Throughout their long history, banks have sustained the smooth functioning of economies, but their effectiveness depends on the quality of their leadership. So, what makes a dependable chief executive or board member? The right attitude is a good start, as are applicable skills, foresight, ideas and a determination to cooperate with other key players. Now more than ever, strong and visionary leaders are the fuel that ignites profitable banking practice.
Increasingly, core banking services no longer occur within the brick-and-mortar walls of a community’s bank. Financial services have broken out into mobile and online banking, with fintechs and neobanks competing with incumbent banks on their own turf. Banks should adapt to digital advances, but building customer trust is the make-it-or-break-it ingredient. Innovation will constantly change, but the need for relational trust between bank and customer will always remain the same.
A bank won’t survive without customer trust; if customers don’t feel safe entrusting their finances with their bank, they will move on. Gaining that trust in the Digital Age is more complicated than in the past, with new banking channels available to a new generation of customers with new cultural priorities. Astute bank leaders are working diligently to maintain the crucial human (H) factor, prioritizing culture alongside more traditional top objectives.
Corporate governance is moving from back to front stage. Change starts at the top, and a good board of directors is credited with strengthening value creation and stability. What makes a good board? Members should represent their company’s diverse stakeholders and be skilled in a variety of areas that were historically considered the domain of management. For too long, too many boards have fallen short and a reboot is required!