Brian Love

This is a moment where community banks can ride this wave to poach some really good talent. On the technological front, there are folks who may have fast-tracked some of their technological strategies around disaster and continuity planning and equipment. These road maps, which were planned for 2021-22 may need technology talent now. And production talent. Lenders.

There are a lot of bankers out there who are a little disgusted that their big bank didn’t deliver PPP and it has left a lot of people with a bad taste in their mouth. Next year, when bonuses are going to be non-existent, or perhaps way lower, community banks can score some of this talent in a cost effective way … talent they never thought they might be able to win, top talent.

Now that banks have been through two major downturns in 12 years, I think having workout talent is going to be incredibly paramount. There are going to be loans that are just not going to be able to be rescued over the next year or so.

There are also potential cost saving measures, whether it’s head count (getting the job done with fewer people) or with real estate. I have heard of banks that have one branch in the middle of a rural area with customers, perhaps older folks or less tech-savvy folks, who’ve had to use online
banking these last 45 to 50 days. Does that bank still need that branch?

Given all the loan loss provisioning, all the money that is going to be put toward that, bankers are going to have to figure out where they can save costs, and I think some branches will be closed.

One other result of disruption is the managers themselves have to become better motivators. I hear a lot of stories about executives who are even more visible and accessible, whether it’s by Zoom video or phone calls. I have heard stories of executives driving by and knocking on windows. I think you are going to see the next generation of leaders coming out of this time.

It’s a pivotal moment, because you’ve got an infectious disease that has been killing people. It could potentially disrupt every part of your bank, especially leadership but also niche roles.

It comes down to executives keeping their employees focused and motivated and proud to work in their organization. There is not a lot of mentoring going on right now, not a lot of training. But see who is stepping up, what talent is emerging. Banks need to grab a hold of them and nurture this talent over the coming year, because succession planning is something every banker needs to be thinking about.


Brian Love is head of depository search and community bank advisory for The Travillian Group, LLC. He can be reached at [email protected].

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