Observers not familiar with the banking industry might look at an annual convention in Bermuda as a boondoggle. But Al Griffith, president of the New Jersey Bankers Association, recognizes that bankers learn enough from the networking at an out-of-town convention to make a gathering like the one his group held recently worthwhile.

This is especially true now that the commercial banks have finally learned what the thrifts have known for decades: that it is a far better convention when regulators and lawmakers are invited to speak. It gives the bankers a chance to know the regulators better, explain their positions, and understand in return why the public officials take some of the actions they do.

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