Herb Kelleher’s ‘Customer-Centric’ Company

An idea scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin is part of the lore of several of the greatest ideas of mid-20th century America: the Laffer Curve, the automatic fire-hose nozzle, the Space Needle in Seattle. Important concepts, simply presented. Another famous piece of cocktail napkin lore is the original concept for Southwest Airlines — a simple triangle connecting Texas’ three largest cities: Dallas, … Continue reading Herb Kelleher’s ‘Customer-Centric’ Company

A Fresh Perspective

When Jelena Obrenic landed in Stockton, Calif., in July of 1991, her world was turning upside down. A month before, Slovenia and Croatia had declared independence from her home country, Yugoslavia, triggering several violent years of civil wars, ethnic conflict and the final collapse of Balkan Communism. It was her 18th birthday. She was alone in a new country as an exchange student, with $500 … Continue reading A Fresh Perspective

The Replacements

Libor—the London Interbank Offered Rate—is perhaps the liveliest dead man walking. It underpins more than $350 trillion in mortgages, commercial loans, bonds and derivatives worldwide; U.S. dollar Libor alone is the reference rate for $200 trillion in financial instruments. And yet virtually everyone in the financial sector acknowledges that Libor’s days are numbered. The British Financial Conduct Authority has said Libor will be sustained through … Continue reading The Replacements

Banking’s Open Door Policy

“Open banking”—is it an aspirational slogan, a discrete business model or a regulatory regime? For ABA VP Rob Morgan, who works on fintech policy, “it is what you want it to be.” The term is just vague enough to accommodate a wide variety of concepts, from access to customers’ financial data up to comprehensive financial marketplaces. In Europe, open banking is closely associated with a … Continue reading Banking’s Open Door Policy

How Banks of All Sizes Are Winning the Talent Wars

Several years ago, as part of a bid to stay ahead of the competitive curve in talent, Zions Bank set out to reinvent a robust but fairly traditional bank employment culture. The regional bank is now finding that those investments in talent are making it possible for the company to compete as the bank talent wars heat up.  With unemployment down to 4.1 percent—a level … Continue reading How Banks of All Sizes Are Winning the Talent Wars

Lincoln and the Banks

It is a testament to the scale of Abraham Lincoln’s place in history that his notable accomplishments in the financial sector are little known today. Alexander Hamilton’s financial innovations are celebrated in a Broadway musical, and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s banking reforms are packaged with the rest of the New Deal policies as a legacy. But Lincoln—whose policies on banks were as transformative as either Hamilton’s … Continue reading Lincoln and the Banks

Making Miracles in Memphis

Viewed from Pitt and Barbara Hyde’s office perched on the bluffs of ­Memphis, the Mississippi River appears to meander lazily on its way. But appearances can deceive. The river’s smooth, muddy surface hides a powerful flow of more than 300,000 cubic feet each second, moving boats along at a rate of up to three miles per hour amid threatening eddies and undercurrents. Barbara and Pitt—winners … Continue reading Making Miracles in Memphis

From Katrina to Harvey: Five Ways Banks Are More Resilient to Disaster Today

The haunting images this week of Houston’s flooded highways and neighborhoods bring to mind the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina twelve years ago—almost to the day. The experience is certainly déjà vu for bankers who lived through Katrina, although thanks to the lessons of 2005, the financial industry is better positioned today to fuel recovery along the western Gulf Coast. After Katrina flattened … Continue reading From Katrina to Harvey: Five Ways Banks Are More Resilient to Disaster Today

Plug and Play: Four Ways to Level Up Your Mobile Banking App

For a growing share of bank customers—especially millennials and their successors, Generation Z, mobile banking is where they will engage with their customers most frequently. According to Federal Reserve figures, 43 percent of bank customers use mobile banking, including 67 percent of millennials. According to a TD Bank survey, mobile is the fastest-growing channel for bank customers. Today, bank mobile apps offer a great deal … Continue reading Plug and Play: Four Ways to Level Up Your Mobile Banking App