Pub. 12 2022-2023 Issue 6

Chairman’s Message: Reflections and Ruminations

My time as CBA Chairman is coming to a close. It has been a busy year for all of us. Ten months ago, we did not have a clear picture of the economy or the future of the financial services industry. Today, we are faced with a similar predicament. Our industry faces a future of uncertainty with a call from D.C. for more regulation and oversight. This is a short-sighted reaction to national events. I remain optimistic about our industry and its future. It is easy to get caught up in the negative hype of the media, but there are too many positive indicators to ignore.

We have waited for years for Congress to enact Safe Banking legislation. We are closer now than ever before. A bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress. Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R‑MT), in conjunction with Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), are sponsoring the legislation. Former Representative Perlmutter was a strong advocate for Safe Banking, only to have his efforts wither and die in the Senate. Lawmakers from both parties have expressed optimism about finally enacting this important legislation.

There are other fights on the horizon. The President attacked multiple industries from entertainment to the airline industry to banking, with statements regarding “junk” fees. In March, the White House, with the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), urged states to expand efforts to crack down on surprise fees consumers are forced to pay. The CFPB has called these fees exploitative, and Julie Chavez, Senior Advisor to the White House, referenced them as predatory. This fight will be a dual attack, federal and state. We have strong leadership at CBA to guide us and represent our interests when outside forces work to our detriment.

Last summer, political pundits were predicting a difficult mid-term election for the President. The anticipated “red wave” never materialized. Here in Colorado, we became a deeper shade of blue. This message is written in the waning days of the legislative session. We had more wins than losses this year. Our industry was effective in amending legislation and influencing policy thanks to CBA leadership.

An association thrives and excels when its membership grows. We have continued to expand our membership both in banking and associate services. With new members, we infuse fresh ideas, new energy, and an untapped yield of future leaders. Our members help raise our voice in the community.

Your association offered more seminars and professional development opportunities this past year than in previous years and continues to expand its educational offerings. The CBA education programs are, in many instances, an extension of your corporate training. It is an important employee retention tool. This is a service and benefit of the CBA membership. I hope each of you had the opportunity to take advantage of one of the many programs offered this past year either online or in person.

CBA takes care of business. I have the greatest respect for Jenifer and her staff. The entire team is devoted to seeking exceptional outcomes on your behalf.

I would like to take a moment to thank my fellow officers, Shawn Osthoff, Kevin Erikson, and Michael Brown. It has been a pleasure to work so closely with this group. We have tackled some difficult issues that required thorough cleaning. But at the end of the day, it all came out in the wash.

Finally, the opportunities to meet new people and make new connections have been the best part of this past year. To represent you and the association has been an honor I will always treasure. My term is ending, but the work will continue. I hope that the coming years for the association are marked by even more growth and participation.