By: Lyle D. Washowich, Esq.
At the 2012 Pennsylvania Bankers Association (PBA) Annual Convention, consensus centered on the need for bankers to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in advocating for industry issues. Whether large, small, mid-sized, geographically urban or rural, or otherwise, the Convention stressed the need for the banking community to support its own in this trying and changing time.
From the regulations being considered, developed, and implemented in Washington, DC to the potential threats being generated by credit unions and other organizations, the Convention concluded that it will only survive (and thrive) if each institution plays team ball in backing the business of banking. For far too long, the perception (if not the reality, in some instances) was that smaller banks’ interests may be harmed by the interests of larger banking institutions (and vice-versa). However, the Convention agreed that plenty of room exists for players of various sizes, scopes, and stripes. Critically, though, those players must respect and support one another to achieve mutual success in today’s climate.
The Convention addressed that, in this day and age, the fundamental business of banking – whether as a “too big to fail” institution or as a local community bank – has come under increasing attack. As a result of these attacks, and the unrivaled challenges to existing banks, the industry must stand together and advocate for itself. If it does not do so forcefully as one, fewer banks will survive and, generally, the industry will be weakened. Accordingly, the varied institutions attending the Convention, including representatives of institutions from other states, embraced the need for a unified and strong voice in standing up for the industry.