Launching a print-and-online series on the future of your bank, and your job
WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY BANK OF THE FUTURE GOING TO LOOK LIKE?”
This question came as a group of bankers gathered around a conference table in early May. They had spent the morning sharing angst. Then they decided to look forward. An Ohio banker said:
I intend my bank to have a future on the other side of this “Valley of the Shadow of Death” we’re all facing. So do you all.
So, what are we going to look like?
How will we appeal to today’s young people, who never go into banks, who think “good service” means a reliable WiFi connection; the latest iPhone; an online banking site, or, better yet, a killer mobile banking app; and debit and prepaid cards? How do we stay relevant?
Shortly after that conversation (ABA BJ was sitting in), we presented it online as the lead-in to a speculative “op-ed”-style article about what banks could learn from Apple Stores. Thousands of bankers have visited www.ababj.com to read the article (speedlink: www.bitly.com/cbankfuture), and we’ve had insightful comments posted by community bankers, some younger bank customers, a noted consultant, and others.
What we’re doing
In the wake of the Dodd-Frank Act and as banks come out of the recession, we ask:
• Does the look, function, and reason for being of the community bank office have to evolve? To what? (This month’s column looks at one example.)
• Does the customer base evolve?
• Does the business mix evolve or migrate?
• How does the community bank push personal service into cyberspace and the mobile world?
• Must compliance and other support costs be the boat anchor that drags banks down and out? Or are the imaginative ways to share such costs?
Nothing is assumed. Everything is up for grabs and for rethinking.
It’s your future.
Where we’re doing it
You’ll see “Community Bank of the Future” articles in this magazine, but stories won’t only be there. Like the Apple Store article, some will be online. We’ll be looking at structures, strategies, tools, new models, and people. Keep up with this by reading ABA BJ and reading alerts to new postings in ABA Banking Journal Report, our free weekly e-letter. (Subscribe at www.ababj.com/e-newsletters.html)
What you can do with us
No one size fits all. We want to hear from bankers. When articles appear online, post a comment. When they appear in print, send your thoughts in a letter to Editor-in-Chief
or myself, or send an e-mail. (Count on us publishing them.) (ABA Banking Journal, 345 Hudson St., Suite 12, New York, NY 10014)
But don’t wait just to react. Tell us now what your bank is trying and thinking.
—Steve Cocheo, exec. editor,