Featured Convention Speaker

The following article was written by Lee Wetherington,
Director of Strategic Insight for ProfitStars.  Lee will be one of the
featured speakers at IBAT's 38th
Annual Convention
, October 6-9 in Austin, TX.  Lee directs the
development of actionable insight and strategy for the financial services
industry. To this end, he creates programs, presentations, and articles
designed to orient and educate financial executives on the trends and
implications of new technologies.

Camouflage: Your
Best Prospects Are Disguised as Customers

I live in South Georgia. On a dirt road. In the woods.

Camouflage is common here. On hunters, trucks, barco loungers, even toilet
paper. Yes, toilet paper...the last thing you'd want camouflaged when you really
need it. Go figure.

Maybe it's where I live, but lately I've been seeing everything-or is it
nothing?-in camouflage. It seems both banks and credit unions suffer from being
unable to see what is lurking nearby.

To hedge against dwindling fee income per account, many financial
institutions are desperately seeking new account acquisitions to bolster
volumes. The problem, according to a Cornerstone
' report, Benchmarks
and Best Practices for Mid-Size Banks
, is that banks are closing 100
accounts for every 112 new accounts opened, i.e., they are "opening 112 new
accounts to net grow only 12".

Other financial institutions, however, are beginning to look inward for
growth, and they are discovering major opportunities camouflaged among existing

Underbanked Disguised as Banked

Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions bank has received a lot of press recently for
discovering that 23% of its customers are also consumers of alternative
financial service
s such as check cashing, money orders and payday
loans. In other words, Regions realized that they were already and unwittingly
underserving the underbanked.