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Bank City USA

Here’s a financial trivia question: What does Tupelo, Miss., have that some of America’s largest metro areas, including Atlanta, Phoenix and San Diego, don’t? The answer: at least two midsize or larger banks headquartered there. Tupelo—a town located in the gently rolling hills halfway between Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala., and with a population a little shy of 40,000—is the smallest U.S. city to have … Continue reading Bank City USA

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

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

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

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

Nine Young Bankers Who Changed America

Early in 2016, while tracing the history of U.S. savings banks for an article I was writing on their bicentennial, I was intrigued by the stories of two of the founders of the savings bank movement: Philadelphian Condy Raguet and Bostonian James Savage. Both were 32 when, in 1816, they founded the first American savings banks in their respective hometowns. In addition to their contributions … Continue reading Nine Young Bankers Who Changed America

Beyond the Cross-Sell: Deepening Relationship Banking

Twenty-seven years ago, Micah Bartlett was a first-time bank teller at a small community bank in central Illinois. A few months in, the bank CEO gathered the staff to discuss the topic of the day: cross-selling. “Going forward, we were all going to be about cross-selling,” he remembers. The idea never had a chance. “I never changed my habits at all, and most of my … Continue reading Beyond the Cross-Sell: Deepening Relationship Banking

Regulatory Compliance? Elementary

Jeopardy! viewers in 2011 witnessed a first in game show history: a computer not only competed in the show, but wiped the floor with its opponents. Watson, a cognitive computer system, left Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter—previously Jeopardy!’s top champions—in its dust over a three-round matchup. IBM built Watson specifically to compete in a trivia show, but the potential applications proved highly commercial. Watson is … Continue reading Regulatory Compliance? Elementary