Thoughts from American Banker Retail Banking Conference 2015

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16 March 2015


  • Thanks for the comments Tom. I completely agree about the importance community banks play in the financial services industry and the value they bring to the consumer. Based on a few reports, research, conversations, etc, my reading of the industry is that there are many community banks that consider themselves less vulnerable to the business model changes in the industry than some of their larger peers. I also think far too many community institutions see declining financial performance and thin margins as a barrier to tech investment, leading them to hunker down with traditional means of doing business. Small players definitely don´t have it easy, but there a number of ways to explore new growth opportunities that many institutions are leaving on the table. Your view on collaboration and keeping up with FinTech is right on.

  • Stephen, you point out an interesting paradox. Pressure on return on equity coming from increased levels of regulation at a time when community banks can leverage their customer understanding to deliver a customer-centric business model and in turn improve profitability.

    I would bet that in general banks do not know their customer very well. This was confirmed in some research conducted by PwC* where only 75% are making investments in developing a customer-centric business model.

    * (John Garvey from PwC comments on banking trends)

  • Thank you Stephen for the recap. Very interesting information on the poll of millennials who cannot name a community bank. I strongly believe in the community bank model and think as technology continues to evolve it will allow even the smallest institutions to increase their reach and presence. Community banks must keep abreast of the developments in FinTech and build strong collaborative partnerships in order to capitalize on opportunities for growth.