Please Stop Saying That

Yes, most community bankers are rightly concerned about the future of their business model – and the increasing compliance burden that is driving more than a few to think about selling. And the predictions that the number of community banks will shrink is an important and effective message for our legislators to hear as they debate regulatory measures. However, the continued emphasis on this message has drawn too much media attention and may ultimately hasten the demise of some community banks.

Why? Guess who else is picking up on this message – your customers and prospects.

I recently conducted a number of focus groups attended by small business owners and retail customers and guess what – they also worry about the future of community banks. They worry that their favorite bank, the one they trust, won’t be around in a few years.

And they remember what a hassle it was to move their relationship to their current bank, and how painful it was the last time their favorite bank was bought by someone else and all the changes that ensued.

Net result? Smart, bankable business owners and consumers are thinking that the adage “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is even more applicable today – as they spread their banking across more banks. And when they do think about moving their primary relationship, they’re considering, even as they shudder, the “too big to fail” options – because they think those banks will be around for the long haul.

So stop predicting the consolidation and demise of community banks where business owners and consumers can hear you – because they are listening.

Features, benefits and quarter inch holes
Don't Be An Alice

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