Jeff For Banks

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 […]


The social responsibility of banks is to increase profits.

March 13, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

When Milton Friedman penned his 1970 editorial in the New York Times regarding the social responsibility of business, there was much political upheaval against government and business by the newly enlightened hippie-set. His conclusion remains true, however, as much then as now: business has no social responsibility except to maximize profits within the laws and […]


Is the bank sales culture gone wild?

March 10, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

A few weeks ago, a nice woman from Sovereign Bank called our home with news that, based on our relationship with the bank, we were pre-approved for a home equity loan. The problem… my wife and I don’t bank at Sovereign. They called for our twenty year old daughter who had a checking account with […]


Quotes from my quote locker…

March 7, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

I collect quotes from a variety of sources to remind me of knowledge imparted to me by smart people. Since my memory is relatively weak, I subscribe to the theory that those that forget history are bound to repeat it. So my quote database is a compendium of reminders of historical facts or events that, […]


Have we checked out of business banking?

March 3, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

Alex Pollack, a resident fellow at The American Enterprise Institute, had a sobering editorial in the March 3, 2010 American Banker. The context of his commentary was on the bubble that burst in the residential real estate market, and the more methodical decline in commercial real estate. He rattled off sobering facts: fifty five percent […]


Wal-Mart Bank is flying under the radar.

March 1, 2010 | Jeff For Banks

I’m writing this post sitting in my car while my 11 year old warms up for a soccer match in Richmond, Virginia. Readers with children that participate in sports know too well of the gaps in time during weekend tournaments. Yesterday, to kill time, we roamed the aisles of the local Wal-Mart. This store was […]