The Future Faces of Banking

By Jeff Szyperski

Where will my bank be three, five and ten years from now? Will we be expanding our branch network or focused on digital growth or both? Will we be looking to acquire, be acquired or remain independent? What tools will we need to be successful?

Answering such questions is never easy and often impossible, but we do know one thing we’ll need to succeed in the future: The right people.

With the right people in place, all the other ingredients for success can follow. These leaders will ensure your bank identifies and implements the right technologies, meets your customers’ needs and provides the leadership and community engagement that will keep your bank in a competitive position.

ABA’s Emerging Leaders Council knows this, too, which is why they asked the American Bankers Association to develop a video series that can help banks, individually and as an industry, attract top talent.

The videos profile compelling leaders at varying stages in their careers—and at banks of all sizes across the country—who offer powerful testimonials about what they do and why they love it. In the process, they make it clear how much opportunity and reward comes with a career in banking.

There’s Tyler, an Army veteran and now commercial and agribusiness senior adviser for First National Bank of Omaha in Sandwich, Ill., who comments on how great it feels to literally watch his farms and other businesses grow. And Ashley, chief digital strategist at Eastern Bank in Boston, who speaks of the excitement of working in an industry where there is so much innovation.

Brian, EVP and head of retail banking at Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio, describes as “life changing” the opportunity banking gives you to make a difference in the lives of customers. Silvia echoes that, adding how much she values the variety of skills she gets to exercise in her role as SVP and director of corporate communications at First Horizon in Memphis.

And both Tabatha, community manager of Citizens Bank of Edmond’s new co-working space in Edmond, Okla., known as Vault 405, and Tashawn, a customer solutions associate at Chelsea Groton Bank in Connecticut who’s a champion boxer in his off-hours, speak of their growth opportunities and the family-like relationships they develop with their customers.

You couldn’t make a better recruitment commercial for the industry. Together, these leaders demonstrate that no matter what your specialty—lending, HR, communications, management, customer service, IT—putting those skills to work in banking offers special rewards, thanks to the industry’s mission of helping customers and communities grow.

Banking’s mission is something I like to emphasize at my bank as a means of setting us apart from other employers. My bank also intentionally establishes a culture and work environment that is fun and focused on career development. We are rewarded for these efforts not only with annual recognition on American Banker’s Best Banks to Work For list, but—more important—with a happy, dedicated staff that makes us a better bank. As I always say, being on the best-banks list is a byproduct of what we do, not why we do it.

I may still not know exactly where my bank will be five or ten years from now, but at least I know it will be in good hands.