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Environmental Scan - Industry Overview

Over the past decade, the banking and financial services industry has experienced major changes in regulations, competition and a significant decrease in market share. In 1945, banks held 58% of all the financial assets in the United States. That figure declined to 26.6% in 1991 and it is project to be 20% in the year 2003. Traditional marketing, lending and management practices in banking have also changed. Today sales and marketing skills are a sought after trait and lending has become a commodity business with customer loyalty changing with every interest rate swing. Mergers, acquisitions and shrinking financial margins have caused bank managers to examine the way they manage a smaller staff.

It is clear that banking is witnessing an end to the days of limited entry, genteel competition and statutory protection. Banking is entering a new era where the rules of the game will be unfamiliar to many seasoned bankers and where good management will be needed in ways that it has never been needed before. This environment of confusion and new competition will require more attention to good personnel management, especially in the areas of planning, recruitment, training, motivation and retention.

The Vasa Group, Inc. is well positioned to help banks and other financial organizations to plan and strategically position themselves to be successful in this changing environment. The ability to focus on and market the core capabilities of the bank will be the greatest test the organization will face. They will need to maintain their leading edge reputation on industry trends, program development and technological innovations.

The Vasa Group, Inc. is dedicated to work in close partnership with financial institutions to help transform themselves to overcome the roadblocks to success. Vasa is committed to helping reduce the barriers between strategic vision and real marketplace results. This is accomplished through the development of custom strategic plans, tailored management programs and results oriented measurement systems.

One of the competitive advantages that Vasa enjoys is its relationship and reputation within the industry. The principals have been selected by over 20 state banker associations to design, develop and deliver seminars and training programs. They have consistently received outstanding ratings for their work from the participants and sponsoring associations.

In addition to a track record of successful assignments with state and national banker associations, the principals have been engaged by community banks, regional banks and major bank holding companies for consulting, training, planning and management development programs. These financial institutions vary in size from 50 million dollar community banks to 3 billion dollar bank holding companies. The principals are also authors of a recently published manual on strategic planning which is being marketed nationwide.

The principals have worked hard to maintain a reputation as client focused professionals with the highest ethical standards.