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Hometown Perspective: St. Louis

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Tom Chulick, Chairman and CEO of UMB St. Louis, gives his point of view on the uniqueness of banking in St. Louis. He also talks about the benefit of having a long-term relationship with your financial institution that involves diversification and risk management.

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Mr. Chulick joined UMB in 2007. As Chairman and CEO UMB-St. Louis and President, Midwest Regions UMB (including St. Louis, Greater Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Omaha), he oversees all activities and lines of business for the financial service company in the St. Louis market. He has 29 years of experience in the financial industry. Prior to joining UMB, he served as Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor at Bank of America. Mr. Chulick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Rockhurst University.



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Target Credit/Debit Card Security Breach

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You may have seen the recent news that Target experienced a breach in electronic security‡ with their customers’ debit and credit cards. While UMB has security protocols in place, we ask that you remain vigilant as well. You can use our online or mobile banking options to check balances and transaction history 24/7. If you see any suspicious activity on your account, please contact our customer service associates as soon as possible. That number is 800.821.5184.

Credit card

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Community banks are the lifeblood of their communities

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There has been much discussion and debate recently about the role of community banking in America.  In fact, I read with interest a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Tally of U.S. Banks Sinks to Record Low,” which compelled me to write this blog post reaffirming our support of these banks.

The article points out that the number of banks has dramatically decreased to 6,891 as of September 30, 2013. The reasons for this decline are varied.

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On one side there are changing demographics, and the challenges smaller, more rural communities face while simultaneously trying to prosper. Not to mention the impact of rapidly changing technology and accelerating costs.

On the other side, persistently low interest rates and a difficult regulatory environment have made the business of banking more challenging. Clearly interest rates will return to a more “normal” level at some point, and our hope is that regulators find proper balance as we move forward.

So, you may be wondering, what does this all mean for the banking industry? Opinions have varied greatly as to whether a reduction in the number of banks is a positive or negative trend. There also have been various viewpoints on the impact it could have for community banks, given the large number represented in the decline. This in particular is the point I would like to address.

UMB has been offering Correspondent Banking services since 1928, and we currently work with more than 1,000 community banks. Because of our relationships and experience in this area, we know firsthand the value they provide and the part they play in not only our industry, but in their communities as well.

We understand the critical banking and financial needs community banks address within their communities, and we are firm in our convictions that the community banking model works. Our company has always been an advocate for community banks that serve their local communities, businesses and citizens, often providing services larger banks are frequently unwilling to extend.

We know that banks are the lifeblood of their communities. As such, having community banks solidly positioned with the services required to fulfill their mission of growing and supporting their communities is crucial to the long-term economic health and vitality of their communities. It is also essential for the future of banking—and we will continue to be here to support community banks in their endeavors.


Mr. deSilva is president and chief operating officer of UMB Financial Corporation. He is also vice chairman of UMB Bank, n.a. Mr. deSilva joined UMB in January 2004. He is primarily responsible for UMB's fee-producing business units and product lines, including Scout Investments; UMB Fund Services, UMB Healthcare Services Payment Solutions, Prairie Capital Management. Additionally, he is responsible for all corporate operations, technology, properties, security and marketing.



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Balancing Act: The changing landscape of commercial banking

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Technology has changed the way people do business. It’s also changed the way they do business banking. You can transfer money between two business accounts in minutes with online banking or complete and submit your entire expense report on the computer. Technology gives you the convenience of having greater control over your company’s finances. But that shouldn’t change the business partnership you have with your company’s bank.

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Like any relationship, creating and maintaining an effective partnership requires regular communication between you and your bank partner.  A strong relationship with your company’s financial institution not only enhances your customer experience, but also helps the bank balance quality service with a high level of information security.

Customer Experience

Your banker should know your company beyond what can be learned from a monthly commercial credit card statement. Your bank should act as an extension of your business and not just a place for you to keep your corporate accounts. Understanding the business cycles and unique financial needs of your engineering firm or your agriculture business gives your bank the insight to be a partner working with you on developing ideas to help your business succeed. This experience begins with a simple but powerful idea: know your customer.

For example, a bank that uses “know your customer” requirements for you to access your account can take this information and use it as a chance to get to know you and your employees better. At UMB, we require you to provide information that will uniquely identify you as the customer you say you are when you call us. These precautions are also good security measures to reduce potential fraud on your accounts.

Information Security

Having a strong relationship with your bank is important to your information security. Most banks will monitor spending habits to check for fraudulent activity on your commercial cards. For example, if a commercial card for a construction company starts posting a series of expensive charges at a department store within several hours, UMB might flag that account for suspicious activity or even put a hold on the card to stop any further transactions. Some might see this as too constrictive and even intrusive, but if you have a good working relationship with your financial institution you’re more likely to view this type of monitoring as a partner looking out for your company’s financial well-being.

So what can you do as a customer to keep the two-way communication open? Keeping your profile with your bank up-to-date makes it easier to verify who you are when you need to contact them. This also helps your bank ensure an accurate and safe customer experience.

Balancing self-service, customer service and information security is a challenge. A good bank should maintain the fine line between giving you the freedom to run your business and manage your finances, while remaining a loyal business partner who will always looks out for your best interests and the financial safety of your company.


Mr. Wegner is vice president and commercial card product manager at UMB. In this role, he is responsible for product development and program design for new and existing programs. He joined UMB in 2011. He earned an MBA in Management from Rockhurst University in Kansas City MO. He is a member of the NAPCP Public Sector Advisory Board.



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The 100-Year Old Entrepreneur

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A century is a significant amount of time for anything. However, it’s an especially meaningful milestone for UMB. When you think about some of the challenges over the past 100 years: the Great Depression, world wars and most recently the Great Recession, it’s a unique feat to not only survive 100 years, but to thrive. We aren’t the only century old company, there are many more like us. So, what’s the secret to success?

It’s the story of the 100-year-old entrepreneur.

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What do I mean by that? It’s the idea that regardless of how long a business operates, the leaders must make a conscious effort to always incorporate the entrepreneur mindset in their day-to-day work. It’s the visions, strategies and practices that continue to reinvent, reset and remind an organization of who they are, what they offer, and how/why they do what they do.

There are several common values entrepreneurs bring to the table – below are a few I believe are most important.

Evolution is not optional

It sounds simple, but this can be hard for companies. As time, customers, technology and pretty much everything else change, so must elements of a business. Having the foresight and commitment to take calculated risks based on these evolving needs is critical. Entrepreneurs start a business venture because they see an opportunity for a new way to do something – a mindset existing businesses should also adopt. Whether it’s adapting delivery models, expanding or eliminating offerings, or entering new markets, continuing to evolve as a business will help you stay relevant. Fear of failure cannot be an inhibitor. We all know, the only constant is change…and that’s actually a good thing for business.

Surround yourself with the best team

We all say it, but not everyone does it. Successful entrepreneurs understand that associates are as important as their business model. They are the heartbeat of the organization. A business can have the best offering in the marketplace, but it won’t mean anything if the right people aren’t part of the team. Having people that continually evaluate, question, advise and champion the way products and services are formed and executed will determine your success. Associates are also the face of your company, so having people who are passionate about your organization and what you do is a must. We all know in a competitive market, customer service and relationships can be the differentiator. Anyone can win on price. The real question is whether you can win, and more importantly keep the business, based on service.

Ethics and Integrity

It’s the Golden Rule. It’s your moral compass. It’s your reputation and the value behind your brand. How you conduct business defines your worth as a trusted advisor, a community member and an employer.  I’ve often said, “We do what’s right, not what’s popular.” And it’s been one of the biggest contributors to our success. Having these types of guiding philosophies that are passed down generation after generation and consciously employed in the daily culture and actions of your organization will result in outstanding client relationships, quality community involvement, and loyal, engaged associates—all of which will support the longevity of your business and overall success.


Mr. Kemper is the chairman and chief executive officer of UMB Financial Corporation and UMB Bank, n.a. He joined UMB in 1997. Mr. Kemper is active in both civic and philanthropic endeavors. One of the causes he is most passionate about is the arts. He currently serves as a trustee and executive committee member for the Denver Art Museum and is a past board member for The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City.



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