Jeff For Banks

In Banking, Soft Skills Remain Blah, Blah, Blah

Weakness: Middle Management. I hear this often. Why is it so common in community banks? I have opinions. Peter Principle is alive and well in banking. We elevate superior performers in their functional position to leadership positions to which they are ill prepared. We promote them to the level of ineffectiveness. But that doesn’t mean […]


Bank Branches: A New Model

This design or that design. Digital, pods, low square footage. All the talk around the branch of the future is about design, staff levels, square footage, and technology.  Yet the people that carry balances, the boomers and older, can’t figure out where to go when they come in for a teller transaction. And the younger […]


How To Do Product Management Without Product Profitability

Quick answer: I don’t know. I posited this question on Twitter because product management has come up during various financial institution strategic planning sessions. I also don’t know of many new banking products since I’ve been in the business. See my post on that subject here from nearly two years ago. But product management is […]


Why Did Oritani Sell for No Premium?

On June 25th, Oritani Financial Corp (ORIT) common stock closed at $16.21 per share. The next day they announced they were selling to Valley National Corp. for $16.29 per share. Virtually no premium. And less than ORIT traded one year ago. Why? I was not part of the discussions regarding the transaction, and am not […]


If We’re Serious About Helping Clients, What About These Two Products?

With all of the automation of financial products, one would think managing finances would be simple. Much more so than when our grandparents saved for the coal delivery in an envelope in the night stand. My focus today is on consumer banking. Which is becoming more challenging for the community financial institution due to heavy […]


Is It Customer Loyalty That You Seek?

Why are customers loyal to your financial institution? I hear many reasons in strategic planning sessions: 1. Our people. They are loyal to their lender, branch manager, etc. 2. Our service. We have the best service! 3. Our products. We have a really cool checking product. 4. Our location. We’re right in town. Aside from […]


Bankers: Is It Worth Buying Checking Accounts

At least somebody noticed. Noticed that I might be a valuable checking account customer. Aside from credit cards, I don’t get much attention from bankers or financial advisors. Maybe the “do not call” list is more effective than I thought? So when I opened my mailbox and received the bribe, I was interested. Interested to […]


The Real Benefits of Intelligent Automation

Fifty percent. That was the odds I gave myself when calling my health insurance firm regarding changing my date of birth. Fifty percent chance I could get this done in one phone call and a reasonable period of time. Isn’t that sad? It did take 15 minutes to get the relatively simple task done. Making […]


Bank Brand Value: Calculated!

I ask and ask and ask: what does brand get you? Does it get you pricing power, shorter sales cycles, better employees, more loyal customers? Or does it get you increased expenses without measurable results? Forbes calculated brand value in their “World’s Most Valuable Brands” by taking anything that a company achieves over an 8% […]


The Untapped Value of Brand in Banking

“Our money is the same as the bank’s down the street.” And so were the Uber cars in my recent trips to Los Angeles and Nashville. But something was different. Something that immediately made me feel better about being in Nashville than LA. And my wife nailed it: “the Uber drivers were so much friendlier.” […]