Bankers Weigh In on State of Small-Business Banking

Some banks are looking past the short-term economic challenges and betting on a small-business recovery. Here's how executives from Bank of America, PNC, U.S. Bancorp and others assessed the market at SourceMedia's recent Small-Business Banking conference. (Image: Shutterstock)

Most Profitable Most Profitable "A small-business owner that has its operating accounts with us, that borrows from us, and that uses a suite of treasury management products is our most profitable client." - Citizens Republic (CRBC) Chief Executive Cathleen Nash

(Image: Dan Nelken)
Stop Product Pushing Stop Product Pushing

"This cannot be just about what we want to sell. You have got to dig underneath and understand the client's industry, their business, and have a conversation about where their pain points are." - Ginger Siegel, an executive vice president of business banking at PNC Financial Services (PNC)

Phone Home Phone Home "You can manage 400 to 600 clients on your phone, or you can manage 100 to 150 by jumping in your car and driving around." - David Tremblay, business development and strategy executive of the client development group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

(Image: Shutterstock)
Video Chats Video Chats "Big banks can do this. This was not easy; it took tenacity and not caring what people are saying behind your back." - Harry Ferreira, head of small business banking at Bank of New Zealand, on its videoconferencing strategy.

(Image: Shutterstock)
Going Gray Going Gray "Our larger-size competitors usually had very inexperienced bankers assigned to [the small-business] segment. We had bankers with 20 to 25 years experience. Sometimes having gray hair does pay off." - Nash.

(Image: Shutterstock)
Steady, Not Flashy Steady, Not Flashy "Small business is like the Toyota Corolla. It runs forever and everyone thinks it's OK. .. It's not sexy." - Kent Stone, an executive vice president with U.S. Bancorp (USB)

(Image: Bloomberg News)
Many Challenges Many Challenges Small-business owners have "already been thrown a number of things," including Hurricane Sandy. "We know in the industry overall, demand even just for lending has been down." - Siegel.

(Image: Shutterstock)

Some banks are looking past the short-term economic challenges and betting on a small-business recovery. Here's how executives from Bank of America, PNC, U.S. Bancorp and others assessed the market at SourceMedia's recent Small-Business Banking conference.

Comments (1)
Small business banking is an important driver of our economy. Local community banks serving a known trade area, provide service and access to funds for growth and development of small and medium size businesses. This group represents the largest sector of the community, and is mostly neglected today with the consolidation of small banks to larger regional banking institutions. A worst trend is found frequently, where funds from the local area are not being reinvested in the same community.

Posted by Hugo C | Wednesday, November 28 2012 at 10:39AM ET
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