In a country where it’s more in vogue to disagree rather than to agree, I find it very easy to agree with the comments made by Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan, in a recent Wall Street Journal article.
While I disagree with Mr. Dimon’s name calling, as a former banker, I do concur that bankers need to find a way work together as one industry rather than pitting one bank against another.
Some may consider size to matter—community banks vs. regional, top-tier banks vs. regional and/or community banks—but to me, one fact is clear: all banks, no matter what their size, are intertwined at the hip. The world of banking is small in many ways, whether by lending to one other, the mobility of talent between banks, or the frequent interchange of services.
While blame may be rightfully placed on the biggest banks for their role in 2008’s financial meltdown, others are starting to point fingers at small banks for creating a potentially new financial bubble with subprime auto loans.
Personally, I am tired of all the open bickering and name calling. It has truly become part of the culture rather than an exception.
A month ago, I talked to the chairman of a local community bank and all I heard were complaints about other banks. Midway through our conversation, I brought up how banks should partner on certain issues, but that fell on deaf ears. The conversation almost immediately reverted to the competitive and predatory practices of other banks.
A common issue that faces banks of all sizes is the monumental challenge of being a bank in today’s financial environment. Successfully serving the public is challenge enough. Then toss in government regulations, unprecedentedly low interest rates, and a demanding client base that always wants more.
Seems to me a common partnership would be a better solution—pointing out all the good that banking does at all levels—rather than stressing what competitive banks don’t offer.
My advice: all bankers to come together, shoulder to shoulder, and act sensibly—as one voice and one industry. Until that day comes, Mr. Dimon, keep voicing your opinion loud and clear. I listened, and others will too.
Co-founder Peter Forsgren presented yesterday and was a panelist during the:
“Current State of Banking Technologies” session at the National GFOA Annual Conference in Toronto.
We hope you were able to see it! If not, we’ve posted our presentation online you can find it here.
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