AUSTIN, TX (PRWEB) May 9, 2005
ÂThere are many roads to success in bankingÂ but no formula,Â the longtime editor of the ABA Banking Journal told executives attending the 2005 Floyd Forum Leadership Conference at the Barton Creek Resort in Austin last week (May 5).
William W. Streeter, a business journalist for 32 years, 27 of them at the Journal, spoke on ÂThe Art of Competing.Â ÂThe term ÂartÂ may seem out of placeÂ in an age of rules for almost everything,Â he said.
Streeter, who has observed momentous changes in banking, from the introduction of ATMs to the Penn Square debacle; from the rollout of full interstate banking to the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, was quick to apologize for any perceived moralizing. (Speakers Photo: http://www.jmfa.com/Forum/2005%20Floyd%20Forum%20Leadership%20Conference.asp)
ÂThose of you running banks are in the trenches every day fighting the war. I am just the war correspondent,Â he said. But in his decades on the frontline writing about the radical changes and interviewing industry leaders, he said he clearly recognized some Âtimeless themesÂ for surviving and prospering.
He cited integrity, exceptional service, personal touch and value as critical factors in an era of fierce competition from nonbanks, industry deregulation and the commoditization of bank services. He cited the importance of developing a corporate culture that instilled ethical dealings.
ÂThe model for success in business is very simple: Integrity,Â Streeter emphasized. ÂIf you have integrity, all the rest will follow. This is not always easy to adhere to. It means that sometimes you have to admit you were wrong and take a loss, corporately or even personally. It means you donÂt intentionally mislead anyone. You follow through on what you said you would do, even if it is no longer to your advantage.Â
Under StreeterÂs editorial leadership, the monthly magazine has become the leading periodical in terms of ad pages and independent readership studies. It has received five editorial awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors. He also is a vice-president of Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp., which has published the ABA Banking Journal for three decades.
The editor urged bankers to pay attention to relationships because Âpeople can get money from many sources, often at lower rates or better terms than you can offer. They get it from you because they like you, respect you, feel comfortable dealing with you, etc. Integrity has to be there, or that ÂrelationshipÂ will be an empty promise.Â
Streeter said that Âbusiness fads come and go,Â but banks that Âstay abreast of changes, continue to execute their game planÂ find, keep and hold good peopleÂ and find a nicheÂ are going to do well. You canÂt be all things to all people,Â he warned, Âand you also canÂt be waiting around for the customer to call you.Â
Citing example after example of what was working at large banks and community banks, he said one enduring secret to success is exceptional service, Âbecause people are willing to pay for exceptional service. Combine that with expense control and you have high performance.Â
He said one leading banker told him that Âmost banks offer more than 100 products, but only 15 of those deliver more than 80 percent of their profits.Â The bankerÂs advice was to cut back the number of products so that employees could become specialists as opposed to not being good at selling any one thing very often.
John M. Floyd & Associates (JMFA) of Baytown (Houston), Texas, sponsored the week-long Floyd Forum (http://www.jmfa.com/forum/), which concludes today, at the Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin. The 33-year-old profitability improvement firm, which has consulted to more than 2,000 financial institutions, is nationally known for originating and implementing automated overdraft privilege programs.
In other sessions, the bankers in attendance also learned about competitive comparisons, account growth strategies, unlocking non-interest income potential, improving accountholder satisfaction and retention and best practices for meeting compliance and accountholder expectations.
For More Information or Interviews:
Steve Swanston, EVP-Sales, John M. Floyd & Associates, Baytown, TX, 800-809-2307; Steve.Swanston@JMFA.com; http://www.JMFA.com
Preston F. Kirk, APR, Kirk Public Relations, Austin, TX, 830-693-4447; firstname.lastname@example.org
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