I recently attended the S&P Global Market Intelligence Community Bankers Conference in Frisco, Texas. Beyond the unbelievable Tex Mex, jalapeno and cheese donuts, and sightseeing (including the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility!), this was an informative, valuable event – as well as a “temperature check” of sorts for the banking landscape.

We’ve all heard by now about inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain, the “credit crunch”, and other factors affecting community banking – and it is becoming more difficult for banks to compete for core deposits and lending opportunities. This conference offered some great insights on not only the near- and long-term future of banking, but also some helpful ways to compete, reduce risk, and spark tangible growth – as well as ensure you are tending to the right details.

Managing the Balance Sheet

A session titled “Balance Sheet Management – Loan Growth and Credit Considerations” discussed how it is more critical than ever to give your balance sheets attention. So what should you do? A lot of banks know that small businesses are the backbone of both the economy and their book of business; therefore, it is important to have a portion of your balance sheet in small business funding so you can compete for these opportunities.

The Balance Sheet available in the Financial Benchmarks chapter of the Vertical IQ platform can help you understand how a business stacks up in comparison to its industry, which helps when you are considering whether or not to establish a relationship with a particular business. You can also use the Financial Benchmarks chapter as whole to help identify cash-intensive industries and maximize deposit opportunities.

Monitoring Social Media

Community banks, and other financial institutions for that matter, usually excel at monitoring employees. But what about other banks?

How are your competitors positioning themselves? What messages are they sharing? How interactive are they with their followers? These are all important things to consider in order to understand who you’re competing against for loans, deposits, and more. Staying on top of these initiatives – and remaining authentic and involved with your customers and community – with a meaningful social presence can be a differentiator.

Shifting Growth Plans

A big trend right now is bank diversification – and it should always be. It is critical for banks to diversify their credit portfolios to help mitigate risk, but it is even more prevalent now in the eyes of banks to ensure their assets are protected in the event of a crisis.

Something that was discussed at the conference – and an important thing to remember – is that earnings are more important than growth. It is important to ensure you are going after the right opportunities and not the most opportunities by sheer number. What industries are best for targeting loans? Where are these opportunities in terms of geography and demographics? Currently, quality is better than quantity.

Competing with Industry Intelligence

The margin for error is slim for banks right now – and this means that you need the know-how and expertise to put yourself in a prime position to compete for the best and most profitable opportunities. Industry Intelligence can give you the jump on local economic conditions, identify which industries are worth targeting, assist in risk management, and help you sustain enduring customer relationships!

>> Learn more about how Industry Intelligence can bolster your growth strategy and help you compete!

Image credit: Jessie Teal, Vertical IQ

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