Six Quotes which say all about Banking!

“Later in life, as I competed against the banks, I would think back to this moment, and it gave me confidence. All the bankers did was copy what everyone else did. If everyone else ran off the bloody cliff, they’d run right off a cliff with them. If there was giant pile of gold sitting in the middle of the room and nobody was picking it up, they wouldn’t pick it up either.”

Elon Musk, quoted from ‘Elon Musk’ by Ashlee Vance (2015),  talking about his days as an intern with a reputed bank. His realisation of the ‘dumbness’ of bankers, led him to start a payment platform in the early 1990s named, which he later merged with Paypal and subsequently sold to Ebay in a multi-billion dollar deal.

“In the age of Internet and increasing deregulation of financial markets, though, how do two banks differentiate themselves from each other? It comes down to the intelligence of a bank’s credit analysis and risk management and its responsiveness in its relationship with the customer. It’s brains that gives one or the other bank the edge. I don’t mean just the individual abilities of bank employees. I mean the overall ability of the bank to capitalise on the best thinking of all of its employees.”

Bill Gates in Business@Speed of Thought (1999), elaborating how data about customer relationship is central to differentiation. We talk about Big Data and Analytics as a competitive advantage today. New jargons, same inference.

“Bank strategies are fundamentally flawed as those who think branches are the starting point will throw good money after bad. In contrast, those who think digital networks are the starting point, and then build the end points on top, including bank branches, will be much nearer the right strategy for the future.”

Chris Skinner in Digital Bank (2014)

“The customer of today expects a total customer experience that works for him….I expect a rapid and seamless delivery. Don’t ask me to fill out an application form with details you already have. I’m not here to work for you; you are here to work for me. Don’t dictate to me that I have to go to the branch to do this…Understand me, so that you will know what I need before I do.”

Brett King in Bank 2.0 (2010) talking about how the ‘Service’ needs to be put back in the Banks.

“A sound banker, alas, is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional and orthodox way with his fellows, so that no-one can really blame him.”

John M Keynes in “The Consequences to the Banks of the Collapse of Money Values” (1931). The essay was published during the Great Depression but is so pertinent to the Great Recession of 2008!

“There’s no reason to believe that what’s good for bankers is good for America…Its widely assumed that bankers have special expertise on economic policy, although nothing in the record supports this belief. (The bankers do, however, have excellent tailors.)”

Paul Krugman in his Op-Ed ‘The Rage of Bankers’ (2015) in, commenting about the ‘howling of bankers’ on Fed not raising the rates, was driven by decreasing NIM (net interest margin) rather than sound economics.





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