Like many of you political junkies, I slumped into bed about 3:00 a.m. on the morning following our turbulent, unpredictable, and unconventional national elections. This election cycle and the subsequent outcomes serve as intriguing political fodder for the media talk shows, political science geeks, and election historians. They also will offer educational opportunities for future generations of students in our country to study elections and related social sciences.
Clearly, the American electorate is, and has been for several election cycles, actively seeking change and willing to go against traditional logic and acceptable norms. Our challenge as representatives of the banking sector is to understand both the direct and subtle messages the public is sending about the status of our country and our future direction. More specifically, how will these messages influence and impact the way banks serve and support their customers?
One of the best election analyses I’ve reviewed was written by Patrick Caddell who is a Democratic pollster and a Fox News contributor. Interestingly, Caddell’s analysis was written prior to the election and focused on the greatest surprise of this election: “The uprising of the American people.” Caddell argues in his analysis that the public has started a revolt that will have long-term consequences for our country. Specifically, he argues that support for non-traditional candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump evolved from the public’s growing frustration with the status quo. This was evidenced by numerous pre-election polls that suggested our country is on the wrong track. There also seems to be a growing alienation of the current political system within our country.
To substantiate Caddell’s arguments, he offers a wealth of recent survey data generated prior to the election. Following are a couple of these responses that clearly have relevance:
Clearly, one can speculate about the thought process behind these responses. However, what I was able to take away from much of this dialogue bodes well for the future of the banking industry. First, Americans understand and are committed to free enterprise. This is good news! Second, bankers truly do care about their customers and their communities. Again, this is good news for banking. Finally, our Nebraska banks are focused on helping our fellow Nebraskans finance their dreams and grow their personal wealth.
As Nebraska bankers look to the future, we should gain comfort knowing our customers are our priority and that we can directly impact their personal growth and success!
Richard Baier, a proud husband, father of two, and the president/CEO of the Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA). Avid about growing the Cornhusker State's banking industry.