Nov-Dec_Issue - page 6

Wisconsin Community Banker
November/December 2014
Millennial Generation: A Good Match with
Community Banks
surprising results of the 2014 ICBA
American Millennials and Banking study
show that the future of community banking is
very bright. As we continue to reach out to cus-
tomers and respond to their needs in media that
they use, Millennials will become community
banks’ best customers.
Conducted with the Center for Generational
Kinetics, the study surveyed more than 1,000
nationally representative Americans age 19 and
over, including small samples of Gen Xers (aged
38–49) and Baby Boomers (aged 50–68), as well
as Millennials (age 19–37).
Among the surprises: Millennials are inter-
ested in learning more about local banks, prefer
locally owned and operated community banks,
and are by far the most entrepreneurial genera-
tion, with almost half (46 percent) saying that
they are interested in learning about starting a
small business. Considering that community
banks provide nearly 60 percent of all small busi-
ness loans under $1 million, this is good news for
community bankers.
That’s not all: Almost a quarter of Millennials
already earn at least part of their income from a
business they own or have a stake in. And over 60
percent of Millennials who intend to start their
own business hope to do so within the next two
The impact of the Millennials on Wisconsin
community banks will be immense and immedi-
ate. This generation numbers almost 80 million
and is the largest to enter the marketplace since
the Baby Boomers. Millennials are now begin-
ning to establish long-term banking relation-
ships. In fact, they represent the greatest lifetime
value of any banking customer and are already
the fastest-growing generation of new customers
at many community banks.
Like other Americans, a majority of Millenni-
als (54 percent) prefer to work with locally owned
and locally operated community banks and a
majority (58 percent) felt that banks sometimes
treat them like a number. The survey reported
that two thirds of all Americans (66 percent)
agree that they “wish relations with banks were
more personal.”
The Millennial generation represents an enor-
mous opportunity for community banks. In order
to reach them, the study offered
three recommendations:
• Create an Entrepreneur Advi-
sory Board representing multiple
• Make Millennial customers
feel like VIPs by introducing them
to bank employees, asking them how they would
like to be contacted, and inviting them as guests
to events, such as sporting events, fashion shows,
and non-profit fundraisers.
• Adapt to Millennials’ communication profile
by telling your bank’s story visually, using screens
rather than brochures, and offering to connect
via LinkedIn, texts, or email.
These recommendations are not only useful
to individual community banks, they are also
helpful to CBW as we consider how best to serve
new generations of community bankers. BOLT
(Building Our Leaders of Tomorrow) and our
Leadership Development for Community Bank-
ers program are steps in this direction as CBW
emphasizes the Millennial generation in planning
for the future of our industry.
Reach Daryll J. Lund at
Serving You
Daryll J. Lund, CAE, CBW President and CEO
The impact of the Millennials onWisconsin community
banks will be immense and immediate.
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