January 29, 2014

New Bank CEO Survey Released: More Optimism, but Top Worries Include Regulatory and Information Security Risks

In December, Abound Resources, a banking industry consultancy, surveyed CEOs of community banks
(which it defined as depository institutions with less than $10 billion in assets). Sixty one percent (61%) had a positive outlook for 2014. This is a significant shift in attitude from last year, when only 28% of CEOs polled had a positive outlook for 2013.
photo by Micky.! 

Here are some highlights from the survey:
  • Regulatory concerns topped the list of CEO worries for the third consecutive year. (86% of CEOs surveyed) This is not surprising given the volume and pace of rulemaking by the CFPB and other federal agencies as the Dodd-Frank Act-mandated regulations continue to be rolled out. 
  • 85% of CEOs named commercial lending as their top priority for growth.
  • Almost half (49%) will expand their bank's online presence to drive growth.
  • 25% of CEOs saying that reducing personnel costs will be a priority in 2014.
  • Concern about information security has risen dramatically on the CEO priority list, and is now the fourth most cited CEO concern. (As those of you who read this blog regularly know, I have been vocal about the growing information security and privacy risks faced by community banks in recent years, from speaking at the North Carolina Bankers Association's 2013 Security Summit to founding a blog on the topic, the North Carolina Privacy & Information Security Law Blog. It is reassuring to know that CEOs are paying attention to this area of risk. Addressing these risks properly involves legal, as well as technological, components.)
I encourage you to read the full survey report, which is available here. (Registration is required, but no fee is charged.)

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