| Charles Wendel, president of Financial Institution Consulting, addressed lending to small businesses Tuesday at the BAI's 2013 Retail Delivery Conference in Denver.|
"Bankers are spending too much time at their desks and not enough time out with their small-business accounts," said Charles Wendel, president of Financial Institution Consulting. Wendel spoke Tuesday at the BAI's 2013 Retail Delivery Conference in Denver.
"Following the recession, banks have created a very narrow box within which they'll lend," said Wendel. "That has created an opportunity for other lenders to come in and make those loans."
He gave this five-step approach for making more small-business loans:
Define your focus through differentiation (but not on price). "Your institution can differentiate itself on its relationships with its clients, its industry specialization, or its product expertise," said Wendel.
| Debbie Bianucci, president/CEO of the Bank Administration Institute (BAI), welcomed attendees to the second day of BAI's Retail Delivery Conference in Denver Wednesday. "We are so 'heads-down' on regulatory compliance that we need to lift our heads up and look around for opportunities to be innovative," she said. (Photos provided by CUNA)|
- Organize for success. Can your branches recognize quality loan opportunities? Is branch staff adequately trained? Do branches operate with loan liaison contacts?
- Develop an efficient infrastructure. Reduce and simplify your products, evaluate all internal processes, outsource when possible, establish a consistent brand.
- Determine key metrics. Identify internal and market needs. Who needs to be involved in setting metrics? What are the right metrics and who enforces them? When should you change metrics? What does the scorecard look like?
- Create guiding principles for lending execution. Involve senior management. Agree on consistent job definitions. Implement a rigorous sales-management system. Don't place current staff in business lending positions.
Credit unions are urging Congress to raise their member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets from the current 12.25%. Doing so would inject $13 billion into the economy through small business loans and help create 140,000 jobs, at no cost to the taxpayer, says the Credit Union National Association.