Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 16

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Business Banking and the Berks
On the heels of a contentious
presidential election and record-setting
stock indexes, we decided to reach out to
our banking community for some local
perspectives on the economic forecast
and thoughts for what business owners
and home owners might anticipate as we
move through 2017. Our questions and
their answers are provided herein.
We should note, however,
these answers were all
Gary Moyer, Executive Vice President,
received by early February.
Chief Lending Officer, Tompkins VIST

1. Do you see confidence
growing in Business
Borrowing for growth and
expansion for 2017 and,
if so, why and where?

2. Do you believe Inflation
is an immediate risk
and, if so, how will it
affect borrowing rates
for business owners
and general consumers,
and what's your
general outlook on a
corresponding return to
higher savings rates?
3. With GDP ramping
up and unemployment
low, do you see this as
an inflationary risk or a
growth opportunity, and
why?

Customers and others I've spoken to are conveying a
sense of optimism, which is probably due to the new
administration's talk of instituting some stimulation
policies, such as investment in infrastructure. This
has lifted the general mood, especially in the
construction and related industries. So while I
think confidence is perhaps too strong a word, area
businesses appear to be feeling optimistic that things
will start to move soon.
The Fed has indicated its intention to raise the fed
funds rate to 3% over several years in order to get
things back to a normal rate environment. Since
they plan to do this in a slow and controlled way, I
don't see inflation as a big concern. In fact, a rise in
interest rates could spur economic growth, because
people and businesses may decide to borrow before
the next increase occurs. We're already seeing this in
the real estate market. In terms of savings accounts,
we will see rates increase slowly over time, and this
will start to reward savers.
While the unemployment rate is low, the growth
in good paying jobs hasn't materialized yet. But we
need the GDP to grow, so as long as the ramp-up is
smooth, the risk of inflation should be controlled.

4. What changes would you
like to see under the new
administration in regards
to consumer regulations
and the Consumer Finance
Protection Bureau, and
how would that have
positive impacts for
business growth and
development?

An increase in regulations was expected after the
economic crisis of 2008. But while the intent was
well-meaning, the result was more rules, which have
placed a burden on many businesses and consumers.
As bankers, we believe that some regulations are
necessary to assure fairness and proper oversight.
But we also believe that some rollback is necessary
for economic growth.

5. What areas of the local
economy present the best
opportunities for growth
for your organization
going forward, and why?

As a community bank, we serve a wide range
of businesses rather than focusing on particular
industries. The privately-held or family-owned
companies that are prevalent in Berks and
surrounding counties are our specialty, and we
believe we've been successful in filling their needs.

6. What is your financial
institution's ideal business
client type/profile?

Our business customers range from small
manufacturers and agricultural operations to
law and accounting firms. For us it's a question
of understanding the clients' needs and the
communities in which they operate. We've found
that our ideal customers are those who want to build
a relationship with a bank that offers personalized
service and local decision-making.

16 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SPRING 2017

Bill Long, Admin. Vice President of
Corporate Banking, M & T Bank

For the first time since early 2015 we are seeing signs of improvement
in those industries which have not participated in the real estate
industry resurgence. Overall I think the confidence level has risen
albeit somewhat delayed by the long election process. We see
backlogs at high level for real estate-related businesses and growing
backlogs in other industries as well. The visibility for 2017 is good.

Inflation has not been nor do we see inflation an issue unless you
consider the continuing health care costs rising as a continuing
problem for people and business. Higher savings interest rates
are very positive for the economy as low rates, in many people's
opinion, have dampened consumer spending. Frankly a moderate
rise in the currently depressed commodity prices would be bullish
and welcome for a significant number of businesses. As always,
everything in moderation.
The absolute level of rates is still low and any rises will be measured
with growth in the economy. Businesses continue to make decisions
based on opportunity with interest expense typically not a very large
part of the equation. Clearly, the real estate industry would be most
impacted by further rate increases.
Clearly there has been a rise in wages as shortages of skilled workers
have increased competition for talent. At this point the rise in wages
is good for the economy but while we hope wages will continue to
rise, productivity must also ultimately rise or the wage gains will
prove unsustainable over time. We must continue to invest in our
schools and youth and build continuing awareness about the great
job opportunities and careers that currently exist and having people
properly trained in the skills most needed.
There is sometimes a lack of coordination among different
agencies. Post-crisis regulation conferred new powers and created
new governing bodies. Each agency is attempting to administer
and exercise its granted authority. However, various regulatory
organizations can have different criteria for assessing the same issue.
A measure of improved coordination could help in reducing some
of the unnecessary duplicative work needed to fulfill regulatory
requests, and free up resources to make faster progress in reforming
the system, allowing for a rebalancing of our responsibilities toward
serving our customers.
Having a very diversified client base in terms of industries served
has allowed us to benefit from areas of strength which arise from
time to time. While real estate has been especially strong locally and
continues so, we have seen much more activity in assisting strategic
decisions at relationships.
Because of our capabilities, proven experience and size we are able
to accomplish significant strategic transactions which accomplish
ownership's goals. We see strategic activity (sales of companies,
acquisitions and recapitalizations) increasing because of competitive
issues as well as the aging of ownership in many industries.
We continue to focus on the ownership and leadership of companies
that have a firm strategic view and objectives of the business and a
team within the organization that can accomplish those objectives.
Our continuing focus is having relationships with great people and
their businesses.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017

Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 1
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 2
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 3
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 4
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 5
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 6
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 7
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 8
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 9
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 10
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 11
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 12
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 13
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 14
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 15
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 16
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 17
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 18
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 19
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 20
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 21
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 22
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 23
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 24
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 25
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 26
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 27
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 28
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 29
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 30
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 31
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 32
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 33
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 34
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 35
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 36
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 37
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 38
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 39
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 40
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 41
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 42
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 43
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 44
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 45
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 46
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 47
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Spring 2017 - 48
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com