Day in and day out, bankers face a number of pressures as they do their jobs.
They must find new customers and keep current customers happy. They must keep a tight rein on expenses and avoid running afoul of the many regulatory requirements for their institutions. And they must keep an eye on competitors and external pressures to make sure tomorrow’s results will be as strong as today’s.
But which of these demands is the most important at your bank or credit union? Does senior leadership do a good job of communicating its top priorities?
In a recent online survey of more than 1,000 bankers using Abrigo's solutions, bankers indicated that priorities are fairly diverse. And some banks do a better job of sharing goals with staff than others do.
Over a third of bankers (38 percent) said growing the loan portfolio is the most important to leaders of their financial institution, which is not entirely surprising. Abrigo Senior Risk Management Consultant Rob Ashbaugh said many financial institutions are focusing on portfolio growth in order to offset the profit-pinching effects of low-interest rates and thin margins. In fact, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has pointed to strong loan growth, combined with an easing in underwriting standards, in recent months while warning of increasing credit risk among federally chartered banks.
About 1 in 5 bankers (21 percent) said reducing credit and exam risk is the top priority of their leaders, according to the survey. Ashbaugh said it’s important that leaders understand and manage the risk in their market and portfolio, and it starts with an active and engaged board that sets an appropriate risk management strategy. “Once you understand the risk, bankers can grow their portfolio in line with their risk appetite and overall strategy,” he said.