There are many fantastic resources available to financial professionals on the web these days. It’s simply amazing how much good information is out there — for free. But here are a few of the best sites (in no particular order) you may not have heard of, or that maybe deserve a second look. Indeed, there are many other excellent sites not included in this list, and it was built to the exclusion of no one.
Official Description: “BankInnovation.net offers industry professionals a unique forum for sharing information, reading news, posting blogs, and e-networking with colleagues.” BankInnovation.net tracks and encourages innovation in banking. We record innovation successes and failures and we do so in a revolutionary manner, through the dynamism of a social network, where bankers of common ilk and dreams can come together to share ideas and insights.”
Review: This relatively new community is drawing an impressive and continual stream of financial executives. Any member can create a group, write blog posts and comment on articles. Take a look around. You don’t have to be an active, vocal member to get something out of BankInnovation.net.
The Bank Channel
Official Description: “This blog aims to explore the interactions we engage in with large financial and other organisations, and how we can improve the experiences we have and how innovation is given life. The co-ordinated intersection of customer experience, marketing, strategy, innovation and technology is what can make our interactions positive ones.”
Review: This site comes from Rob Findlay. Even if you had followed Rob’s blog since its inception, you could be forgiven for not knowing that he lives in Australia and works for NAB (one of Australia’s biggest banks). He bangs out one solid post after another with tremendous consistency. The “Innovation Roundups” alone make this site a must-see. And even though he has a very global perspective, the issues he explores are relevant to financial institutions of all sizes everywhere. If you had to choose only one website to follow (besides The Financial Brand, of course), this would be the one.
Official Description: “Filene is dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of consumer finance and credit unions. Through Filene, leading scholars and consultants analyze managerial problems, public policy questions, and consumer needs for the benefit of the credit union movement.”
Review: These guys consistently come up with some of the most innovative ideas in the financial industry, and share them “open source.” What’s more is that they actually find credit unions willing to pioneer many of the ideas in beta tests. But the best part is that many of Filene’s ideas can work for any financial institution — even banks. Add to that the excellent research reports they bang out on a regular basis, and Filene is one to follow.
Official Description: “ABA Bank Marketing is a carefully-designed package of “marketing intelligence,” featuring essential industry news, in-depth articles, award-winning columnists and opinions, useful case studies and time-saving advice.”
Review: At the magazine’s official website, the only things you can check out are the current issue’s cover story and table of contents. But you can read every story in every issue — without creating an account — here, at the Farlax Free Library. Unfortunately, these online articles don’t include any of the photos. What you really should do is get a paid print subscription so you can see all the excellent, real-world examples they include.
Official Description: “Finextra is the leading independent newswire and information source for the worldwide financial technology community. Finextra covers all significant technology news in wholesale and retail banking, the capital markets and insurance. Finextra also publishes a wide range of research articles, features, white papers and case studies.”
Review: Finextra not only has great news, there are a number of smart bloggers from around Europe’s financial industry sharing their insights on a regular basis. It’s a large, robust community worth taking a look at.
Official Description: “NetBanker is a leading online finance and banking blog. We cover everything from online banking to person-to-person lending to mortgage lead generation in order to give our 6,000+ subscribers the financial industry news and analysis they need daily.“
Review: Odds are if you’re reading The Financial Brand, you’re reading Jim Bruene (pronounced BREEN ee) over at Netbanker. If you’re not, you should be. Netbanker covers all the latest technologies, innovations and online marketing strategies in the financial industry. Every article is smart and savvy.
The Financial Services Club Blog
Official Description: “A unique service designed for senior executives and decision makers from any firm interested in understanding and planning for the future of Europe’s financial markets.”
Review: Chris Skinner, the blog’s author is one of the most prolific writers in the financial industry. He hammers out volumes of insights every week. And don’t be fooled…The blog claims to be focused on Europe, but you’ll find tons of stuff that applies to just about any financial institution.
Also, Don’t Miss These Sites:
- EverythingCU – An excellent forum exclusively for credit union employees.
- Bruen/Bensley Blog – Odd combo of credit unions and cute animals that works surprisingly well.
- Banktastic – A forum, blog and community.
Definitely Pass on This One:
The award for the worst coverage in the financial industry goes to Brandweek. They haven’t been able to muster more than one or two stories about the financial industry in the last six months!
There hasn’t been this much turmoil affecting any single industry in history, and Brandweek can’t/won’t come up with any stories about what brand challenges financial institutions are now facing??? Come on. This should be a no-brainer. Double-thumbs down to Brandweek — one for not living up to its name, the other for missing an incredible opportunity to educate readers (in all industries) with a highly topical subject.
The articles Brandweek does have come from the la-la land of hypermegaglobal brands and their megahuge agencies. It’s very difficult to relate to unless you’re part of branding’s inner circle and steward multi-million, international marketing budgets — Weiden & Kennedy, Nike, Crispin Porter, BBDO, Budweiser, etc. For some reason though, banks like BofA and Chase aren’t included in Brandweek’s super exclusive world.