Charles has extensive experience as a banker and a consultant and is a well-known public commentator on financial services industry issues. Beginning his career with Citibank as a commercial lender, he also worked as a merchant banker with Schroders and Bankers Trust and as a consultant with Mercer Management Consulting and McKinsey & Co. before founding FIC Advisors in 1995.
Small business banking efforts are often typically hampered by organizational failures, lack of innovation and the fear of regulators.
Banks today are understandably worried about compliance issues but throwing too many resources at this non-productive activity is not the answer.
Even as bankers prepare for the time when branches will be less relevant, they need to make the most of the sales opportunity in today’s retail banking environment.
Having abandoned small business banking in recent years, many institutions are returning to the segment, prompted by both market opportunity and regulatory prodding.
Mergers and acquisitions are likely to heat up considerably in the next year or so as potential sellers face the realities of today’s market.
To regain the trust of their customers, small business bankers need to go beyond lending and redefine the offer to include some form of advisory services.