Growth Imperative at Community Banks

“Without a growth strategy, you are dead in the water,” said Chuck Sulerzyski, CEO of Marietta, Ohio-based Peoples Bank. And that pretty well sums up the mood at a panel discussion I moderated at the recent BAI Retail Delivery 2012 entitled “Winning Strategies for Community Banks.” While each of the three bank CEOs participating in the discussion Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:11-05:00October 19th, 2012|Comments Off on Growth Imperative at Community Banks

Key Components in Brand Development

Bank and credit union executives today believe they understand the value of strong branding, even though the return on investment (ROI) of branding is difficult to measure. Measuring branding effectiveness is pretty simple; the institution is consistently successful at acquiring and retaining customers, or it is not. The trick is to understand what goes into building a Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:12-05:00September 4th, 2012|Comments Off on Key Components in Brand Development

Re-Thinking, Re-Focusing and Re-Defining the Branch

Branch design is a hot topic these days with all the speculation about the “branch of the future” in the wake of gradual customer migration to electronic channels. Consider also the 5,000 plus branches that have changed hands through mergers and acquisitions in the last two-and-a-half years, according to SNL Financial. For example, PNC Financial Services Group Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:14-05:00June 22nd, 2012|Comments Off on Re-Thinking, Re-Focusing and Re-Defining the Branch

Fixing the Efficiency Ratio for Community Banks

We have all heard the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So, how do you know it ain’t broke? There are many measures of success in banking: revenue growth, profitability, market share, degree of personal satisfaction, and even the amount of impact you and/or your company are having on society as a whole. All Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:15-05:00April 27th, 2012|Comments Off on Fixing the Efficiency Ratio for Community Banks

Compliance Burden on Community Banks

Uncontrollable compliance costs are often cited by community banks as a reason for selling out to another institution. Is this true? While compliance costs certainly have risen continually over the past decade, we wondered if the issue had truly become critical to the long-term viability of the typical community bank. To get a better handle on this Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:15-05:00April 25th, 2012|Comments Off on Compliance Burden on Community Banks

Entrepreneurs Needed (Again) in Community Banking

We hear bankers today talking about “getting back to the basics.” That’s fine as a sound bite but what basics are they referencing and how far back are they suggesting we go? Banking last went through a major transformation in the Great Depression of the 1930s when the newly created Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) granted local Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:18-05:00February 3rd, 2012|Comments Off on Entrepreneurs Needed (Again) in Community Banking

The Big Bank Banker: Handle with Care

Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock with the Geico gecko has likely noticed that the banking industry has been taking it on the chin for the past couple years. Hardly a week goes by without a press release announcing the next round of layoffs at the big banks particularly. What does this mean for mid-size Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:18-05:00January 20th, 2012|Comments Off on The Big Bank Banker: Handle with Care

Bank Size: The Difference that Matters

Years ago, I went from being the senior operations officer for a large bank in a metropolitan area with a flock of VPs at my disposal to being senior vice president and cashier/operations division head for a small bank in a rural market. My direct reports included the security guard (as with Deputy Barney Fife on the Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:29-05:00October 14th, 2011|Comments Off on Bank Size: The Difference that Matters

A Community Bank’s Differentiation Strategy

Life is not easy for community banks these days. Like the rest of the industry, they struggle with increased regulatory burdens and costs while dealing with the added disadvantage of competing with larger national and regional players who possess more marketing and technology resources. Yet, community banks retain a few cards to play such as local presence Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:30-05:00August 2nd, 2011|Comments Off on A Community Bank’s Differentiation Strategy