Pennsylvania Students Shine in National Community Bank Case Study Competition

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HARRISBURG, PA — A group of bright students from the Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania recently clinched first place in the highly competitive Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) 2024 Community Bank Case Study Competition. This achievement not only showcases their academic excellence but also highlights the resilience and innovation within local banking communities.

The team, in collaboration with First Citizens Community Bank based in Mansfield, PA, embarked on a comprehensive analysis exploring the aftermath of the 2023 banking sector’s upheaval, including the notable closures of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank. Through this partnership, they aimed to uncover valuable lessons from these regional bank failures and the distinct strategies employed by First Citizens Community Bank to navigate such challenges.

Wendy Spicher, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, extended heartfelt congratulations to the students and their advisers for their exceptional work and dedication. “It’s particularly gratifying to see that teams from Pennsylvania have placed in the top three spots for five out of the last six years,” Spicher remarked, underscoring the consistent performance and talent emerging from the state.

The competition tasked participants with an in-depth examination of how community banks manage risk through asset and liability management, adapt to regulatory shifts, and integrate social media into their day-to-day operations. The aim was to provide a platform for students from various disciplines to engage directly with the banking industry, offering them real-world insights and experiences.

This year’s challenge saw participation from 27 teams representing 21 colleges and universities across the nation. The victory not only brings a $1,000 prize for each student and their faculty advisors but also the opportunity to present their findings at the prestigious Community Banking Research Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, in October 2024. Additionally, their case study will be featured in the annual CSBS Journal of Community Bank Case Studies, contributing to the broader conversation on the vitality and future of community banking.

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The success of the Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania team in this year’s CSBS competition underscores the importance of community banks in fostering economic resilience and innovation. By analyzing the impact of recent bank failures and the strategies for risk management, these students have contributed valuable insights that extend far beyond the classroom, potentially influencing policy and practices within the banking sector for years to come.

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