Banking on success in Gwinnett
Talented, experienced and then some, Gwinnett”s bankers share an intimate knowledge of the local market and the banking industry as a whole. We”ve asked some of the best brains in banking for their thoughts on recent changes in the industry – and to take a look ahead.
So what”s on the horizon? Electronic, electronic, electronic. All agree that the advances in technology that have already made banking faster, easier and more convenient will continue to transform the industry. Many predict the widespread use of mobile phone banking and the extension of remote deposit services – which now allow businesses to process checks in the office – to consumer households.
Gwinnett Magazine shares with readers the insights from many of Gwinnett”s leading bankers, representing community, regional and national banks, as they discuss banking trends, mortgage lending, new products and services, and Gwinnett”s outlook for 2008.
The Brand Banking Co.
Bartow Morgan, Jr., CEO
When it comes to the year ahead, Brand Bank CEO Bartow Morgan, Jr., is optimistic – about the bank and the economy. His forecast for 2008? "A reduction in rates that will help the economy get out of its current state and rebound." The great-great-grandson of the bank”s founder, Morgan took the reins in 1994. In the last decade, the biggest change he”s seen in banking has been "rapid change in technology which has decreased check use in the system," and he expects a continued increase in electronic versus paper banking customers. Whatever the future brings, his bank will continue "meeting customers” needs by asking customers what their needs are."
Gwinnett Community Bank
Thomas J. Martin,Chairman and CEO
"It is nearly impossible to turn on the television or pick up a newspaper today and not be inundated with stories regarding the state of the economy… A great deal of commentary is focused on trying to predict where we stand in the cycle of the downturn," says Thomas J. Martin, Chairman and CEO of Gwinnett Community Bank. "I believe in Warren Buffett”s philosophy that it is far less important to predict rain than it is to build an ark…" How does Martin plan to build a better boat? Diversifying risks for sound and prudent growth. "While the landscape of the banking community has changed a great deal over time, with more competition, new opportunities and better technology," he says, "the basic blocking and tackling aspects that have proven successful are unchanged."
Security Bank of Gwinnett Co.
Heyward Horton, CEO
Heyward Horton, CEO of Security Bank of Gwinnett County, has been in banking for more than 40 years, 20 of them in Gwinnett. He foresees current trends in technology continuing in the years ahead: "I think we will see more options to bank remotely, i.e. online banking, bill pay services, banking from your cell phone." As for the immediate future, Horton expects "the first half of 2008 to be much like today. Although we are part of a global economy, I believe we have lost sight of the good things going on in Georgia and specifically the Atlanta and Gwinnett markets. Our population continues to grow, new jobs are being created and our local economy remains healthy. We expect the second half of 2008 to