Bank Talent Wars, The (Work) Force Awakens: How Tech is Shaping Bank’s Talent Strategies

In our latest Travillian Next episode, Charles Potts, EVP and Chief Innovation Officer at ICBA, joined our host, Brian Love, Head of Banking & Fintech at Travillian, for a lively chat and some entertaining banter about tech’s impact on banking efficiency.

This was a fun one with tons of “bank geek” banter, talk of flying cars and the hard-hitting facts! Use the guide below to read more about the topics discussed or use the time stamps next to the header to jump to which part interests you most.

(02:13) Technology’s Role in Banking Efficiency

Brian and Charles dove into the tech-driven evolution of banking operations. Charles stressed tech isn’t about replacing bank talent but supercharging their skills. It’s about changing the hiring game and upgrading operations. Brian shared examples of simple bots being used to automate tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more valuable work. Charles added that technology allows sales process to handle more volume, enabling officers to see more prospects and loans. Bottom line: Max out tech for max efficiency in banking ops.

(10:34) Community Banks Embracing Technology

Charles and Brian dug into tech’s pandemic impact on banks. Charles highlighted a shift from manual labor to the adoption of RPA and machine learning, revolutionizing loan processing efficiency. Brian connected the dots, emphasizing the direct link between streamlined back-office operations and heightened frontline productivity. Their conversation featured success stories from Kimberly Kirk, Chief Operations Officer, Queensborough National Bank and Jake Tuli, President & Director, Leader Bank.

(15:10) Innovation and Succession Planning in Banks

Brian and Charles discussed the pivotal connection between innovation and succession planning in banks, expressing concerns about potential talent loss like Kim and Jake, fearing a hit to innovative vision. They emphasized the need for a clear leader successor and integrating innovation into the organization’s culture beyond a specific department, recognizing the importance of attracting younger, innovation-minded talent. Charles illustrated this with an example of creatively combining existing products and services for improved outcomes.

(22:35) Data’s Rising Impact on Banking

Charles emphasized the increasing importance of data in the banking industry, envisioning a future where hiring priorities will favor those proficient in data analysis and strategic alignment. He noted universities’ response to this trend by expanding their data analytics curricula. In response to Brian’s query about potential paths to the CEO role, Charles confirmed that positions like Chief Technology Officer or Chief Data Officer could indeed pave the way. Emphasizing the critical role of data in banking success, Charles acknowledged the challenges of data volume, speed, and precision. He advocated for enhanced data analytics tools and a stronger strategic approach to boost operational efficiency. Brian agreed, adding that future industry leaders will likely emerge from diverse backgrounds and skillsets.


Travillian’s Banking and FinTech Practice provides Search and Talent Advisory services to depository institutions across the country. Established in 1998, the firm has built a unique platform that touches every corner of the industry. To learn more, click here, or get in touch below!

Brian Love, Head of Banking & Fintech
(484) 680-6950 | blove@travilliangroup.com

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