ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015 - (Page 10)
> CHAIRMAN'S VIEW
BY JOHN A. IKARD
THIS TIME THREE years ago-when I was first elected an ABA officer-Google
Wallet was only a year old, Uber and Lyft were "just getting off the ground," and
Apple Pay was not even a rumor. 2012 was also the year that another famous
disruptor, AirBnB, hit its stride and the average price of gas hit an all-time high
of $3.60 a gallon.
Typically such "I remember when"
recollections only make sense after a
good chunk of time has passed. But
with today's rapid pace of change, a
look back over the dramatic changes
that have taken place in just the
past three years yields plenty to
talk about. It also drives home the
point that the so called good old
days and good old ways of doing
things are "good and gone."
That includes banking. Thanks to
"disruptors," increased competition
and an unprecedented number of
new regulations, our industry has
faced monumental change in the past
five years. You don't survive what we
have since the financial crisis and go
back to the way things were before.
Some changes are permanent.
In fact, I have no doubt that the
way banks will make money in the
future is different from the way we
have made it in the past. This can be
usually is. But in my time as an ABA
officer, I have had the opportunity
(for which I am extremely grateful)
to meet hundreds of the men and
women who lead our nation's banks.
And the vast majority of them are
more than up for the challenge.
ABA BANKING JOURNAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015
Yes, they have concerns about the
trend line in bank regulation. And
I agree that it is unsustainable. In
fact, the volume and details of rules
coming from Washington is redefining
banking as much as technology and
disruptors are. You may have heard
me say before that I've lost more
money with a stroke of the pen in
Washington than I ever did with a
business decision. But by and large
the vast majority of bankers are
committed to working through the
challenges and finding a new path for
their institutions. That's leadership.
Their attitude is one of "I'm going
to go out there and compete and
be successful." I have found this
optimism incredibly energizing and
essential to our future success.
Strong leadership in banking or
any industry today starts with an
awareness that nobody is safe.
Change can upend any of us if we
aren't always asking, "How do I
stay relevant?" And answering that
question requires us to always put our
customers first. I know my kids-all in
their 20s-have different expectations
of a bank than I do. To them, good
customer service is a mobile app that
always works. I like the convenience
of an app, too, but also want to make
sure there's a person I can talk to
if something goes wrong. That's
where banks have a real advantage.
I started my year as chairman
celebrating the ways America's
banks have innovated to serve
customers better and remain
relevant over the past two centuries.
That's not just in the past-such
innovation and reinvention is still
happening. You can find examples
of it in the pages of this issue-
and any other publication that
covers our dynamic industry.
Our goal as bankers should always
be to stay relevant to our customers
while staying true to who we
really are. We don't need to act
like hipsters to attract millennials.
We just need to deliver the goods
they want and the way they went
to get them. And yet we must
do it in a way that preserves our
most fundamental promise: that
their money is safe with us.
So don't let the headlines
about "disruption" intimidate
you. But do let them inspire
you to keep developing new
ways to serve the needs of your
customers and communities.
By keeping our industry's
pioneering spirit alive, you'll keep
banking's future bright.
JOHN A. IKARD is outgoing ABA chairman
and president and CEO of FirstBank Holding
Company in Lakewood, Colo.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015
A Conversation With the Comptroller
Cover Story Doing the Right Thing
Big Data and Predictive Analytics: A Big Deal, Indeed
Stress Testing: Feeling the Pressure?
ABA Compliance Center Inbox
Cybersecurity Self-Assessment Tool Helps Combat Risk
Real Estate Lending
Banker Recommended Reading
From the States
Corporate Social Responsibility
Index of Advertisers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015