Community banking trends discussed at PA Bankers Convention
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Community banking trends discussed at PA Bankers Convention

Authored by Ivan Cilik

The 2018 PA Bankers Convention brought hundreds of C-Suite executives and banking industry experts to Naples, FL to discuss the rapidly changing and challenging landscape of banking. There was an increased focus on the future of banking and financial technology, as well as other educational sessions on the Pennsylvania economic outlook, M&A tools and lessons, and Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) accounting standards.

This year’s convention demonstrated how community banks are thriving while still serving an important role in their communities. Several speakers at the event noted that strong community banking with focus on their depositors and loan relationships will be the key for the future. Smaller banks could increase their deposits by targeting passive, relationship-driven customers with solid digital offerings which will help them maintain strong retail deposit bases and the ability to acquire new deposits.

In addition, attracting new talent has been challenging for community banks and many of them have started initiatives to attract millennial and Gen Z talent as potential employees, a majority of which will enter the workforce in the coming years. Technology spending (mobile banking, fintech [financial technology] initiatives) and regulatory compliance remained the key concerns for bankers. Participants were cautiously optimistic that recently passed “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” will help smaller banks to ease the regulatory burden, become more competitive with larger institutions and also provide opportunity to offer additional services.

Overall, the consensus was that despite the consolidation pressures in the industry which will continue in the coming years, smaller banks will provide a key link between growth and sustainability of the communities they serve. The banking landscape may be rapidly changing, but relationships still mean everything.

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly banking specialists can help, contact our team.

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