A lot of the problems people have with bank boards of directors are perception more than actuality.
If you have a board that is truly involved with a bank, then there should not be a concern, because they clearly understand what management is doing and aren't in the dark. If something happens, they should know what it is before it happens.
You'll always make some bad loans, but if management has the relationship set up properly, there won't be surprises.
The relationship has changed because of what's happened in banking in recent years. A lot of directors did not know the legal obligations that came with the job, and too many executives never thought of letting them know of the ramifications of their position.
We're a start-up bank, so for the first few years the board was very involved, even in the day-to-day management.
Now they are becoming less involved in the day-to-day stuff and leaving more of it up to me. I think that's as it should be.
They're like a group of consultants, with different business backgrounds. They hired me to do a job, and they look to me to tell them how to implement the strategies that we've come up with.
But they don't take everything I say and approve it. They are very detail-oriented and very involved, especially on the credit side.
We haven't had trouble attracting people from the community, and we have plenty of quality directors. I think that's extremely important.
I've had a consistently wonderful relationship with my board.
They are much more involved and participatory than they were five or six years ago. They became more involved at my prodding.
It's just imperative now that they are involved in the basic policy decisions of this bank.
They are a wonderful resource for this bank. They are most involved at the committee level, such as the loan, finance, and risk management committees.
I know that there's a perception out there that it's difficult to attract good directors, but for a community bank that is involved in its community, it's easy to attract very competent directors. They're willing to take the risk.