants to speak directly to a department employee, led to a 40% drop in new claims. However, the CDLE estimates that more than 75% of claims since July 18 were fraudulent. The agency believes the new procedure has effectively blocked over $750 million in improper unemployment insurance payments.

Being no strangers to data privacy and protecting customers’ personal identifying information, bankers can proactively support their customers and communities by providing education, raising awareness, and sharing resources to help fight fraud. Following is a list of hyperlinks to appropriate contacts across Bankers’ Bank of the West’s market area:


posted July 31, 2020

by Chris Hill, SVP and CFO | Bankers’ Bank of the West

Over the past several months, two dynamics – the slump in retail activity triggered by the pandemic and a growing reliance on noncash payments – have slowed the speed of coin circulation throughout the country. Today, despite an ample supply of coins in the U.S. economy, our collective quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies aren’t moving as freely as they would under normal conditions.

Unfortunately, the consequences of the coin bottleneck are most acute for the thousands of cash-reliant small businesses and the many Americans whose only payment option is cash. For the good of the economy, we need to speed up the circulation of coins.

The U.S. Mint has stepped up the manufacture of coins and the Federal Reserve Bank has modified its allocation of coin supplies. However, the American public can play a major part in the #getcoinmoving effort simply by spending the coins they have on hand or depositing them at their bank. In fact, the U.S. Coin Task Force estimates that most of the nation’s $48 billion coin supply is “sitting dormant inside America’s 128 million households.”

We invite you to join the grassroots effort to #getcoinmoving quickly into the economy. Raid your piggybank, spend or deposit your coins, and become a hero today!

Chris Hill is a member of the U.S. Coin Task Force.

Much like its impact on the world, the COVID-19 situation has resulted in broad and unique operating challenges for financial institutions, and a very fluid regulatory environment. In response, we will be posting periodic updates to help keep BBW stakeholders informed on what we see transpiring across the industry. Below you will find summaries of the following:
▪ Recently issued interagency guidance
▪ Other recently issued regulatory guidance or legislative developments
▪ Examples of early “best practices” we are encouraging or seeing implemented during these unprecedented times


By Greg Miller, IT Analyst · Bankers’ Bank of the West
A few short months ago, you probably never thought you’d be working from home. But in these interesting times we find ourselves in, there you are sitting in your pajamas working on a laptop or other device from the comfort of your couch. Aside from the social distancing we are all practicing, how can you keep your network and said devices healthy? Here are some tips to help you avoid some of the common hazards.

First, make sure your virus definitions are up to date. Most likely if you are on a work-provided device, the updates are regulated through that device. But if you are using a personal device, be sure the virus protection is up to date. Second, along that same vein, make sure any apps on said device are up to date as well. Whether an Apple Product or Android, make sure not just the operating system is up to date but also all the other apps as well.

Next, be mindful of the email you receive. You might have noticed phishing attempts have increased. Be wary of emails asking for donations to help fight coronavirus. If you feel compelled to donate, always connect with the organization you choose. For example, get in touch directly to the Red Cross—not through an email solicitation. Also, keep your guard up when receiving email that appears to come from people you know. Even though the sender’s name may look familiar, the content could be from an unethical source. Your acquaintance’s email account might have been compromised, triggering an email blast to everyone in their address book. If incoming email looks off or you weren’t expecting anything from a sender, contact that sender and find out whether they meant to send it to you.

Regardless of where you do your work, remain watchful and make safety a high priority. Be extra cautious, and always contact your IT support team if you have questions: They want to help. Stay well, my friends.

Effective January 2, 2020, Bankers’ Bank of the West purchased an equity stake in Bankers’ Banc Investment Services, LLC, the holding company of First Bankers’ Banc Securities Inc. (FBBS). With this purchase, BBW is the fourth bankers’ bank to become a shareholder in the company.

FBBS has worked with more than 1,000 clients in some 25 states since its founding. The firm currently has offices in four states, primarily in the Midwest. Founded to serve community banks of all sizes and their investment portfolios, FBBS is in sync with the bankers’ bank philosophy of responsive service and partnership.

This move achieves BBW’s objective of augmenting our securities product offering with high-quality investment product and professional services, which include municipal and agency bond products, portfolio advisory, portfolio accounting, and ALM/IRR reporting. For FBBS, this mutually beneficial relationship creates expansion opportunities in the West.

It is important to note that BBW’s safekeeping services, which have been performed in-house for years, will be unaffected. They will stay in-house, and the process will be streamlined for BBW safekeeping clients who choose to trade through FBBS.

While we realize you likely have existing relationships with securities firms, we would appreciate your giving FBBS the opportunity to earn your business.

Duane Kerner, an FBBS investment officer, will work out of Bankers’ Bank of the West’s Denver offices. Duane plans on traveling with BBW’s correspondent team to introduce himself in the future. We look forward to sharing more information with you and wish you a prosperous year ahead.