To the Editor:
Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc., profiled in the Jan. 29 issue ["Deposit Growth Helps Cullen/Frost Top Estimate"], is a great example of an emerging trend of smaller banks' experiencing growth and attracting clients while larger banks falter in today's economic climate. The question is: How do these smaller banks take full advantage of the current situation?
Banks like Cullen/Frost that are "sticking to the basic fundamentals" of banking have the opportunity to extend these new relationships into full-service, and highly profitable corporate accounts. However, most will have to upgrade their systems to provide the level of service that these corporates have become accustomed to from the large banks. It is unlikely that any corporate is willing to take a step back. Financial Insights recently noted in its 2009 predictions that technology would play a critical role in helping organizations connect with customers.
Small to medium-size banks need full-service technology but not at the size or cost that the big banks require. With new outsourcing options available today, offering best-of-breed corporate banking services has never been more attainable or affordable for smaller banks.
This article highlighted an excellent example of a smaller bank benefiting from today's economic times, and with the proper technological investments, other banks can follow in this trend.George Ravich
Executive vice president
Fundtech, Jersey City