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Can you see the forest for the trees?

Apr 27, 2020
By: Danielle M. Heidemann
Can you see the forest for the trees?

I drive a lot. I am terrible with directions, and I tend to get lost frequently when I rely on my internal ability to navigate. I rely on my GPS to get me almost everywhere using the most efficient route possible. I get in my car, type in the address of my destination and blindly follow the turn-by-turn directions my GPS gives me. Occasionally, it will send me on crazy routes that make no sense at all and end up taking me much longer than other routes.

It occurred to me that I have become so focused on the turn-by-turn instructions — primarily to avoid getting lost — that I am not able to see the broader view for a more direct route that may be available.

Many of our processes and procedures are built to “keep us from getting lost.” Minimizing errors and ensuring compliance have become our primary objectives. We avoid regulatory and audit issues by using step-by-step instructions to get from point “A” to point “B,” with our focus on gathering and documenting customer data in a compliant manner. This takes time, and it is frustrating to customers and staff, but we follow the instructions and get the job done.

For example, there are significant regulatory requirements for opening accounts for a new client. We must gather and document data to comply with BSA, TISA, IRS and other regulations, as well as be vigilant for potential fraud. While we focus on gathering this data, we are sacrificing precious time we could use to develop a relationship with our new customer. We have an ideal opportunity to determine needs and potentially cross-sell other products to grow this single new account into a profitable relationship, but instead our focus is on compliance.

Has your financial institution lost sight of the forest for the trees? Call your relationship executive today to see how we can help you refocus your processes to look for efficiencies to give you time to achieve your growth objectives.


Danielle M. Heidemann, CIA
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