Hey GonzoBankers, see if the expert quotes below sound familiar to you:
- “…the bank branch is slowly becoming an artifact in an age of electronic banking.”
- “Nonbank competitors continue to erode the barriers to entry in traditional bank business lines.”
- “… cross-selling has become an industry buzzword, for the most part it is still in the theoretical stage.”
- “…many of the objectives for retail bankers will be to focus on improving the relationship and thereby, the profitability of the customer.”
Care to guess the source of these observations? They are actually from a CS First Boston research paper from 1995 titled “Separating the Winners from the Losers in the Banking Industry.”
As you would suspect, many of the banks mentioned in the report have gone the way of the Dodo, and of course technology and delivery channels have advanced (screen phone banking anyone?), but most of the core messages, especially on customers, revenue/expense, and branches/delivery channels, remain the same. The conclusion? The industry is dealing with many of the same issues today as nearly 20 years ago!
As depressing as that thought is, there has been some progress in delivery, cross-sell and revenue innovation, and there are a minority of creative and gutsy bankers working to reinvent their business with great urgency today. For this reason, I am very excited to be joining Cornerstone Advisors at this critical time in banking. Our industry has plenty of “ivory tower” research reports, but bankers are hungry for more gritty “truth-telling” from the front lines and are eager to hear first-hand about innovators who are making interesting things happen.
As the new Research Director for the GonzoBanker team, I plan to spend my time pulling out new insights from some of the brightest consultants in the business while engaging many of you Gonzo readers in a no-holds-barred dialogue about the future of financial services. Simply put, Cornerstone is investing in a team to provide the most actionable information and research in the industry today. It should be one fun and crazy ride. Feel free to email me with your comments, questions, critiques and challenging thoughts.
– David Potterton