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What banks think about

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Posted: 9 am ET

Consumers may have a lot on their minds when they interact with their bank. After all, overdraft fees, free checking accounts and loan foreclosures are just a few of the controversial subjects that affect many banking customers in one way or another.

But what do banks -- or more correctly, bankers -- think about?

It's an admittedly unscientific approach, but one way to find out what's of current interest in any industry is to take a peek at what the industry's trade group is up to. For banks, the main group is the American Bankers Association, ABA, in Washington, D.C. This group focuses much of its attention on lobbying Congress and federal regulatory agencies to influence the bank-friendliness of U.S. banking laws and regulations.

The agenda for the ABA's annual conference, to be held Feb. 20-23 in San Diego, Calif., offers up some clues about what bankers have on their minds. Here's a sampling of the scheduled topics, according to a recent ABA statement:

• The Federal Regulatory and Enforcement Environment Post Dodd-Frank

• Using Social Media To Enhance Your Communications Strategy

• Economic Outlook: Examining the Impact of White House and Congressional Decisions

• Selecting and Marketing a Mobile Banking Service

• Getting More Performance Out of Existing Staff

• Diversify Your Revenue Stream Through Bank Insurance

The conference "designed by bankers for bankers … promises to offer ideas that CEOs can take back to their banks and put to work immediately," the ABA stated.

Like most such events, this conference will also include keynote speeches, breakout sessions, networking opportunities and an exhibition hall, this one featuring companies that sell products and services to banks.

One more point of interest: The ABA conference is downright pricey, as such things go. Registration costs $1,095 for ABA members and $2,295 for nonmembers. And, no, that doesn't include travel arrangements.

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