Training a New Generation of Bankers

Eighty percent of 2014 graduates expect a formal training program from their employer, but less than half of recent graduates say that this actually happens.

It’s all about Millennials these days, isn’t it? This Viacom study predicts that the banking industry is at a high risk of disruption at the hands of the generation born between the early 1980s and 2000, and on its heels, Accenture just released its 2014 College Graduates Survey, which includes this illuminating infographic:


Yesterday I had a conversation with James Geeslin, vice chairman at Extraco Banks and CEO of Extraco Consulting, who explained to me how placing a high value in employee training translated into success at his bank. About 7 or 8 years ago the $1.2-billion asset bank, based in Temple, Texas, began to place a high priority on employee training as part of a highly successful branch transformation. Turnover at his bank was “off the charts,” he says, but a combined focus on training, compensation, smart hires and developing a career path for employees has cut turnover by a whopping 80 percent. Many of these customer-facing universal bankers end up working their way up through the organization. “They are so good…[other departments] want our consumer employees, which is kind of a downside because we have to hire more, but the good news is [that] we’ve got [our bank’s] culture spread and infiltrated within our company.”

As part of the annual L. William Seidman CEO Panel at the 2014 Acquire or Be Acquired Conference in Phoenix, Bank Director President Al Dominick ended the discussion with a look at young, up-and-coming talent. The panelists had some very interesting things to say, including this remark from William Crawford, CEO of $5-billion asset United Financial Bancorp Inc., based on Vernon Rockville, Connecticut:

I think the key, for young people, is [that] you have to show them a future, there has to be a vision they’re excited about, there has to be an opportunity for them to learn, to be mentored, and that’s one thing we’ve really made a strong commitment to..I think developing talent from within, the larger you get, the more important it is.”

Recommended reading:

Innovator Marc Andreessen was interviewed in the Washington Post and says Bitcoin is here for the long haul:

Digital stocks. Digital equities. Digital fundraising for companies. Digital bonds. Digital contracts, digital keys, digital title, who owns what — digital title to your house, to your car. Like for example, you get a digital title on a car, attached to a digital key, where you own your car on the Bitcoin blockchain and on your smartphone. The key for opening your car and starting your car is tied to that title. And if I sell you my car, automatically you get title, and you get the key that lets you operate the car, and it’s all digital, and it’s all unique, and it can’t be cracked. You’ve got digital voting, digital contracts, digital signatures. You’ve got unique pieces of digital content. If you guys wanted to know exactly who had every piece of content you ever made, you can track that. It’s this long list. And then every aspect of financial services: insurance contracts, insurance derivatives, currency exchange, remittance — on and on and on. It gives you a chance to basically go after this very broad category of online business in a new way. And, by the way, if we had had this technology 20 years ago, we would’ve built it into the browser.

 E-commerce would’ve gotten built on top of this, instead of getting built on top of the credit card network. We knew we were missing this; we just didn’t know what it was. There is no reason on earth for anybody to be on the Internet today to be typing in a credit card number to buy something. It’s insane, because — which is why you have all these security problems, the Target hack and all this crazy…. And these high fees, this high fraud rate. It doesn’t make sense online to have a payment mechanism that requires you to hand over your credentials to make a payment. That’s just an invitation to fraud and identity theft. It’s just stupid.



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