Understanding the endorsement process
This month, I am going to focus on a subsidiary of TBA that is very near and dear to my heart: the TBA Services Company Inc. Although I had been aware of TBASCO fairly early in my career, I did not really understand the depth of the endorsement process until I became a member of the TBASCO Board of Directors in 2013 and its chairman in 2015.
At that time, I worked closely with Wanda Stevens, then-executive director of TBASCO. Late last year, Wanda retired, and the position was filled by Janine Kasper, formerly strategic business partner for Q2 Software, a TBA endorsed partner. We were very fortunate to hire Janine as she knows our bankers and the industry and is very familiar with the inner workings of TBASCO. She was able to hit the ground running and is already making plans for bringing innovative partners and solutions to the mix of TBA endorsed products.
TBASCO was created in 1987 with the intention of developing partnerships with service providers to support Texas banks. Since then, managing our banks on a daily basis has become more complex and challenging due to the regulatory environment and economic conditions. Although due diligence is important, our added responsibilities make it cumbersome to devote the time and effort to fully vet those third-party providers that are so important to our day-to-day operations.
The most important thing to know about TBASCO is how the endorsement process works. The first consideration is identifying banking products or services that are essential and timely. This is very important. The types of products and services endorsed have been recommended by the TBASCO Board of Directors, the TBA Board of Directors and individual bankers — all of whom best understand the needs for products and services that support day-to-day bank operations.
Next is the most time-consuming part of the process: issuing RFPs to companies that offer the identified products and services. The process includes staff review of the responses and vetting of qualified providers. TBASCO staff looks at such traits as financial strength, bank servicing, compliance with industry standards, security and safety and ability to service TBA members, regardless of asset size or geographic location.
TBASCO staff then recommends the top candidates based upon their qualifications and presents the due diligence to the TBASCO Board of Directors, who make the final decision on all endorsements. The board is also responsible for the approval of TBASCO’s annual budget as well as the renewal of existing endorsements and discontinuation of endorsements when necessary.
Many of you are already using one or more of the endorsed products or services. But to those of you who are unsure about the value of TBASCO, here are some points to consider.
- There is power in numbers.
- Because vendors negotiate with the Texas Bankers Association — and not your individual banks — better rates can be negotiated.
- If you have a problem with a particular vendor, TBA staff can help you resolve it in a professional and timely manner — often that same day.
- The three-person TBASCO staff, led by Janine and assisted by Tam Nguyen and Amanda Mauer — will do whatever it takes to help you in the area of vendor relations.
- Although the due diligence process doesn’t relieve banks of their responsibility of doing their own due diligence, it’s comforting to know that extensive research has been conducted.
So, the next time you are looking for a particular product or service, check out the list of TBA Endorsed Partners on our TBA website (under the vendors tab). It’s reassuring to know that you can trust and value the products and services deemed worthy to be awarded the title of “TBA Endorsed.”