ABA Banking Journal - November 2013 - (Page 4)

ABA chairman's view BY Jeff Plagge back to the business of banking W "We cannot make our compliance and legislative challenges our customers' problems. If we do, they may fInd another place to do busIness" Jeff PlAgge President and CeO, Northwest financial Corp., arnolds Park, Iowa 4| ABA BANKING JOURNAL | November 2013 hat makes you feel best about being a banker? Is it helping a new business get off the ground? Assisting a first-time homebuyer? Working with a young farmer? It might be financing a new project on Main Street, or helping a new library or hospital become a reality. These are things bankers do every day, and they all boil down to helping others. We help our customers when they have a problem or an opportunity. And we help our communities when we make them better places to live and work. That is the business of banking, and we need to get louder about that message. It's not that we ever stopped lending to, guiding, and helping our customers. But events of the past five years have made the national conversation about banking a negative one. It's time to change that. It's time to get back to the future. Banking is, after all, inherently about building a better future for the communities we serve. Getting back to the business of banking means three things. First, we need to focus on our customers and their needs with a justified sense of optimism. We cannot make our compliance and legislative challenges our customers' problems. If we do, they may find another place to do business. Our employees and our customers like to be around optimistic people, not negative people. Second, getting back to the business of banking means looking at an entirely different competitive landscape and adapting. Relevance is our goal. For example, a new payment system is coming down the track at a high rate of speed, and hundreds of nonbank entities want to move that track in their direction. We must keep it on our rails for the benefit of our customers, our industry, and the security of the banking system. If consumers don't find our payment solutions safe, sound, and simple, we will lose our relevance in their lives, and they will find other solutions. Our customers, especially our younger ones, want convenience on their terms. They won't give us multiple chances to provide it. As an industry, we need to get on board with these changes. Third, getting back to the business of banking means looking to the future of our industry and addressing our challenges with courage. Courage is needed to continue the fight against excessive regulation and unfair competition-with the conviction that we are right and that a united industry can succeed in making things better. Employees, customers, and communities want to work with leaders who have the courage to try new things and put themselves and their leadership on the line for a better tomorrow. Optimism, relevance, and courage are the keys to our industry's future. Embracing these qualities will allow us to thrive, in spite of the challenges we face. Together, they will enable us to get back to the business of banking-a business that, at its heart, is the business of helping others. n

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - November 2013

Chairman's View
Editor's Column
The Economy
Picture This
Bank Notes
Will farmland prices hold up?
Tech Topics
What you do, amplified
Inside Farmer Mac
Meeting the challenge of identity theft
Compliance Clinic
Compliance Inbox
Pass the Aspirin
ABA At Your Service
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - November 2013

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