In February 2015, I received the following question during one of my presentation to a bankers’ association: “Do you foresee any regulatory relief in the future?” At the time, my answer was “no,” as Washington was fervently promoting consumer interests. Though I’ve been in the banking industry for almost 17 years now and served as a regulatory examiner through the most recent financial crisis, little did I know the tides would turn at the next presidential election. In all seriousness, who, in early 2015, would have predicted Donald Trump would be our next president and spawn multiple deregulation efforts reminiscent of those during the Reagan era of the 1980s?
It’s been years since I first heard the phrase, “nothing’s permanent.” As President Trump’s first year is behind us, however, this phrase plays like a record in my mind. Reflecting back to that presentation in February 2015 and knowing what I know now, that would have been my response. Nothing’s permanent.
Some of you have been in the banking industry long enough to have seen three, four or maybe even five noteworthy regime shifts in Washington. There are also those who may be newer to a management position with the responsibility of leading your bank into the next era. Regardless of your experience, knowing and remembering nothing’s permanent can be constructive, especially when formulating the bank’s strategic direction and risk management practices. Creating the flexibility to respond to those changes that can’t even begin to be predicted yet will help ensure your bank’s prosperity for years to come.
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