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Stock futures higher on Wall Street
Stock futures higher on Wall Street The loans on its balance sheet continue to improve, and the bank's provision for credit losses fell to $336 million, from $2.2 billion in the same period a year earlier. Even its mortgage division, which took huge losses after the housing bubble popped

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Rural Bank Leaders Out on the Frontiers of Compliance

T wasn’t too long ago that Ken Clayton, president of Western Bank in Artesia, N.M., was his own compliance officer.

“It’s difficult to get compliance-trained people,” he says of his small town of less than 12,000 in the southeastern corner of New Mexico. “As the president, I was the loan compliance officer,” he says. “The cashier was the operations compliance officer. That worked forever until the FDIC decided forever wasn’t going to work anymore.”

Despite high regulatory ratings, Clayton accepted the examiners’ viewpoint and hired a trained compliance officer from out of town. “But what we’ve run into is when we got that person to town, the bigger institutions with more resources hire that person away,” he explains. “We had that person for like nine months.”

Frustrated by his $195 million bank’s inability to keep up with demand for trained compliance talent, Clayton decided to outsource it. He has a compliance committee to oversee the vendor, which also comes in to train staff and to conduct quarterly audits. “Our compliance is completely outsourced at twice the price of what our compliance officer was,” he groans.

Second man sought in Haystacks homicide case

Police believe a second person may be involved in the murder of an Artesia man, officials said.

One arrest has been made in the suspected homicide of Danny Mendes, 49, who was found lying on a roadway Sunday by deputies with the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Matt Hutchinson said detectives are looking for a second person of interest in the case. He said the person is believed to reside in Artesia, but declined to release the person's name or description.

“There is a belief that there is another party out there, so we’re trying to locate them,” he said. “We want to get their side of the story. We just want to know their involvement.”

Michael Jimenez, 26, of Artesia was arrested Wednesday, police said. Investigators matched his shoe soles to footprints found at the murder scene on Haystacks Road near Four Dinkus in Artesia, court records show.