Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Banker Quotes: As Told to Me v2

I learn a lot from bankers 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. Below are selected quotes that I tweeted this year along with my brief insights or background regarding the comment.

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 bankers anonymously to protect the innocent.

@JeffMarsico Bank attorney to me: "The only thing worse than training an employee and having them leave, is not training them and having them stay."

jfb note: I'm not sure if this was original, and I find it odd that an attorney said it. But this attorney is also an ordained minister... an interesting fellow to say the least. The context was a discussion surrounding how community banks used to pilfer previously trained employees of large banks. Once those training programs went away, community banks never filled the void.

@JeffMarsico Bank COO to me: "We must install headphones on our ATMs so visually impaired people can drive up and use them."

jfb note: Think about that for a moment. There should be a common sense-o-meter that sounds the alarm in every office where banking laws and regulations are made.

@JeffMarsico Community bank head of retail: "The transitional branch model will be to acquire consolidated branch buildings and get them open cheaply."

jfb note: This was said in a strategic planning retreat. The transition is from current branches and future branches. Much is being debated about the future role of branches. I think the guiding principle should be: nobody knows and be skeptical of those that claim to.

@JeffMarsico Bank fund manager to me: "Our investment criteria is great management teams, in great markets, with great core deposit franchises."

jfb note: This fund focuses on under $10B in assets community banks. This is his opinion of value creation. It may not agree with yours. But he has hundreds of millions to invest.

@JeffMarsico Bank COO: "We've stopped playing 'let's make a deal' with CD-only customers."

jfb note: Transitioning funding sources into core deposits hasn't been particularly difficult in this low interest rate environment. The true test of this COO's philosophy will happen when rates rise.

@JeffMarsico Behavioral psychologist: "When you pay people enough, they are motivated by autonomy, mastery & purpose."

jfb note: I would agree with the statement. But I doubt there is agreement on the definition of "enough".

@JeffMarsico Bank Chief Risk Officer: "Regulators focus is slowly moving from credit to data security."

jfb note: Data security may very well be the next great banking crisis. I can't help but wonder if those evil geniuses intent on hacking financial systems would dedicate themselves to doing good, they can make a pretty good living. They still can sit at home without showering.

@JeffMarsico CU CFO to me: "We installed a remote teller in one of our branches and customers refused to use it. We had to uninstall it."

jfb note: Remote teller stations, where the actual person is on a screen and transactions are accomplished through ATM-like or suction tubes, are getting a lot of buzz. I think I've been around banking enough to be skeptical of buzz. How about you?

@JeffMarsico TD Bank CEO: "Americans get almost as much pleasure out of crushing an opponent as winning."

jfb note: Ok, this one wasn't told to me in person but I read it. I think the Canadians might be on to something. I wish he got the message to Osama bin Laden earlier.

@JeffMarsico CU CFO to me: "Because we have low balance accounts and a no fee culture, we need to leverage technology to lower costs."

jfb note: Common sense that, occasionally, needs to be said, and tweeted.

@JeffMarsico Bank director: "A loan participation transfers risk from one who lacks courage to one who lacks knowledge."

jfb note: Said in a board meeting where the bank's senior lender was proposing plugging a budget gap in loan production with participations. Ever try to collect on a loan gone sour that was originated by the bank in the next town over?

@JeffMarsico Bank CEO: "Our examiners were simultaneously examining us and interviewing for OCC jobs, which can't be a good thing."

jfb note: Wonder what agency examined this bank?  Hmmm?

What interesting things are you hearing out there?

~ Jeff

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