Rausch has been the business editor since September 2008, previously serving as senior business reporter. He joined the Chronicle in April 2007. He has written for newspapers in Napoleon, Ohio, Moline, Ill., and Lima, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Ohio University (1992). In 2006, he received a second place award in business writing from the Association Press in Ohio.
Posted August 29, 2014 03:50 pm

Banks see a rebound in usage of branches

People are beginning to like their bank branches again.


The American Bankers Association hires a marketing firm to survey people on their banking habits. No surprise that the Internet is still the most preferred way for people to do bank business.


But after some decline, the good ole bank branch had a rebound – 21 percent, up from 18 percent last year.


More people are also using mobile devices to bank, and some of that use is bleeding away from the Internet users (ahem, I’d be one of those.) Online banking has been the most preferred method since 2009.


The bankers association thinks that a renaissance is on because banks have been spending money upgrading the branches and making them more customer-friendly.


VOTE FOR DONATION RECIPIENTS: In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Georgia Bank & Trust is asking for the community to vote on the charities that will receive donations.


The local bank is making a donation of $2,500 each to 10 deserving local charities, based on a community vote.


The voting started Thursday and will run through Oct. 31. The eligible charities are listed at GiveBack25.com.


I MADE AN OOPS: For columnists who wonder whether anyone reads their weekly epistles, the surefire way to find out is make a mistake.


Several readers found and corrected my math error last week. Yes, 110 percent return on investment for $1 is $2.10, not $110.



  • Circle K has site plan for a new mart at 3102 Deans Bridge Road in #Augusta. 
  • That tube-free toilet paper roll you see at Wal-Mart – Kimberly-Clark makes that in Beech Island. 
  • Teavana, a part of the Starbucks empire, opened its store in the #Augusta Mall. 
  • Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, the cyber director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will speak at TechNet #Augusta in two weeks.


MAKING MONEY ON MORTGAGES: The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that independent mortgage banks and/or mortgage subsidiaries saw a net gain of $954 on each loan they originated in the spring.


That second-quarter gain is a reversal of fortune from the first quarter, where the MBA said these banks were losing $194 per loan.


The rationale is a combination of federal regulation meets Polar Vortex.


“The gains seen in the second quarter come after first-quarter losses that were likely triggered by a variety of factors including the implementation of new Dodd-Frank regulations and extremely low origination volumes,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s vice president of industry analysis. “Some loan closings may have been pushed into the second quarter, resulting in an increase in profitability as per-loan production costs declined.”