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From the President & CEO - It’s a New World Out There!
By Nancy Sheppard, WIB President & CEO
Under the “new model” of banking, moving away from CRE concentrations, looking for new non-interest income sources and improving efficiencies seem to be goals for a majority of community banks. It’s clear that finding credit-worthy borrowers is difficult and the cut-throat pricing competition with large banks has many bankers shaking their heads. Innovation and experimentation along with good old-fashioned great execution on a valid value proposition will be required to solve these challenges. WIB’s focus in 2012 is to assist members by helping to shine a light on strategies and tactics to consider. Whether in our educational programs or WIB- Endorsed or WIB Group Purchase Programs, we aim to bring awareness to ways that banks can return to profitability levels that address shareholders’ expectations.
Some of the 2012 educational programs we will bring to you include: trade finance workshops to address the increasing export and import financing needs of businesses in the West; new approaches to get into the SBA and C&I lending market; revisiting leasing as a credit option; and, launching our Relationship Banking Academy and our Business Development Conference, both of which prepare relationship managers to go out and get the business loans and deposits that are the bread and butter of your profits.
One other issue that a large number of banks are addressing is the realization that the mobile marketplace has exploded in the financial services industry and they don’t want to be left behind. Having just attended the Finovate Conference – a product launch event for 50 new technology products in the financial services space – it is truly astonishing to see so many new products that are dramatically changing the way that people and businesses can manage their financial needs. To say that there is a danger that these new technologies will radically change the way the banks are a part of payment systems and financial management are functioning is not, in my opinion, an overstatement. Some products will partner with banks as the payment system, but a product like PersonalCapital.com, which calls itself “wealth management for the Internet Age” offers some amazing tools in a standalone product, with bells and whistles that make it the center of an individual’s financial life – a place that most banks strive to be.
Some programs like PaySmith.com, mShift.com and BusinessIQExpress.com provide a bank the opportunity to add value to their business customers and earn income. Card-linked products allow customers to receive discounts on their smartphones through their debit or credit cards through a partnership with a bank through companies like AffinitySolutions.com, LinkableNetworks.com and EdoInterative.com. Mobile remote deposit capture is making leaps forward through vendors like CachetFinancial.com, with its table cash management features, and MitekSystems.com, which is the platform used by Chase featured in their ads about the ease of taking a photo of your check with your smartphone to deposit it.
And, finally for the CFO or others who must get the dreaded annual budget together, ProfitStars’ launch of their Budget Manager, with special templates for bank budgeting, aims to make this process much easier – and who wouldn’t like that!
WIB will be working with a number of these vendors to bring you information about their technology and programs to our own Conferences, including our Mobile Discovery Workshop and our Education Summit Expo, and perhaps to our slate of WIB Endorsed Programs.
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