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Insights & Research Vault

Cornerstone complements our comprehensive consulting services with industry-renowned studies and reports, online newsletters, and a variety of carefully researched articles. We strive to bring together the knowledge and experiences of all our clients to help them broaden their exposure to industry trends and increase performance. Here are a few examples:

Money on the Table: Credit Union Benchmarks to Size and Identify Revenue Gaps and Opportunities

Underperforming existing leaders in the market can cost a credit union millions of dollars in revenue. Drawing on benchmark data from the 2014 Cornerstone Performance Report for Credit Unions, this report identifies gaps and millions of dollars in improvement opportunities for non-interest income in five product areas: checking accounts, credit cards, investments, insurance and member business lending..

Cornerstone Performance Report for Mid-Size Banks

Drawing on data from a survey of 55 banks with assets of $1 billion - $40 billion, the Cornerstone Performance Report for Mid-Size Banks provides an in-depth analysis of staffing, volumes, processes, and technology spending, utilization and deployment at mid-size banks.

2016 Commercial Banking Operational and Technology Review

In Q3 2015, Cornerstone Advisors engaged senior executives at 10 mid-size banks to understand how they manage their commercial banking operations and their deployment of technologies to support those operations.

Engineering Over Energy: Marketing Impact Snapshot

Competitive and economic pressures have created a new set of strategic, revenue and marketing challenges. While banks and credit unions have historically pursued revenue leadership mainly through the energy of their teams, customer expectations driven by competitors and new market entrants now demand a more sustainable, engineered approach.

Efficient Instead of Busy: A Discussion with Industry Insiders

Cornerstone Advisors managing director and GonzoBanker contributor Eric Weikart recently talked best practices with Jonathan Rogers, divisional CFO and SVP of $12 billion Trustmark Bank.

“Inefficiency isn’t just causing bottom-line cost problems; it’s creating problems with customer responsiveness and revenue growth.” —Eric Weikart, Cornerstone Advisors

Cornerstone Advisors’ Perspective on Technology Trends in Loan Operations

In Q3 2015, Cornerstone Advisors surveyed 138 professionals from U.S.-based financial institutions (FIs) about their loan processing operations, including imaging policies, document preparation, e-signatures, technology usage, and organizational issues.

CUNA Regulatory Burden Financial Impact Study

CUNA commissioned Cornerstone Advisors to perform a rigorous analysis of the financial impact of regulation on credit unions, and how much it has changed since 2010. Cornerstone Advisors’ in-depth examination quantified the impact of regulation at small, medium and large credit unions and used data relative to costs, including staffing, third party and capitalized expenses, and revenue opportunities.

The bottom line: the total financial impact of regulation on credit unions in 2014 was $7.2 billion, or 0.64% of assets—up $2.8 billion since 2010.

What's Going on 2016: Cornerstone Advisors’ Take on Community Bank and Credit Union Priorities and Technology Plans

We surveyed 231 executives from mid-size banks and credit unions about their outlook, concerns, priorities, and technology plans for 2016.

Competing on Financial Health: How Credit Unions Can Win the Gen Y Market

This should be the golden age for credit Unions. The number of credit union members in the United States has crossed the 100 million mark. Member satisfaction is high, and consumer sentiment towards big banks is at an all-time low. A new generation of banking consumers, scarred by the recent financial crisis, is emerging. And demand for the services that drive credit union profitability—namely lending products—are on the rise after a long period of stagnation and decline.

Yet credit unions’ market share of key lending products is low, in the single digits for mortgages and credit cards. In addition, deposit growth among credit unions pales in comparison to the large banks’ growth.

Cornerstone Credit Union Performance Report

The Cornerstone Credit Union Performance Report provides an extensive analysis of credit union staffing/process benchmarks and technology utilization/deployment.

At the foundation of the report is the Cornerstone ScorecardTM, an indispensable peer comparison tool that details more than 200 key productivity and staffing benchmarks across 15 key operations areas.

The report also includes expense and revenue improvement opportunities in Compensation, Information Technology, Risk Management and ATM/Debit income and Credit Card Interchange/Fees.

Technology Management Complexity: Drowning in a Sea of Technology Projects

This report finds that as banks and credit unions struggle with an overload of technology projects, the remedy is having more technology—not less technology.

According to the report, financial institutions with high or moderate “technology management complexity”—defined as the degree to which management is challenged to make coordinated, interdependent technology decisions—plan to improve the utilization of 21 applications in 2015, in contrast to the eight to nine apps for FIs with low technology management complexity.

Drawing Back the Curtain on Vendor Pricing for Debit Processing

Many banks are paying upwards of five times what institutions of similar size and transaction volumes are paying. Debit processing alone can account for a greater share of a bank’s total vendor bill than core processing, this means that over the course of a five-year contract, a difference of just five cents per-transaction amounts to more than $1.5 million in lost income. The report includes data from Cornerstone’s Contract Vault, a database of 15,000 pricing points collected from negotiating thousands of vendor contracts.

The Cornerstone Performance Report: Benchmarks and Best Practices for Mid-Size Banks

Compiled data from a survey of 61 banks with assets of $1 billion - $40 billion. The Cornerstone Performance Report: Benchmarks and Best Practices for Mid-Size Banks provides an in-depth exploration of industry best practices, staffing and process benchmarks, and technology utilization and deployment for mid-size banks.

Delivery Redirect: Start Now or Perish Later!

Delivery Redirect is about facing up to the tough choices concerning resources, the sales force and new organizational capabilities that financial institutions must address to be viable in 2020 and beyond.

ECM Will Change the Way We Work: Are We READY for It?"

In a survey recently conducted by Cornerstone Advisors, 58% of respondents said they believe half or less of the work in their shops is real work. Read "ECM Will Change the Way We Work" to find out how to eliminate inefficient, wasteful processes in your organization.


The Cornerstone team founded critically acclaimed GonzoBanker, an electronic compilation of "observations, ruminations, predictions and random thoughts on financial services." The weekly GonzoBanker newsletter, which was labeled "hip and flip" by American Banker, is frequently used as source material for industry reporters and reprinted by financial institutions, vendors and trade groups.