Just as the cherry blossoms provide a welcome personal respite from winter’s cold embrace, so too have stories of creativity and growth diverted my professional attention away from compliance issues and regulatory updates. As I travel across the country, I’m continually impressed by the close attention being paid by leaders at financial institutions to non-traditional sources of revenue — particularly fee-based income. Today’s tip sheet reflects these recent travels and commensurate “lessons learned” with three words, a big three if you will, that tie-in to growing one’s business.
In order for banks to thrive in what, in many regions, remains a crowded marketplace, diversified growth is key. I’ve heard from a few community bank CEOs that given the nature of the economic recovery and uncertainty over interest rates, quality growth requires a balance between real estate and operating company borrowers and between fixed and floating rate loans. Without such balance, earnings and shareholder value are at increased risk.
The general public still does not distinguish enough between Wall Street banks and Main Street community banks. Nonetheless, more and more bankers are making this distinction, thereby helping customers (and potential customers) to understand how important community banks are to the economy and the local region. It strikes me such efforts will not only educate, but also encourage, more and more people to support community banks with their business.
As the workplace becomes more mobile, so must the tools to deliver the financial services to business owners and individuals. Clearly, the “new generation of consumers” does everything on their mobile phone. If a bank doesn’t have a mobile app — and a quality mobile offering — I have to believe the bank does not even register to this up and coming audience. In fact, as more Gen X and Gen Y’rs become a more sizable force in terms of total GDP, I’ve heard that one’s mobile banking solutions will be directly proportional to the amount of clients a bank is able to attract and retain.