In a recent edition of the American Banker “Bankthink” section, Mr. Robert H. Smith, former chairman and CEO of Security Pacific Corp., wrote an opinion piece titled “Community Banks Should Ask for a Divorce.” In keeping with that theme, let me comment on Mr. Smith’s article in this way.
This is exactly what ICBA has been doing—or trying to do—asking for a divorce! The problem is that our abusive spouse (Wall Street mega-banks) doesn’t want to let us go. And while we are at it, the small credit unions should ask for a divorce from the mega-credit unions too. Our grounds for divorce are “irreconcilable differences.”
For the record, ICBA has been campaigning loud and long to dissociate ourselves from the reckless greed and overreach that triggered the 2008 financial crisis (or train wreck). In fact, in many ways, community banks were the victims of the crisis. So yes, Mr. Smith, you have the right idea.