City Banker Has Vision for Industry Reform

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Journal Record Staff Reporter The forward-thinking banking philo- sophy of Oklahoma City's Jim Daniel has moved him beyond the bounds of his southside bank to direct a national bankers' trade group that is pushing for comprehensive industry reform. Daniel's vision of banking in the future is an industry able to meet the financial needs of customers unencum- bered by restrictions on the types of financial products offered. He wants to see banks providing complete financial planning services, including selling insurance, annuities, mutual funds and even securities. "I don't know if our bank would do all that, but we ought to have the right to do it. We ought to be free to do it." Daniel is chairman of the Consumer Bankers Association, an organization that represents 800 banks and thrifts. Last month, he testified before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on the need for comprehensive industry reform. He also is president of Friendly Bank of Oklahoma City, located at 7400 S. Pennsylvania Ave. The bank has& received national recognition for its sales and training programs and was listed as one of the top 10 sales banks in the country in a 1985 research book on the subject. Daniel is a native of Oklahoma City and is a member of the first class to go all the way through Northwest Classen High School. He received his bachelor's degree in economics and finance from Baylor University and is a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist Univer- sity. Daniel has been active with the Consumer Bankers Association for sev- eral years. His one-year term as its chairman expires in September. "We have a real strong lobbying group which is active with Congress," Daniel said of the organization. "We have helped with critical issues such as credit card disclosure, student lending and home equity lending. We lobby on behalf of retail banks. We are very well focused." Daniel said his involvement with the association has given Friendly the benefit of the experience of fellow members who are experts in the areas where the Oklahoma City bank has expanded. One such case was the development of Friendly's indirect auto program, in which the bank buys auto loan paper from dealers and acts as the servicing agent. The bank has about $35 million in this type of business. "The economy slowed down in 1983, '84, '85, and it was difficult to get borrowers," Daniel said. "So we began to buy auto contracts from the dealers. When we started this program, we were able to contact people in CBA who were national players in the market. We were educated in a hurry. We got a short course to do it right. "It was the same with our credit cards. We sat at a table at a convention with five of the top credit card managers in the country. We can call people through CBA. This communication helped in establishing our credit card operation." Daniel said visits to member banks and branches also have been extremely helpful in the development of new services at Friendly. Daniel said banks in general are becoming more retail oriented as they search for new sources of revenue in part to counter the increases in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. premiums, which have gone up 500 percent since 1989. "The loan business is soft. More and more banks are looking at the retail side," he said. This is where Consumer Bankers Association comes in. Of all the trade organizations for bankers, Daniel said the association has a sharper focus because it emphasizes one aspect of banking _ how it affects the customer. The national bankers organization has been urging Congress to modernize the banking laws to allow banks to compete in the financial services market since 1983, Daniel said. "In addition to competing with each other, banks are competing with Sears, GM, AT&T. …

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