Jeff For Banks

Banker Quotes As Told To Me v8

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 a fraction of their tweet stream, and so many of my blog readers do not follow Twitter, below are selected quotes that I tweeted since version 7.

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.  Bank CFO: The amount of money I hear over $10B banks spend prepping for CFPB exams is ridiculous.
Soon we will forget that the CFPB was established so that bankers don’t take advantage of borrowers that lacked common sense. It is morphing into what many were predicting, a bureaucratic black hole that will provide no societal benefit, just cost.

2.  Bank CEO: Regulatory risk weights are BS. It takes me three years to foreclose on a house. I could repossess a car in a week.
States think they are protecting borrowers by making it difficult for lenders to foreclose on the homes of borrowers that stop paying their mortgage. Who pays the increased cost? Think about it.

3. Bank CFO: Our commercial line of credit utilization rate is in the low 40% range.
One of the reasons that loan growth is not robust in an economic recovery.

4. Bank head of HR: Lack of writing skills is an epidemic. How do these people get degrees?

I double checked my grammar on this post. No guarantees though.

5. Bank retail exec: Customers interact with our website more than they interact with all of our branches combined.

My marketing friends know this. But what to do about it?

6. Bank retail exec: Customer retention in our closed branches was somewhere in the 90’s.

If you could keep 90% of your customers when you close a branch, I wonder what math justifies keeping the expense? Perhaps if the branch is growing in a vibrant market, it would make sense. But in a mature market with little branch growth? Hmmm.
7. Bank CEO: Lending has forever changed when the borrower took the position “yeah I borrowed the money but it’s not my fault.”

People speak of going bankrupt in casual conversation. It used to be embarrassing. When walking away from debts, somebody does pay. 
8. Bank chief risk officer: We want to do the right thing (re mortgages), but with more than 1,600 pages of regs, we’re not sure what right is.

The complexity in the mortgage market was primarily driven by Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam is sending in the CFPB to fix it. Wonder how that will turn out?

9. Bank Chairman: There are no sacred cows except for the sacred cows.

Does self-interest slow down progress in community FIs?

10. Bank CEO: Moving forward, it’s not business as usual, but business as planned.

So long as the plan works towards a competitive advantage.

11. Bank CEO: Your speech was good. Your wife is hot.

Was that faint praise for my speech?

12.  Me to bank exec: What do you do that you wish you didn’t have to do? Exec: Talk to consultants. #ouch

It’s the only way to end up in my blog.

13. Bank CEO: The more our bankers know how to run a bank, the more successful they will be because they understand the decisions made.

Communicating strategy through the ranks… what a great concept!

14. Bank director: A customer should have confidence that the banker sitting across the desk from them can get things done for them.
Are your bankers empowered to get things done for the customer? Or does a “no mistakes” unwritten policy make them call around the organization to make decisions?

15. Bank compliance officer to me: New lending regs have almost crippled us.

Didn’t see that coming.

16. Bank CEO: Bigger isn’t better. Better is better.

This CEO clearly needs to drink the investment bankers’ Kool Aid.

17.  Me to bank director: I was so bad at picking bank stocks that my wife made me clear them through her. Director: And you’re advising us?
Fair point.

What are you hearing out there?

~ Jeff