Blogs

Article | 5 min |
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A year ago, a headline “The Recession of 2023 might surprise everyone” would have been prescient simply because it didn’t happen. On the contrary, last year showed surprising resilience and a pace of growth no one expected, despite forecasts of a slowdown or recession by most economists. 2023 was supposed to have been the year in which the economy succumbed to the sharpest increase in interest rates in four decades; tightening lending standards by the banks; and the end of pandemic-era government spending. Accumulated savings from Covid-related shutdowns and receipts of stimulus checks were...
Article | 5 min |
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Commonly known as the Beige Book, this report is published eight times per year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector. An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis. Overall Economic Activity Retail sales, including autos, remained mixed; sales of...
Article | 5 min |
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Banking partners you can count on to help you achieve growth goals Built-in economic advantages in West Texas — and new voter-approved help for Texas Tech University – will help the region weather economic challenges in the coming year as it has in the past, said James Arnold, president and CEO of First Bank & Trust, a division of HTLF Bank. MARKET ADVANTAGES As President and CEO of First Bank & Trust, a division of HTLF Bank, James Arnold brings more than 20 years of West Texas banking experience with a broad knowledge of the economic outlook and local economies. His thoughts on the 2024...
Article | 5 min |
Businesses across the U.S. display a great deal of resilience as many challenges from 2023 have spilled over into 2024 and new obstacles have left some business leaders uneasy. As businesses continue to face economic uncertainty and fraud attacks remain on the rise, having a reliable banking partner on your team to help guide decision-making will allow you to manage with confidence. In compiling survey results from our clients and reviewing reliable sources, we have created the Financial Feed to provide our market with valuable insights on the future of finance. In The Report: Strategies on...
Article | 5 min. |
Fraud continues to be a challenge for many organizations. According to the 2023 Association for Financial Professionals, 65 percent of organizations report that they continue to be targets of fraud. And as the payments landscape continues to evolve, fraudsters are evolving their tactics too. Targets of Payments Fraud Check issuing continues to decline as the number of organizations using digital payments increases. The mass adoption of digital payments is partly due to the remote work environment. Electronic payment usage increases may also be the reason there has been an uptick in ACH fraud...