The financial meltdown resulting from the subprime mortgage fiasco culminated in the most dramatic economic slowdown since the Great Depression. The global economic crisis raised the debate about the role of financial institutions and the role of regulators in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world. It also altered the marketplace's perception of historically trusted financial institutions.
Over the years, geopolitical, economic and technical trends have had a subtle, but very powerful, impact on the basic business model for financial institutions worldwide and on their interactions with accountholders. Add to that increased margin pressures, regulatory and compliance issues, fraud and compliance concerns, and competitive threats, and it becomes obvious that the old business model simply won't work going forward. At the same time, the financial industry is littered with some of the oldest technologies of any industry, which contributed to the poor credit decisions that fueled the crisis.
A recognized entrepreneur and award-winning innovator, Louis Hernandez, Jr., using historical examples, points out that the rate of change impacting the financial services industry is accelerating. The industry has been slow to respond to change, and the focus on the recent crisis has uncovered fundamental problems that financial institutions have been avoiding. Hernandez outlines a process to map the future direction of individual institutions and the industry in a way that addresses near-term issues and overarching global changes, such as a re-emergent Asia and the dynamics of a knowledge economy.
He points out that the “Too Big to Fail” thesis has given way to the seemingly more prudent, community-based institutions that largely avoided the subprime crisis. These institutions have demonstrated that they represent a unique pillar of economic stability.
Now, he says, is the perfect time for the leaders of these community-based institutions to seize the day and lead the financial services industry back to the center of economic vitality and drive global economic growth, one community at a time. In Too Small to Fail, Hernandez issues the call to action, “Do you have the extraordinary drive it will take to inspire the industry and bring financial institutions back to their place as trusted intermediaries?”