Bankers: Are We Passing On The Tough Decisions?

“One of our problems is our long-term employees”, said a banker to me. I have heard this so often that it probably applies to a significant percentage of Jeff For Banks readers. In an era of unprecedented industry change, if your employees embrace change like a cat embraces water, you might have a Problem.

In my life, I have experience in two industries: banking and the US military. Well, I’ve also been in the newspaper business (paper boy), a top chef (Mickey Dee’s), gasoline distribution (Hess boy), and food service (college caf worker). But I wouldn’t exactly call a job designed to earn beer money or to bolster my eight track tape collection experiences worth reflecting on. Note the paper boy gig was not for beer money.

Banks are more worried whilst Google is NOT a bank

I received one interesting comment about Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA) and co getting into banking from one bank: why would they?

His response was based upon the fact that he’s more worried about Google when they’re not a bank than when they are one.

“If they bought a bank – let’s say they acquired Citibank – then this would be good news”, he said, “because that would kill them.”

Google would become stuck with compliance, audit and integration issues and would be dragged down like all banks are.
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Lessons from Borders, Blockbuster and Blackberry

Banks today find themselves in uncomfortable comparable positions to the failed giants Borders, Blockbuster and Blackberry.

Nobody believed David would beat Goliath until he did. Today, with an innovative strategy, the right timing and strong execution, nearly any upstart company has the potential to be David and de-throne the giant in their market. For banks, the long-standing Goliaths of the financial world, responding to small, scrappy startups and to the needs of an increasingly tech-savvy customer base is paramount to their continued success.
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Who is next to break into banking?

In the last three years Tesco, Virgin Money and Metro Bank have entered the banking market as challengers to the big four UK banks – HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and RBS. With customer trust in banks at all-time low following recent financial crises, does the banking arena need more new entrants and what differentiators do they have to offer?
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How many banks are driving blind?

Building on yesterday’s chat about London versus Europe, there’s more to this than initially meets the eye, as it’s also Europe versus Banks.

That’s the real thing here, and it’s a political agenda rather than a market based one.

The politicians are all conscious of their short tenure in their parliamentary seats and want to reach out to their voters by showing a strong political stance against the banking system.

Knowing that their supporters are driven by the media to believe that all bankers are greedy, arrogant pigs, they do not care too much if they flagellate the industry publicly.

This certainly seems to be the position the Eurocrats take, and it’s why the UK has the problem but, as mentioned, so do the banks.
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Banking on What Makes Sense

Having an effective growth strategy is essential for any financial institution to remain successful. Nowhere is that more apparent than at First Community Bank in Clinton, Ky. According to Cheryl Hartsell, the bank’s vice president of operations, First Community Bank has found its niche in doing what makes sense for the bank and its customers.

“We stay aware of what’s happening technology-wise in the marketplace, and when we find something that makes sense—something that’s good for our customers and community—we act on it,” Hartsell says.
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