Tennessee Bankers

Working toward the future

By Colin Barrett

Change is the only constant in the banking industry, and that is why discussing the future of our industry is so intriguing.

We know that bank consolidations will continue trending in the near-term; already in just the last three years, the number of Tennessee banks has decreased by 15 percent. We know that technology will continue being a dual-edged sword of opportunity and threats. And we know millennials will play a huge role in shaping our customer base and industry workforce. We know change will continue—the challenge is shaping it to our advantage.

The topic of change was discussed throughout the 127th TBA Annual Meeting. As we gathered in Naples, Fla., I reflected on just how much has changed in the 127 years since bankers from across Tennessee first met in Memphis to charter the Tennessee Bankers Association to make sure their voices were heard in Nashville and Washington.

Fittingly, this year’s theme for Annual Meeting was “Discover What’s On the Horizon” and topics ranged from the economy to branching to M&A trends. Bankers benefited from spending time with their peers and visiting with industry service providers. With almost 700 attendees, this was the largest attendance in a decade and one of the largest state association conventions in the country.

As we looked at and discussed what lies ahead for the industry—what this constant change will bring us—I reflected on the fact that no matter how much the times are changing, the TBA remains steeped in traditions. We gather each year to learn with each other and from each other. We celebrate the strength of our Association, and we reaffirm that, together, we are stronger.

One of our rich traditions is the changing of our leadership, as the outgoing TBA chairman turns the gavel over to our new one. It’s a time when our membership shows its appreciation for a job well done and support for the next in line.

Over the past year, our industry has benefited from the leadership of TBA Chairman Gordon Majors, president and CEO of The Hardin County Bank in Savannah. His thoughtful leadership and steady hand has led the Association during a year of change for our industry. On a personal level, Gordon has served as a mentor and friend throughout my career; someone whose opinions I value and work ethic I try to emulate.

I now look forward to working with our new chairman, Lee Moss, who brings a unique perspective to his role, having worked for Third National/SunTrust Bank before starting Mid-South Bank in Murfreesboro. When MidSouth Bank was acquired by Franklin Synergy Bank, Lee became the president of this fast-growing financial institution.

Expect Lee to be an active leader for the Association, bringing valuable guidance to our government relations initiatives. Our top priority continues to be regulatory reform in D.C., as the Financial CHOICE Act has moved successfully out of the House and will now be dismantled and rebuilt in the Senate Banking Committee to gain bipartisan support. In Nashville, we will prepare for another successful state legislative session by visiting with bankers and legislators across the state.

Meanwhile, here at the TBA, we will be preparing for the departures of EVP and General Counsel Tim Amos and SVP of Professional Development Susan Taylor, who will leave us at the end of 2017. And while their departures will certainly be felt, they will leave government relations and education in a strong position for continued success.

I look forward to working with you to make the 2017-2018 TBA year a success through meeting the ever-evolving needs of you and your banks. If Lee, our team, or I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.