Banking is the foundation on which business and commerce are built. Persistent low interest rates, tougher regulations, capital requirements nearly double their pre-financial crisis levels, and emerging competition from “Fintech” firms are today’s challenges, but banks continue to be the critical financial intermediary from global conglomerates to small, local enterprises.
Given the central role banks play in our modern complex economy, good bankers need the discipline to tap the brakes when things are getting frothy but the courage to stick with good customers who hit a rough patch but can work their way out of it even in a downturn. Similarly, prudent business owners should seek out bankers who demonstrate they understand the dynamics of the industry and the overall marketplace. And all the key players in our banking system (bankers, regulators and politicians, and businesses) need to appreciate that the mortar that holds it all together — or not — is integrity and trust.
Of course, banks differ among themselves as to particular services — as well as industry focus and expertise. For this issue’s cover story, In Business Magazine invited some of the banks that serve our Valley businesses to iterate their particular “persona” of practices, processes and products.
In similar vein, area credit unions were invited to share their information as the issue’s Feedback feature. And In Business Magazine’s comprehensive annual guide to lending institutions has been updated and is offered as a resource to Valley businesses.
Presenting a feature article that touches business pillars of both marketing and communication, this issue offers tips to help businesses craft and control messaging when they’ve been hit with a crisis and social media spreads the news like wildfire. Another article shares how one area service business is trying to help public-facing ones reach an underserved market.
The By the Numbers feature looks at trends in green building and how the Phoenix market stands in relation to the nation as a whole. There is also a timely reminder of the recent federal overtime rule change, along with tips on being in compliance.
With its varied complement of topics in addition to the Banking cover story and the annual Business Lending Guide, this issue of In Business Magazine provides a depth of relevant information for business decision makers. I’m pleased to have worked with In Business Magazine to help bring you this information.
Chief Executive Officer
Alliance Bank of Arizona
James (Jim) Lundy is founding CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona, established in 2003. He has worked in a variety of commercial banking positions in Phoenix since 1984.
Lundy earned a Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor with distinction from the University of Arizona, and served as a lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Navy in Charleston, S.C.
He is immediate past chair and current board member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, chair of the Catholic Community Foundation, secretary of the Phoenix Civic Improvement Corporation and currently serves on the FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking. He is a past chair of the Arizona Bankers Association and the Arizona chapter of Teach for America.