Jeff For Banks

Banker Quotes: As Told To Me v6

I learn a lot from bankers and industry experts as I visit their offices, speak to them on the phone or at industry events. Occasionally they will offer an insight that I think my Twitter followers would find interesting. Since I estimate my Twitter community only reads about 10% of their tweet stream, and so many of my blog readers do not follow Twitter, below are selected quotes that I tweeted since version 5.

Note that if the quotes exceeded 140 characters, I would have abbreviated or substituted some words to make them fit. So if you are a CPA and want to count, a few of the quotes may exceed the 140 here, but not on Twitter. I quote people anonymously to protect the innocent.

1. Me to bank CEO: How many customers left as a result of you consolidating a branch? CEO: 3.


If this bank’s experience becomes typical, I see little reason to keep branches that have not proven to generate at least $25 million in deposits.

2. Bank CEO: Bloomberg says the duration of a 30 yr mortgage is 8-10 yrs. We think it’s 29.5 years.


Not many borrowers will be running to refi their 3.5% mortgage any time soon.

3. Bank examiner: We’re focusing on the interest rate risk from bankers reaching for yield.

Duly noted.

4. Bank Exec: The mortgage business only has a 30-day business plan.

Ever speak to the head of a mortgage origination shop? You wold be lucky to get them to think beyond the current pipeline.

5. Bank SVP: the mortgage lending business is like a shark. You have to keep swimming to breath.

And by the way, if Dodd-Frank tried to weed out bad actors in this market and put bankers back in the business, think again. D-F erected barriers to entry that makes it very difficult for your branch manager to talk to you about a mortgage.

6. Bank CEO: “You gotta have a dream. You may not realize it, but you gotta have one.” Amen!

This is an emphatic statement about vision. Do you have a vision about where your FI is going that is clear, and resonates throughout the organization? This banker does.


7. Bank CEO: I get a lot of my financial industry updates from LinkedIn. 


Maybe social media is happening outside of the Marketing Department.

8. Bank branch construction firm CEO: The most common branch build remains 3,000-3,500 sq ft. Me: *sigh*

Old habits die hard. At least we won’t have all the environmental problems that old closed down gas stations have when our branch is long empty and weeds are coming up through the parking lot cracks.

9. Bank CEO: Our current strategy is to satisfy the OCC.

What is the vision for your FI? Compliance? There’s a sure thing for an enduring future. It should be noted that this bank was under a regulatory order.

10. CU Exec: We spend 30% of our time doing the right thing & 70% of our time documenting that we did the right thing.

How do you calculate that cost, Mr. Regulator?

11. Bank President: The government is intent on making banking a not for profit business. 

I thought the government was here to help?

12. Bank CEO: I’m currently a development loan workout specialist.

Two things to note here: 1) Development loans were the worst for most FI’s during this recession, and 2) Lenders were generally terrible at working out their own credits.

13. Bank CEO: We do things better AND get better pricing.

I must admit I hit bankers hard on this issue in strategy sessions. I’m convinced Best Price & Best Service is not a sustainable business strategy.

14. Bank Analyst: The CEO is past the age where he should be home watching The Price Is Right.

This is a legitimate industry challenge. CEO’s that hang on well past retirement age may think that there is nobody to do it as well as they did. Which is unfortunate. Because we need future leaders to do it differently.

15. NJ Banker and West Pointer Norm Beatty quotes Stonewall Jackson: “Never take counsel of your fear.”

Amen Norm. Bring on the change!


What are you hearing out there?

~ Jeff


Note: To get banker/industry quotes as I hear them, follow me on Twitter @JeffMarsico