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CEO Updates

Date: July 17, 2023


Welcome to the midpoint of 2023, a time of year when many of us are busy trying to schedule some time off and enjoy the summer weather. It's also a busy period for our team here at Idaho First Bank.


Despite ongoing uncertain economic headlines, we remain grateful for the markets and communities we serve. For instance, one recent headline was the Federal Reserve pausing on rate increases in June but indicating that further increases are likely due to stubborn inflation. From a local economy perspective, our primary markets continue to experience the benefits of net migration, which is driving sustained economic growth. This is one of the reasons why we consider ourselves fortunate to live and work in one of the best markets in the country.


Many customers inquire about the implications of these news updates and what steps they can take to prepare for a potential economic slowdown. While I cannot predict the future, there are proactive measures that businesses and households can adopt. For business owners, most expense categories have increased, putting pressure on profit margins. The largest increases can be attributed to rising input costs, salary expenses, and borrowing costs. It's important to assess the precise impact of these changes, adjust pricing where possible, and reduce expenses in areas where feasible to safeguard margins. If your business extends credit to other businesses for products or services sold, now is an opportune time to check in with your credit customers. They are likely facing similar margin pressures, and lengthening payables is one way they compensate for shrinking margins. This behavior is common during a tightening cycle, but it can also serve as an early indicator of profitability challenges your customers may be experiencing, which could impact the collectability of receivables. Maintaining close relationships with your customers is always a best practice. Both businesses and households should aim to build reserves as the best defense against economic slowdowns.


Fortunately, deposit rates currently offer returns that haven't been seen in a long time. If you have excess cash in reserve, let's discuss how we can put that money to work for you. Every business and consumer is at a unique stage in their financial journey. Our team of skilled bankers is always available to sit down and have a personalized conversation about your specific goals and how Idaho First Bank can serve as a valuable partner in achieving them. I understand that it's a busy time of year, but investing a few minutes to speak with your banker about your plans will be time well spent. Enjoy all the wonderful experiences our region has to offer this summer, and as always, thank you for choosing Idaho First Bank as your trusted financial institution!

Todd Cooper

CEO | Idaho First Bank

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