It is not surprising that in this 2013 survey, navigating regulatory change remains a dominant theme throughout our survey responses. Yet, these responses also signal an acceptance to regulatory change that has enabled more community banks to move forward with a rising sense of optimism. By building regulatory compliance into their daily processes, they are increasingly spending more time focusing on ways to generate new revenue sources and grow their existing customer base.
This survey also describes how community banks are reducing costs to maintain the bottom line, and seeking top-line growth through new products, services, and strategies. In addition, banks are prepared to invest more in information technology by upgrading infrastructure, enhancing the use of data analytics, and utilizing mobile technology and social media to improve service offerings and better connect with customers.
Also of note, the survey reveals a renewed interest in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), but actual deal completion remains a challenge. The survey explores potential reasons for the delayed wave of M&A activity.