New ABA Study Highlights Community Bank CEO Priorities for 2018

Acquiring new customers, regulatory mandates and recruiting and retaining talent are the top issues keeping community bank CEOs up at night, according to a new research study by ABA. The study — which was produced in conjunction with ABA’s Community Bankers Council — polled 440 community bank leaders about their current economic landscape, front-burner issues and their to-do lists for 2018.

The vast majority of bankers agreed that fintech would reshape competition within the banking industry in some way, with seven percent predicting a complete transformation of the competitive landscape as fintech players continue to enter. With that in mind, many say they are looking to improve their digital product and service offerings to drive customer engagement. Sixty-nine percent say they plan to increase the number of products and services they offer digitally, while 52 percent plan to increase the number of digital channels offered to their bank customers.

Bankers are also looking at automation and other technologies to gain a competitive advantage. Sixty percent plan to implement new technologies to reduce operating costs. When asked which aspects of the bank’s business would benefit most from automation, 74 percent said lending, 72 percent said IT and 62 percent said customer service.