Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Preparing for Seismic Demographic Shifts

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Preparing for Seismic Demographic Shifts

Article excerpt

ONCE UPON A TIME, baby boomers were the topic of countless surveys and reports, as those wishing to woo or sell their wares to the largest generation craved data on boomers' wants, needs and behaviors. Not surprisingly, those cravings have given way to a new but similarly insatiable desire for information on boomers' offspring--the millennials--who last year overtook boomers in numbers to become the largest American generation ever.

With immigration, the ranks of millennials will continue to expand for the next two decades and their dominance will continue to coincide with rapid technological changes that are reshaping the way banks and other industries do business. Add in the expected transfer of some $30 trillion in wealth from boomers to millennials over the next few decades, and it's clear that concerns about understanding and appealing to this influential generation are very well placed. Millennials are literally--our industry's future.

ABA is keenly aware of this and is organizing around it. It is as much a part of our strategic planning and advocacy strategy as it is a part of our professional development offerings, the ABA Foundation's financial literacy programs and the pages of this magazine. We want to ensure not only that today's CEOs have the information they need to satisfy the expectations of future banking customers, but also that banking is viewed by tomorrow's talent as a promising and satisfying place to build a career.

While some surveys dish up depressing findings--like the one that said millennials would rather visit the dentist than listen to what banks have to say--the reality is that banks have tremendous opportunity to appeal to millennials and showcase their expertise.

A recent study by PwC and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center on young adults' financial capability found that U. …

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