By Lindsey R. Pinkham
Whatever happened to the summer doldrums? When I first read about the proposed merger of the American Bankers Association and America’s Community Bankers, I had two immediate reactions: 1) it was one of the best-kept secrets in Washington, D.C., in many a year and 2) it is going to take a lot of work and undoubtedly would ruin a lot of summer vacation plans for employees of both organizations. The two associations have set aggressive merger timelines with due diligence this summer, board votes in September and membership votes in October. If approved, the deal will be consummated in the fourth quarter of this year. Stay tuned.
Lazy, hazy days of summer – forget about them. Weather-wise maybe, but to say the banking industry has changed a bit in the past few years is an understatement, to say the least. Consolidation yet growth; branching, branching and more branching; compliance and oversight; risk management and assessments; competition for every product; expanded hours; and don’t forget about the technology changes – yikes! Banking 24-7 is here to stay.
Fixing my backswing and lowering my handicap – yeah right. The banking industry has always been chided for its “bankers’ hours,” 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. operations and the time we collectively spend on the golf course. Today, none of them are true. Then again, maybe the golf part is.
One of the frequently asked human resources-related questions we receive at the CBA is “Why won’t the FDIC reconsider its two-week vacation recommendation for bank employees, as lifestyles have changed and besides, who has time for two weeks?” In today’s business world, some of us aren’t really out, as BlackBerries, iPhones and the Internet have us in regular contact with the folks back at the office while we are “away on holiday.”
I’ve got bank compliance on my mind. While “pulling” together this edition of Connecticut Banking, I scanned several of the previously published editions and noticed that a significant percentage of the articles were focused on bank compliance-related issues. Then I wondered, was Connecticut Banking aiding the industry in its efforts against regulatory burden or is it actually adding to the burden? You decide.
Are we there yet? The familiar summer refrain from the backseat of the Pinkham family automobile is not something I will hear this summer, as our college and high school family members are working to replenish their bank accounts. Good thing, enough said.
Happy summer. Oh, by the way, I hope to be “away on holiday” myself when you are reading this!u
Lindsey R. Pinkham is senior vice president and secretary of the Connecticut Bankers Association.