Community Banking Beyond Four Walls (Investors Community Bank & Fresno First Bank)

Community Banking Beyond Four Walls (Investors Community Bank & Fresno First Bank)

Welcome to the Executive Innovation Show Podcast, brought to you by One Touch Video Banking. During this podcast hear host, Carrie Chitsey, talk with Tim Schneider (CEO of Investors Community Bank) and Steve Miller (President and CEO of Fresno First Bank). 

Tim Schneider is CEO of Investors Community Bank and one of the bank’s co-founders. Tim has been in the banking profession for more than 30 years and helped start the bank with three other entrepreneurs in 1997.

Steve Miller is the President and CEO of Fresno First Bank, one of the largest single branch community banks in the country. He has worked in the financial services sector for 25 years with both domestic and international assignments covering 4 countries. Since joining Fresno First Bank in October of 2015, the bank has doubled in Assets and seen its market valuation double as well.

Listen to “Community Banking Beyond Four Walls” as we discuss: 

  • Over the past 10 years, over 10,000 branches have closed, that’s an average of 3 branches per day. Why are branches closing at such a quick rate? Tim Schneider and Investors Community Bank, with only four branches, has become the 10th largest community bank in Wisconsin. How did they do it? A bulk of their business comes from agricultural clients who can not make it into the bank during the traditional banking hours of  8 am to 5 pm. How has this changed their strategy in expanding the community bank beyond four walls? How have they taken the bank to the customer? 
  • The large banks have more money for digital innovation but take much longer to move and roll out. Do community banks have a competitive advantage to get there faster with digital tools like video banking and other technology demanded by today’s digital customer? Listen as Tim Schneider talks about the role technology plays in his bank and the barrier to digital for the industry.
  • Currently, Investors Community Bank sends its relationship managers out into the field with their agricultural clients. Does this limit their time and reach? Carrie and Tim Schiender talk about the future of relationship banking. How will banking relationships for commercial clients look in the next five years with digital banking technology such as video banking and others? 
  • Schneider believes video banking will allow his bankers to stay in touch with their borrowers and customers a little more closely. Certain transaction types do not call for a four-hour drive to a rural farm. He goes on to explain the mutual benefits that both the customer experience and the bank. Banks are built on face-to-face relationships and regardless of generation, customers still want human interaction, but how do you meet them digitally? 
  • How are your branches set up today? Should you be considering micro branch locations and using video banking for financial specialties not available in that location? Carrie and Tim talk about what the future of banking will look like when it comes to employees and real estate space needed. Is the importance of a retail physical branch still relevant or has it just changed? What’s Investors Community Bank’s strategy for hiring and building branches in the future?
  • Fresno First Bank is one of the largest single branch community banks in the country. How did they extend beyond branch four walls to make this growth happen? Steve Miller talks with Carrie Chitsey about the difference in being a business bank versus a consumer bank. He explains why he used to believe he needed only one branch in each market but how that has changed since 90% of his customers never step foot into their branch. How have they grown by embracing technology with a non-traditional banking model? 
  • Considering 90% of Fresno First Bank’s business banking customers don’t step into the branch, how does Steve Miller think about the future of managing digital relationships and physical branches? He speaks how one branch in the right location leveraged with the right digital banking technology can fulfill his customers’ needs. 
  • It’s not easy implementing change. Steve and Carrie talk about the barrier to digital change within branches across America. They talk about the traditional model of community banks and credit unions and often times they struggle to transition employees that are used to how they have always done things to moving into digital banking relationships. Do banking executives need to think harder on training, change management and branch optimization?  Listen as Steve talks about his experience with change and implementing a psychological shift with his employees. 
  • Did you know that 82% of banks will be implementing video baking in the next 12 to 18 months? But most don’t really know what video banking is or the differences in the technology options? When you think of video banking do you think of Video ITMs, video conferencing or a true video banking platform? How has Steve’s views of video banking changed in the last 6 months? Hear Steve’s example of a time when video banking became useful for a remote customer in North Carolina, over 2,500 miles away.
  • In today’s busy and digital world where you can get groceries in an hour, the customers’ demand for instant connection goes across all industries. Carrie talks with Steve about where he sees the most opportunity for pairing the physical and digital world for branch optimization, acquiring and servicing customers from anywhere vs. in a physical branch location. 
  • Banks value face to face interactions with customers but customers value convenience. Does video banking bridge the gap? Miller expresses how business executives value human connections through video banking. He states that being able to talk to a person and look them in the eyes gives executives the human to human interaction they want, instantly. How will you connect to this new generation of business executives? 
  • With the new banking technologies, what are you looking for in a bank employee? We talk with Miller about how the role of a bank employee has really changed. Has the job description changed or just the communications channel? Steve provides great insight into how he believes the “core role” hasn’t changed, but the emphasis on technology skills has. Employees value work-life balance, do technology tools like video banking allow employees like relationship managers to have a better work-life balance? Listen to Steve’s answers. 
  • Listen to what keeps both Tim and Steve up at night as banking executives. 

 

Learn more about Investors Community Bank and how they develop great banking relationships with their customers. 

As one of the largest community banks in the country, keep up with Fresno First Bank and Steve Milleron LinkedIn. 

To learn more about digital banking and video banking, visit One Touch Video Banking resource center

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