The Keys to Growth

KeyString_MFReal estate lending drove much of the growth in the banking industry in 2013, reveals the 2014 Growth Leaders Ranking just published in the latest issue of Bank Director magazine. But, writes Bank Director Editor Jack Milligan:

Low interest rates and a healthier housing market in many areas of the country helped drive a surge in mortgage refinancing and new purchase loans through the first three quarters of last year… However, in what could be an ill wind for 2014, mortgage refinancing activity cooled off significantly in the fourth quarter of 2013 and first quarter of this year. “That will be a challenge going forward,” says Kevin Tweddle, president of Atlanta-based Bank Intelligence Solutions, a subsidiary of Fiserv Inc., which prepared the ranking with input from Bank Director magazine.

With reduced mortgage refinancing activity and  home sales on the decline, what will fuel growth in 2014? Innovation will surely play a part. As Bank Director President Al Dominick observes here, a refusal to adapt and change could be the greatest roadblock for many banks when it comes to growth. With this in mind, I found this particular statistic from Fiserv striking:

Just 30 percent of the attending banks at Bank Director’s 2nd annual Growth Conference May 1-2 in New Orleans have a twitter account. This lines up with research we conducted last summer that found that less than half of banks with more than $1 billion in assets actively engage with customers on twitter or Facebook.  With so many customers making social media a part of their daily lives, shouldn’t your bank be there too?

For more from the Growth Conference, follow #BDGrow14 on Twitter for highlights from the event, and visit About That Ratio, where Bank Director President Al Dominick will be blogging daily this week with highlights and insights on growing the bank.


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