Jeff For Banks

Diseconomies of Scale

August 2, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

Have you ever driven on a highway by yourself and forget, if even momentarily, the highway you were on and where you were going? I hope most of you answered yes or I have to make a doctor’s appointment. The same sensation you feel for that split second while driving is, at times, what I […]


The Folly of Peer Groups

July 24, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

A bank CEO once told me that peer groups get you to that lazy place. He was referring to being mediocre. Yet we continue to use peer groups in banking to guide us to where we want to go. I am not against peer groups. My company uses them to determine where a company is […]


Real Estate: Love it or hate it?

June 24, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

Economists and government officials continue to cite lack of lending activity as a key contributor to our economic malaise. At the same time, I keep hearing from bankers about the lack of credit-worthy borrowers and regulatory pressure regarding the quality of the bank loan portfolio. I am also seeing a rise in bank cash positions […]


Branch Math: To branch or not to branch?

June 18, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

Opinions are wide and varied on the subject of branching. Trends indicate that more customers are using electronic means to interface with their bank and are visiting branches much less. However, customer surveys continue to favor branch locations as a critical factor in determining where to bank. In the mid 1990’s, many industry professionals feared […]


Book Report: Being Strategic by Erika Andersen

June 13, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

A The Elizabethtown Public Library should send me Christmas cards because I don’t seem to be able to read a book in the allotted time. This generates late fees, manna from heaven for a public library. What it also does is force me to choose the books I read wisely because I don’t read as […]


A Few Good Commercial Lenders

June 5, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

My boss loosens up strategic planning retreats with funny stories and anecdotes. Below is one of my favorites. The commercial lender’s part is played by Jack Nicholson and the finance part is played by Tom Cruise from A Few Good Men. If you haven’t seen the movie or don’t remember the sequence, I have it […]


Be all that you can be.

May 29, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

Banking’s largest investment is in its people. I have recently written about how critical our people are to the bank’s success. Executives often lament to me about the lack of quality, experienced bankers in the marketplace. They recall fondly the days when large banks would put recent college graduates through management trainee programs, credit schools, […]


An open letter to bank marketers…

May 22, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

Change is difficult. Consider the difficulty in changing our own behaviors. A friend of mine that runs fitness clubs on Florida’s Gold Coast told me that it can be more effective to increase weight training in my workout regiment if I want to shed some pounds because muscle burns calories. This required me to rethink […]


Oysters and Pearls. Banking’s biggest challenge: Our people.

May 17, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

There is a lot more focus on bank strategy today than at any time over my career. Some of it is regulatory driven, as banks that do not have a strategic plan are being criticized in their exams. So, there I sit, facilitating strategic planning sessions where board members and senior managers dream up the […]


Is the pie getting smaller?

May 7, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

I have what I consider a very astute friend. He’s a relatively young guy (in his 40’s), and seems to be very smart with his money. I perceive him as being a very good bank customer. When he told me he does a family balance sheet every year, he piqued my interest. I asked if […]