After 2008, major banks’ customers who had many of the loans that caused the crisis became skeptical. Many turned to smaller lenders or credit unions, preferring a more personalized option instead. Though some banks have begun working on their customer service – including, most recently, Bank of America – to appeal to these lost customers, one American Banker article suggests another way of looking at the issue.
For the mega-banks that make much of their profits from “fancy investment vehicles,” like mortgage-backed securities, author Harvey Radin reminds us of what banks are originally created for – to lend, and to increase enterprise. By remembering a bank’s roots, instead of concentrating on new investment opportunities, mega-banks may be able to better appeal to customers who were discouraged during and after the financial crisis.
“Financing combined with the expertise of skillful, knowledgeable bankers has often been a key factor in the growth of business, industries and individuals,” he said. “As maudlin as this may sound, banks truly can help people in all walks of life accomplish what they set out to do. Such amazing power in the domain of bankers and their balance sheets!”
Radin explains that it’s understandable why so many banks look to these risky investments – often with their high profits attached. However, the traditional role of banks, to lend, should not be forgotten.
Tools can also be used to ensure that this happens correctly, even if it is not a new concept. With customer management software, banks, even mega-banks, can keep track of their customers’ expectations and histories to better interact with clients. Tools like these can help banks provide the personalized service many customers turned to after the crisis, combing strong service with a wide range of financial options.