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No fun in banking anymore

Recently, I ran into a former colleague who was bemoaning that he had been fired. His misfortune was cushioned by a multi-year salary payment, continued health care insurance and full vesting of stock and options – not bad. But he also volunteered a comment that was very telling. His job, he said, had stopped being fun a Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:37-05:00February 13th, 2015|Comments Off on No fun in banking anymore

Measuring business performance for improved performance

By now, most banks have set their 2015 targets into motion, including return on assets, return on equity, efficiency and asset quality goals. Yet, many still haven’t implemented business line key performance indicators (KPIs) that tie to these goals. Inevitably, the quarterly projections come in and everyone scrambles to either cut expenses or manipulate the numbers to Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:37-05:00January 23rd, 2015|Comments Off on Measuring business performance for improved performance

Ten things banks should do but generally do not

For those who have been in the banking industry for a while, the pace of change has picked up noticeably. Previously, change happened so slowly that minor modifications to how we did business, implemented through the budgeting process, were sufficient to keep our bank relevant. Those days are long gone. Gone are the rigid regulatory restrictions on Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:37-05:00January 16th, 2015|Comments Off on Ten things banks should do but generally do not

Compensating employees appropriately

How much should community banks and credit unions pay their employees in the current tough banking market? That’s a question that we probed in the 2014 edition of our Retail Salary and Benefits Study for Community Banks and Credit Unions. We found that over the past 22 years, salary and benefits (S&B) rates for front-line employees, on Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:38-05:00January 12th, 2015|Comments Off on Compensating employees appropriately

With Onboarding, Cash Management Rules

Are retail banks building strong foundations for cross-sell or forfeiting major opportunities? A lot depends on the approach to onboarding, a set of activities aimed at cementing and expanding new customer relationships. Onboarding has received more than a decade’s worth of attention and extra effort. The best programs are quite formal, replete with detailed routines for customer Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:39-05:00October 31st, 2014|Comments Off on With Onboarding, Cash Management Rules

Coders as the rock stars of banking

I was having a debate the other day with two bank CEOs. One runs a direct bank that is going digital and the other runs a branch-centric bank that is investing in digital. At one point in the conversation, we got into a discussion about coders and, in a surprisingly frank dialogue, both CEOs said that coders Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:40-05:00October 6th, 2014|Comments Off on Coders as the rock stars of banking

Getting Back to Banking’s Higher Purpose

What banker wouldn’t love to have the enthusiastic and friendly employees typically found at Whole Foods Market? Building such a committed service and sales culture can be done but it certainly doesn’t happen overnight, according to Whole Foods co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey. Specific steps described by Mackey in a recent interview with BAI Banking Strategies include Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:40-05:00October 3rd, 2014|Comments Off on Getting Back to Banking’s Higher Purpose

Cultural Change for Universal Bankers

Once again, technology has raced culture to the finish line and won. As the concept of “universal banker” has gained currency far and wide, software has surfaced that can use market analytics to predict, with remarkable accuracy, branch traffic patterns, customer needs and labor needs. Which hours on which days can you expect a spike in customers Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:41-05:00August 8th, 2014|Comments Off on Cultural Change for Universal Bankers

Predictive Analytics for Strategic Capacity Planning

How are some banks growing revenue and maintaining target customer service levels without increasing branch staff? The short answer is by using predictive analytics. The key to simultaneously achieving these seemingly conflicting goals is harnessing the insights hidden in the data about branch activity. This includes data about customer arrivals, service times, wait times and details of Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:41-05:00August 5th, 2014|Comments Off on Predictive Analytics for Strategic Capacity Planning

Time Locking for Interruption Management

When you come across the words “bank efficiency,” more than likely “technology” and “consolidation” are in the vicinity. It’s almost an article of faith that those are the only two paths to bank efficiency: automation and consolidation. I’m all for technology innovation, but what happened to managerial innovation? Are managers to let technology usurp their search for Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:43-05:00May 9th, 2014|Comments Off on Time Locking for Interruption Management

Ten Myths about Workplace Banking

Financial institutions are facing declining branch transactions and diminished branch sales. As a result, more banks are looking to Workplace Banking as an effective channel for attracting new customers, expanding relationships with existing customers and therefore improving sales productivity and cost efficiency. After all, Workplace Banking puts branch teams in front of prospects and customers they no Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:00:44-05:00April 4th, 2014|Comments Off on Ten Myths about Workplace Banking

How to Manage the Decline of the Teller Job

What do bank tellers, toll booth attendants and mail carriers have in common? Each group has provided decades of specialized manual service, yet is being overtaken by technology alternatives and changing customer behaviors. The trend of eroding manual transactions is prevalent in U.S. service industries, as also experienced by video store and book store clerks, and even Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:00-05:00January 6th, 2014|Comments Off on How to Manage the Decline of the Teller Job

Making Idle Staff More Productive

First, the bad news. “Idle time” – those periods during which branch staff is not performing account holder transactions or other meaningful tasks – can account for as much as 30% of bank employee paid time at the typical community bank, according to a study conducted annually by FMSI. The good news is branch staff does not Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:00-05:00November 22nd, 2013|Comments Off on Making Idle Staff More Productive

The Elephant in the Room Is People

Wikipedia defines the term “the elephant in the room” as referring “to a question, problem, solution, or controversial issue which is obvious to everyone who knows about the situation, but which is deliberately ignored because to do otherwise would cause great embarrassment, or trigger arguments or is simply taboo.” So, what – or who – is the Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:01-05:00October 4th, 2013|Comments Off on The Elephant in the Room Is People

Motivated Leaders for Motivated Employees

Recent research findings reveal a big gap between financial organizations and high-performing companies when it comes to customer focus. Just two-thirds of financial services employees (67%) describe their organization as customer-focused, compared to 79% of the world’s best performing companies. And while three-quarters of top companies have faith in the quality of their customer support, the same Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:02-05:00September 11th, 2013|Comments Off on Motivated Leaders for Motivated Employees

Predictive Analytics for Hiring

Wells Fargo & Co. has found a more effective way of hiring candidates who will more likely perform better and stay longer – by using predictive analytics in its selection process. “We thought we should have a more customized solution, as Wells has a very unique culture around needs-based selling and customer service,” says Sangeeta Doss, senior Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:02-05:00September 6th, 2013|Comments Off on Predictive Analytics for Hiring

A Universal Staffing Mix

As the traditional bank branch shrinks or even disappears in coming years, what becomes of branch staffing models? “The short answer is that everybody is making things work more efficiently and to improve engagement with the customer,” says David Hawkins, senior vice president and director of customer experience for Huntington Bancshares Inc. of Columbus, Ohio. “It’s not Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:02-05:00August 26th, 2013|Comments Off on A Universal Staffing Mix

The Strategic Implications of Tellers Selling

“Tellers must do more than transact – they must also sell!” If you’re coming to that conclusion at your bank, you are not alone and you have good reason. Tellers see more customers than anybody else in the bank. The transactions they handle often give off obvious indicators of sales opportunities. With branch volumes declining and facilities Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:04-05:00June 7th, 2013|Comments Off on The Strategic Implications of Tellers Selling

Every Leader Needs a ‘Leader’s Scorecard’

Leadership is without question one of the most important traits that any manager can exhibit, one of the hardest to quantify and measure and a skill that takes years to develop and refine. There are as many different ways to look at leadership development as there are people in any organization. If it were simple to train Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:04-05:00May 24th, 2013|Comments Off on Every Leader Needs a ‘Leader’s Scorecard’

Avoiding the Sting of Obamacare

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; also known as Obamacare) is fully implemented at the start of 2014, it will likely impact how most banks staff their branches. Although the mandates regarding the ACA are clear, the rules surrounding it are confusing, at best. Bank management may have heard that the ACA will require banks Read More

By |2020-05-27T18:01:06-05:00April 24th, 2013|Comments Off on Avoiding the Sting of Obamacare