In the past few weeks I’ve been looking at a number of forecasts for the year ahead. As you might expect, most point to increased regulation, risk management and improved technologies. Mobile banking, ‘big data’ and the future of branching are equally hot topics.
But as I think about 2013 and the realities of widespread industry consolidation, I would simply invite you to keep these three things on your radar screen as you make choices for the new year and beyond:
- Your Market – The way I see it, you are leaving money on the table if you are not taking action on the shifts in your market. Merger and acquisition activity should accelerate by 2nd quarter, changing the competitive landscape of many markets. In those markets, there is opportunity, not just for buyers and sellers, but for the focused institutions who have a complete understanding of their market and the preferences of disaffected customers.
- Your Customer – The way I see it, you should stop waiting for customers to walk through the door of your branch. The year 2013 promises the continued decline in branch foot traffic and a rapid decline in teller transactions. What are you doing to re-invent the branch experience for your customer? How will you develop a new purpose for that bricks and mortar investment? Understanding customer usage of your delivery channels is a critical element in future investment decisions.
- Your Culture – The way I see it, many institutions (by necessity) have spent the last four years confronting recessionary and regulatory challenges, while leaving issues of workplace culture for another time. That time has now arrived. Employee behaviors, not just customer behaviors, are shifting and 2013 will be about building a passionate, committed workforce across multiple generations.
Keep your eye on these three areas and you’ll stay on target for profitability in the New Year.
And keep your eye on our blog. Our posting has been a little quiet here in recent months, but there is a lot of great information to share in the weeks ahead – and we appreciate your continued interest, your comments and your feedback.