The men and women who make up the banking industry make irreplaceable contributions to their communities and are the key to the industry’s future, outgoing ABA Chairman John Ikard told attendees at ABA’s Annual Convention in Los Angeles today. “A community can lose their bar or their grocery store, but they can’t lose their bank, Ikard said, adding that online providers are no replacement. “You can’t go online to get a leader. Banks don’t just provide money. They provide the people who serve on the school board, United Way, churches.”
Ikard — who is also president and CEO of FirstBank Holding Company, Lakewood, Colo. — also stressed the importance of investing in the next generation of bank leaders. “There is a saying that the second worst thing that can happen is you train your employees and they leave,” he said. “The worst thing that can happen is you don’t train them and they stay.”
He encouraged bankers to talk up banking’s value proposition as a place for millennials to build careers. “We need to prove that banking is a great place to work. We have a great value proposition — our work involves social media, technology and decisions that impact peoples’ lives.”
“I don’t know what challenges will be in banking’s future, but if we have the right people, it won’t matter,” he concluded.