Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Pass the Torch of Commitment

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Pass the Torch of Commitment

Article excerpt

Instilling a sense of industry "ownership" in younger bank employees may not seem like a top priority. (Getting them to focus more on their jobs might be more to the point, some of you with gray hair may be thinking.) And anyway, aren't the C-suite folks supposed to be the spokespeople in advocacy matters?

Generally, yes. But only a portion of the industry's leaders will respond to any given call to action. Also, there are only about 6,700 bank presidents versus approximately two million bank employees. In the world of advocacy, numbers count.

Then too, regulators and legislators like to see input "from the trenches," and they like to see fresh input as well. That's why you can never have enough response to an association's calls to action or to regulators' requests for input. It's trite, but if bankers don't speak up for their industry, only their opponents will be heard.

Most compelling, however, is the simple fact that banking needs as many people as possible willing to take a leadership role--leading the way for others--because the industry is under siege.

"Siege" is a strong word to use, but not too strong.

Consider that ABA members each day receive the association's email bulletin, ABA Newsbytes. Day after day it chronicles the ongoing assault of laws, regulations, and interpretations of same. Or, simply cast your eye over the correspondence in our "Compliance Inbox" department (p. 38), provided each month by ABA's Leslie Callaway and Mark Kruhm. If you don't deal with compliance on a full-time basis, you will be floored by the

degree of regulatory minutia--touching on every aspect of the business--that banks are saddled with. …

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