Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Walk through This Door

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Walk through This Door

Article excerpt

I HEARD OF ONE COLLEGE BASKET-ball team that uses an odd method to screen players. A sign in the school's athletic building reads: "This is the door to the office of the basketball coach. It is 6' 4" high. If you can walk through it without ducking, don't."

Size probably matters in basketball, but at ABA we measure success in a different way. Our industry benefits most when ABA member institutions of every size and shape form consensus on the major issues of the day.

ABA's ability to pull banks of every size together to reach accommodation on the issues is a major asset for our industry. In recent years ABA's consensus-building approach has helped lead to satisfactory resolution of the interstate banking issue in the 1980s and financial modernization in the 1990s. Our continuing process of obtaining member input is leading to banker agreement on issues from bankruptcy reform and privacy to agricultural lending and deposit insurance reform.

This broad industry agreement is important because it's what Congress has asked for. When banking issues are on the table, Congress wants to know what bankers think. If we are divided, we give Congress one more reason not to act, or to act in a fashion that works against us. In Washington we must speak with one industry voice. Your ABA is that voice.

And it's paying off. For three years in a row, Fortune magazine has ranked ABA among the 25 most influential lobbying organizations in the Nation's Capital.

Over the past few months I've had the privilege of visiting with bankers from Nebraska, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa and other states. I've listened to their ideas about deposit insurance reform. I've heard how they hope to make financial modernization work in their banks. I've talked with them about ABA's positions on the major banking issues of the day. …

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