Jeff For Banks

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 […]


Book Review: The True Leader by Jamie Marsico

May 2, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

A+ I enjoy reading books, both fiction and non-fiction. When I read a book related to banking and I perceive it as a “B” grade or better, I’ll tell you about it here in my blog. This is an exception. The True Leader has no relation to banking. To those blog readers expecting my humble […]


“Without vision, the people perish.”

April 24, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

Is it not politically correct to quote the Bible? There, I did it anyway. The title of this post was lifted from the Book of Proverbs. Bankers must not be Bible readers. Clearly, most banks’ vision is to be “just another bank”. Right? Vision clarifies the kind of bank you want to be. It is […]


You call yourself a brand manager?

April 17, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

The Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Valley Forge rest stop is a common waypoint for me on my travels. This week, I stopped and bought a 12oz cup of coffee from the Starbucks kiosk… cost: $1.69. Curious, I moved 10 feet to my right and asked the helpful Burger King clerk the price of a 12oz cup of […]


Does banking have too many balance sheet managers?

April 11, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

When you are the CEO of a very large financial institution, managing the balance sheet of the bank probably occupies a very large amount of your time. You may be four to seven levels from customer contact personnel, except for possibly the very large customers. But if you are the CEO of a community bank, […]


Community Bank History: Peoples National Bank, Hallstead, Pennsylvania

April 4, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

Community banks tout themselves as better than national and regional banks because of how close they are to their communities. Pundits, including myself, have been critical that our industry has moved away from this model in pursuit of growth to many communities, where they end up being another bank IN the community, rather than THE […]


Deposits: Do you want a relationship or fries with that?

March 28, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

Regulators have been particularly harsh to those banks whose business plans call for other-than-traditional deposit acquisition. If your bank has brokered deposits, Internet deposits, jumbo CDs, rewards checking, and in some cases CDARs, a regulator near you may be calling to order you to seek more traditional funding. This line of reasoning centers on cost […]


Community Involvement: Good investment or waste of time?

March 25, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

A bank CEO at a strategic planning retreat opined: it is far more productive to implement a disciplined calling effort than to attend community events. Yet community involvement continues to be cited by community financial institutions as something that distinguishes them from large banks. Who is right? In its most basic form such as deciding […]


Best Branch: Incentives that count

March 22, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

I recently read, and subsequently reviewed (see post link below), The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence. In that book, the authors cited FirstMerit Bank as an example of a financial institution that implements Nordstrom-like tenets throughout their company. One concept mentioned was a competition for Best Branch. This got me thinking of how community […]


Book Report: The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence

March 18, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

B+ This book was written by: 1) an author that is on the speaking circuit regarding the Nordstrom Way; and 2) a former long-term Nordstrom employee. So in terms of expertise on how the famous department store serves customers to drive sales, these guys have it. I have spoken and written about how banks lack […]