September 07, 2010

Bank earnings are shrinking; bank failures are growing (20% more than last year at the end of this eighth month); bank customers (retail and commercial) aren't making good on their loans; Chairwoman Bair's troubled list (829) is growing; Chairman Bernanke continues to report the weak economy isn’t going to end soon and yet he can't find a better bailout; the wrists of too-big-to-fail banks are broken from all the congressional penalty slaps; bank tech vendors are reporting flat revenues; bank IT budgets have a new name — "feed don't seed." And from India last week, the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank casts a dark shadow by proclaiming that banking technology has not improved productivity and efficiency. The Internet must have loved the speech because it's everywhere.

All this stuff reminds me of the ailing wildebeest in the Serengeti as seen on the Discovery Channel. He's the one the lions go after. For example, there's a statement in Dr. Chakrabarty's speech that doesn't appear to fit the criticism.

"Globally, after technology adoption, only 10 per cent of the banking staff is involved in “back-office” jobs and the remaining 90 per cent of the banking staff are freed for performing “front-office” jobs of customer acquisition, servicing and retention by ensuring customer loyalty."

Excuse me, but isn't that a good thing? In my opinion, 2011 will be more of the same as 2010. Let's hope the mud slinging abates.