Slideshow Dear Shareholders...

  • May 08 2013, 8:00am EDT
11 Images Total

As bank bosses sent out their annual shareholder letters in recent weeks, two themes dominated: The challenges of operating in an increasingly regulated, low interest rate world; and the desire to assure investors that they're putting safety first. Following are some notable quotes from around the industry.

(Image: Thinkstock)

Chastising Wall Street

"Because the Wall Street juggernaut has tarnished the reputation of banking as a whole, it is difficult if not impossible for bankers … to plausibly play a leadership role today."

—Robert Wilmers, M&T Bank

(Image: Michael Chu)

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Fearful for Small Banks

"A broken real estate market, increased regulation and heightened competition all conspire to keep the number of community banks declining. … No company is more concerned than we are by the appearance that community banking, as we know it, is dying."

—Ed Wehmer, Wintrust

Channeling Dimon

"We built a fortress balance sheet that gives us the platform to accelerate business growth."

—Brian Moynihan, Bank of America

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Picking a Poison

"To generate any type of yield, banks are increasingly hard-pressed to accept some additional level of interest rate or credit risk, neither especially palatable. If we have to choose … managing interest rate risk would definitely and always be our preference."

—Mick Blodnick, Glacier

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Hitting an M&A Brick Wall

"One thing is certain: there's no appetite among regulators for us - or any large bank - to grow inorganically."

—Michael Corbat, Citigroup

Working Through Washington's Doings

"We are in a position to manage through this new regulatory environment, and we will devote ourselves to being an advocate for reasonable change - and an active critic and partner to amend and inform less productive changes."

—Richard Davis, U.S. Bancorp

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Driving on Lower Octane

"Our choice to invest in franchise enhancements to deliver a great customer experience will lower the 'octane' of the business to some extent but will also help to create valuable long-term customer relationships."

—Richard Fairbank, Capital One

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Criticizing Policymakers

"We cannot continue to have the fiscal 'flavor of the month' dominate the policy agenda. This fosters uncertainty and lack of confidence, which are the enemies of the only sure way to prosperity - a strong and growing economy."

—John Stumpf, Wells Fargo

Dissing Dodd-Frank

"Dodd-Frank overreached and generated many unintended consequences. It aimed to solve problems that didn't even exist. … We still don't know the full extent of the impact of Dodd-Frank, which I have called a 'dump-truck' bill."

—Dick Evans, Cullen/Frost

Promising Safety

"We do promise you, among other things, consistent effort and integrity. In that spirit - I make this promise: We will be a port of safety in the next storm."

—Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase

(Image: Bloomberg News)