Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Knock, Knock

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Knock, Knock

Article excerpt

That rapping on the door you hear may not be the CFPB exam team here for its first visit. Or the prudential regulators insisting that you raise your capital even further. Or a dozen more "or's." It could be an opportunity.

From our visits and conversations with bankers in recent weeks, we've found there is still optimism and eagerness to try new things or move in new directions despite the onslaught of challenges. As one banker observed, it's often the most challenging times that yield the best opportunities--if you're positioned to take advantage of them.

ABA's Summer Leadership Meeting in July reflected this viewpoint. The gathering of ABA's councils, board, and state association leaders naturally focused a great deal on the challenges mentioned above, and many others. Yet ABA also brought in speakers to address issues "beyond the Beltway," to use Washington-speak. One of these was Dr. Ken Dychtwald, founder and president of Age Wave, a company that tracks and focuses on population aging--particularly the massive wave of Baby Boomers.

Dychtwald noted that in the period between 2000 and 2020, 73% of the U.S. population will be between the ages of 55-64, and 54% will be 65 or older. Those are amazing numbers.

So often bankers are reminded that they must become relevant to the so-called millennial generation and the generations following it, for whom electronics are second nature. Dychtwald acknowledged the importance of doing that, but pointed out an obvious fact. Those youngsters don't have much money yet, whereas the 50+ crowd mostly does. In addition, the Boomer group has many needs that banks are well positioned to address. …

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