Banking with a Purpose with Harry Gunsallus of Owners Bank
Shouldn’t banks prioritize being fintech friendly to stay competitive? In this episode of PayPod, host Jacob Hollabaugh sits down with Harry Gunsallus of Owners Bank to discuss how the banking industry has been disrupted by non-traditional players. Owners Bank is a digital bank. Watch this episode for a fun and interesting dive into this latest development in payments and fintech.
Payments & Fintech Insights In This Episode
- Fintech-friendly ecosystem is required for the industry to stay relevant.
- 50% of small businesses are actively looking to change their bank.
- Cash flow is the primary reason for small businesses to fail.
- The due diligence process a bank goes through is not simple.
- Integration is key to provide a seamless experience to the customer.
- Interacting with customers is crucial for building relationships
- And SO much more!
Harry Gunsallus : Owners Bank
Owners Bank was created specifically to meet the evolving needs of business owners. There’s no doubt that small businesses are the backbone of America. Owners Bank is a new digital bank that offers businesses products and services to help save money and make banking as easy as possible.
Featured on the Show
PayPod is the leading voice in the payments and fintech industry, covering payments, risk management and new technology. Host Jacob Hollabaugh interviews leaders who are shaping the payments and fintech world, as they discuss the latest developments in the payments and fintech industry.
Jacob: Welcome to PayPod, the Payments Industry podcast. Each week we’ll bring you in depth conversations with leaders who are shaping the payments and fintech world from payment processing to risk management and from new technology to entirely new payment types. If you want to know what’s happening in the world of fintech and payments, you’re in the right place. Hello, everyone. Welcome to PayPod. I’m your host, Jacob Hollabaugh. And today on the show, we are going to be discussing how to stand out as a bank in 2023. It’s been an at times tumultuous year for the banking industry. There’s been a little bit of chaos, a little bit of confusion in amid all of that. You would probably think that no one was probably trying to start or open a brand new bank. Well, not so fast, because joining me today is one such person who was part of a team that did, in fact, launch a new bank this year amid some of that tumult the industry has seen. I’m joined by Harry Gunsallus, COO of Owners Bank, with me here to discuss this new banking venture and the industry as a whole. Harry, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.
Harry: Hey, Jacob. Thanks for having me.
Jacob: Yes, the pleasure is mine. Now. I want to eventually get to Owners Bank and get to some of the things that are going on in the industry, especially around the time earlier this year when you launched it. But let’s start with a little bit of background. Could you fill us in a little bit on your career within this industry and in the financial world? And it seems like from if your LinkedIn is accurate, you know, you’ve been in this world a little bit now. What is it that you love about working in banking that’s kept you in this world that excites you about being in this world?
Harry: Sure, sure. So yeah, I am a grizzled veteran. I like to tell people, if you talk to a banker long enough, you just have to ask them how many banks they’ve worked for because all the names have changed over the years. So I’m probably on 7 or 8 different financial institutions at this point. Started with B of A and started as an IT guy. And so I worked in IT tech. I was a CIO and CTO and all the other C blancos that you could be. And then I decided one day I wanted to become a CEO and tried to figure out how to do that as an IT guy and said, I got to learn operations. So I went to my boss and said, Hey, I’d like to learn ops. So I learned ops. And then he gave me lending. So I learned lending. And then I got an opportunity to go be a CEO of a credit union. And Augusta, Georgia. So I did that for a couple of years. Then I got an offer to be a chief innovation officer for a community bank. And that all leads me to Owners Bank, the topic of the day. And I got a call from from a friend of mine who I’ve known for 20 years and said, we’re going to do this thing and it’s a digital bank and we’d love to have you be a part of it, and I’m happy to be here. What was the second part of the question, Jacob.
Jacob: No, you answered both parts of it there because yeah, you mentioned so Owners Bank is a subsidiary of Liberty Bank. So could you give us a quick the quick high level overview of who Liberty Bank is first and then that can lead into how the idea then came about for them to want to open this new digital bank kind of branch of their company.
Harry: Yep, perfect. So in the folklore bank a couple, three years ago, they were having a strategic planning session. Um, in that session came out this idea of an innovation lab and that evolved into, Hey, why don’t we actually start a digital brand? Because we’re a state chartered bank. Let’s go out and we love our product. Let’s see if we can take that further and the evolution of that over the next year or so was. And let’s target small, mid-sized business, the SMB market and about at that point I was called by my boss and said, Hey, let’s go see if we can build this thing. Nine months later, what’s significant, right, Because you can have a baby in nine months. And we had a baby and we called it owner’s bank and we launched our checking and savings. Two months after that, we launched Lending, which is a unique thing for a digital bank brand. Most digital bank brands stay on the checking savings side. So we launched lending, and I’m excited to announce that on September 5th we’re going to launch business credit cards. And so we’re going to continue to evolve and roll out these products. But so far, the culmination of the vision from a couple, three years ago has been very well received. And again, we’re excited to be in the in the business.
Jacob: Yeah, love it. So what could you fill me in on? Is it just simply something to do with like regulatory reasons? What was the reason for the folks at Liberty Bank saying this new thing we want to do has to be its own separate bank and that it isn’t just Liberty Bank added changed their offerings or added offerings. There’s just some regulatory things. Or was there is there a big advantage to being a different brand or. Yeah, walk me through that.
Harry: Yeah, I think it’s two things really, right? One is the regulatory it’s a state chartered bank, so it’s complicated to take the whole bank and go outside of the state. The other thing is, and I think this is really the more interesting part of it, it’s an innovation lab, right? And so as you create this lots of bank struggle, Jacob, with how do we become more innovative and what is truly innovative, If we could take these really smart folks and put them in a little think tank, what would they come up with and to prove? Of all of the innovations. What we’ve done is we’ve created an owners bank and really owners bank becomes this incubation lab for liberty. So as an example, we’ve partnered with lots of fintechs, and when those things work really, really well. Liberty Bank is going to want to assimilate those things into their ecosystem. So I think it’s really that and I think that’s probably the cooler part of the owner’s bank story, is that when we identify things that work really well. We take them back to the mothership and then they bake them into their product offerings and services.
Jacob: Yeah, that’s a fantastic setup for them and it makes a lot of sense from the customer standpoint too, of you want to keep your brand and you don’t want to necessarily like, Hey, we’re going to start trying a bunch of new things or maybe for some new people, we’re going to do it over here. It’s not us. We’ll bring the best of that over here. But we don’t want you. You’re use to this static thing that it provides this service you really like or assume you really like if you’ve been with us for a long time. So it makes sense from a brand perspective and a customer expectation perspective why you’d want to split those things up and then certainly to be able to bring the best of the best back over to the other one is a wonderful place to be as well. Now, the banking industry obviously is very crowded. There’s lots and lots of places out there that you can go to do your banking. And in a crowded industry, I wonder how much are you paying attention to what others are trying to do versus what maybe your customers are saying they need or want versus as you’ve mentioned already, you know, this is meant to be this kind of little R&D type incubator. So are you mostly focused on what ideas do we have or are you going to your customers? Are you keeping an eye on what the rest of the industry is doing? How do you operate in such a crowded space? If you’re trying to be someone who’s doing something new, who’s bringing innovation to the table?
Harry: Yeah. So I think, Jacob, it’s a great question. I think the first thing that I want to say is it’s even more crowded than you think it is. And so what I mean by that is, is look, as an example, Starbucks, right, has a pre-loaded debit card. Right. And love to ask people this. Did you know that you can get a mortgage at Overstock.com?
Jacob: I believe it, but did not know it.
Harry: So tell me about your Amazon account. So the banking industry as a whole has been being disrupted by non-traditional players for a long time. And part of my favorite thing to say is if you can’t beat them, join them. So where does that disruption come to play at banking? Look, if any of the social media players decided we’re going to monetize our customers and we’re going to allow person to person payments. It’s very disruptive. And so so for me, the thing is we need to be more fintech friendly as an industry, right? Look, they don’t have the regulations that banking has and and they don’t have the same metrics for success that banks have. And so I think the best way to do that is to actually partner with those folks. So do we look at the competition? Absolutely. So one eye is always on the competition and we’re tracking all of the people that are doing innovative things in and around banking. So not just pure play banks. We watch American Express as an example, and what they’re doing right. They recently purchased a pure play tech and we’re watching that and we watch that because if I’m a big believer that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and if you’re doing something that’s really awesome and it’s really taking traction, I need to know about that and I need to understand specifically, does it apply to my business segment? Because here’s the real challenge in banking.
Harry: We cater to small mid sized businesses. Big banks do not. Now, they may have small mid sized business products, but by and large, when we say small mid business, we’re talking about the small side, right? The solopreneurs, as I like to refer to them, grandma who’s making quilts and selling them on Etsy. If she’s going to a big bank, she is being banked as a consumer. And maybe that’s okay. But as grandma then goes out and hires four and five of her friends, it becomes a real problem for her. And in fact, right now, today, 50% of the small businesses are actively looking or thinking about changing their bank. And the reason for that, we believe, is because they don’t cater to their needs. So we wanted to build a bank that is a very niche play specifically around those small business people. Our products are geared that way. Our services are geared that way. When you look at our checking and savings accounts, the interest tiers are built for small business people. They’re not built for mega banks and mega customers. And so for us, yeah, we keep an eye on them. But the very first filter that we put on it, Jacob, is does this apply to small, mid-sized business?
Jacob: And you’ve laid out there a lot of the reasons why they aren’t being catered to before. And so it’s a smart market to go after, to be able to offer them something that is made for them. What where are some of those friction points that those types of businesses are having with the big banks that, yeah, we have the product for you, but it’s just there because we know that you know our name and that if you need a bank, you’ll say, I guess I could go to this person. I’m not going to name any other big banks, but like I myself as a small business, one man shop owner, when I needed a bank, I just went to one of the big ones I knew and I can attest that yes, certainly their products as I’ve come to know them, we’re not made or designed with me in mind. So could you give us a couple examples maybe of why products from the banks that aren’t focused on them kind of fall short for these owners and where yours may be a little different?
Harry: I’ll give you a couple of examples from an owner’s bank perspective. So as an example, owner’s bank does not and I do not believe we will offer home equity lines of credit. And here’s why. We know that small business owners who are very passionate about their business are cash strapped. We know this like 99% of all of the businesses in the United States of America are, in fact, small businesses. And of all of the small businesses that are out there, 50% of them fail. And when they fail, they fail because of cash flow. And here’s what people tend to do, right? I love my idea. I’m going to go be a podcaster and I’m going to kill it. You’ll see. And then what happens is you get a little cash strapped, right? And so then you start thinking about things and you make long term decisions for a short term problem, right? Which is a cash flow problem, generally speaking, is a short term problem. And I’m going to go out and get a home equity loan. Right. And now I’ve lost my house. Because I did it. The cash flow thing figured out in time, and we think that’s horrible. Quite frankly, it’s horrible. Small businesses need to be successful in America. They employ most of us, right? So small businesses need to be successful. I’ll give you one other example. From an owner’s bank perspective, we’re launching a business credit card so that Jacob can go out and get a business credit card.
Harry: Now, how is a business credit card different than a consumer credit card that might actually have your business name on it? The primary difference is that we allow through a business card for you to have additional employees accessing that same line of credit. The best example I can have is I used to own an air conditioning company. True story. And we had four service techs that worked for us and they had vans and they drove around in their vans, right? And they serviced air conditioner customers. Those vans needed gasoline. When we started that business. Jacob True story. I used to have to go to the gas station and pay for them to pump their gas. Now, that’s not a very efficient use of my time, but I didn’t have any other way to do it. So if you went to Owners Bank and you got a credit card, you could actually have your service technicians each have a credit card and you can manage and monitor their expenses and you feel much more like a real company and all of the rewards and all of the points and all of the things come to you as the owner of the business. Hence owners bank. So I think those are two good examples of why we’re different than big banks that you went and got your consumer product with.
Jacob: Yeah, certainly. You may have a new customer by the end of this. I’m just just off of me alone, let alone others out there listening or anything. The other thing then with the products themselves, to ask one more kind of just technical thing on the products is push back. I think generally from the public, maybe within the banking world is that, you know, other benefits all sound great, but it seems like it just really comes down to what rate is on it with the checking or savings account. What’s what’s the interest rate on any credit side things? What’s the interest rate on any savings side things? So is do you view that as true or do you think there’s enough other benefits out there to make it not just some either race to the bottom or top, depending which way you’re looking at it, of interest rates? And how do I was very sore with your options from the checking and savings side, some pretty aggressive rates on the savings side that I do actually have. One other kind of interesting thing I’d like to ask about, but I’ll leave it to just the one question at a time. For now, do you view the industry as that is the kind of maybe not the end all, be all, but the biggest item, the thing that matters the most, or do you think there’s a lot more benefits that are just as beneficial or valuable that the consumers maybe aren’t always thinking about because maybe they haven’t been presented to them before when it’s not focused on actually being made for them and what they really need.
Harry: Sure. I tend to think of things in. In twos or threes. Jacob So does rate matter? Absolutely. Without a doubt. Rate matters. But for me, what I think about is it doesn’t do me any good to have an outstanding rate, good or bad, if I can’t get to it. So the process matters a lot as well. And certainly as a digital bank, we have thought and thought and even evolved and enhanced the process right to the point where if you’re a well-prepared borrower, Jacob, at Owners Bank, you can get a loan, you can get your loan application submitted online at night when you’re available, because remember, you got that day job because you’re a business owner in less than eight minutes. Now the rate matters. But if I can ever get to the rate because it takes me 17 different times, or if I got to go into a branch and talk to a person who’s going to enter stuff on a keyboard and then I got to get calls back and it takes. Six weeks to get a decision. My cash flow problem is today. You know what I mean? So if I’m looking for a line of credit to help me enhance and grow my business, but it’s going to take me six weeks to get to an answer. And by the way, six weeks an average out there. And we can make it an eight minutes where you can actually submit your loan application and in three days have a decision.
Harry: I mean, that matters a lot, too. And then I think the other thing that comes into play is, yeah, I need to have the other products and services, right? So at Owners Bank, we make it easy for you to manage your cash flow, right? We’ve got the financial management tools that you need. And quite frankly, the thing that I love the most is when I was an air conditioning guy and this is again, a true story, I was the guy that drove around in the van and had ten, 15 invoices on my dashboard. And every Friday night I knew two things. I was done for the week, but not really, because now I had to go and do all my invoices right. And it takes, on average, 18 minutes for a small business person to manage that invoice, 18 minutes to manage an invoice that’s not even getting paid yet. Right? So with owners bank, we digitize that whole thing from the driveway of the customer’s office. You can send them an email, you can attach the thing, they can do a quick pay, and it helps me manage my cash flow and think those things matter a lot too. So from my perspective, it’s three things that matter, right? Absolutely matters. But if you can’t get to it and you can’t manage your cash flow, you’re doing yourself a disservice. And again, 50% of the small business owners are looking to change their bank at any one time.
Jacob: Yeah, certainly. So you mentioned a lot of those financial tools. And earlier you mentioned how partnering with the great FinTechs being more involved with the FinTechs, is your belief a really good strategy and a kind of necessity at this point in time in the industry when you’re partnering with all these other wonderful fintechs to offer your customers these the suite of different financial tools to them. What are you looking for in a partner? What is the standards you’re looking for in who to work with? And especially having gone through that initial selection so recently, it’s one thing if your company is ten years old and you’re adding one new little tool in and maybe you have a little more leeway to give someone a try whose product sounds amazing and maybe doesn’t meet everything you’re looking for. But it’s okay. We’re a really rock solid business. We’ve been around forever. It’s only one tool versus right at the beginning when it’s like, these are the first things we’re going to roll out to our first ever customers. There’s probably a higher bar or the highest bar ever for bringing a partner on board. So what were you looking for in partners, fintech partners for either the ways they operate, the types of things they offer. What was that selection process like?
Harry: Yeah. So I think for us, remember, I was an IT guy first, right? So, so you got to understand the due diligence process a bank has to go through. It’s not simple and it’s not for the faint of heart, right? So you got to weed out all of the fintech folks that cannot comply with that due diligence process first and foremost. Second thing I think is a very important is do they integrate? Real time API kind of integration with your text. Right. It doesn’t help me if my online banking doesn’t work with my core, banking doesn’t work with my loan system, doesn’t work with my credit card system doesn’t work with. Right. So all of those things have to work together so that you can provide that seamless experience. Right? What I’ll tell you is if I can make it easy for the customer, it’s probably ten times harder on the back, right? The behind the curtain is way more complicated. And what we want to present to the customer, we want to give them the experience of delight and ease and that the more ease there is, the harder it is to infrastructure, all of that stuff together. And then obviously we want a robust vendor, right? We want partners. We’re not looking to hire a vendor to do that one off thing. We’re looking at vendors that want to be vested in our success, that we understand what their roadmap is, right? So it’s very important for us that didn’t pick a vendor that ten years ago stopped doing R&D in their product. Right? I need to know that they’re going to spend money doing R&D for the next five years anyway so that we know what their roadmap looks like and the things that they’re going to build are the things that our customers are going to want.
Jacob: Yeah, very, very smart. And with those you referenced a few of them I think a minute or two ago or potentially that could be the answer to this. But when thinking about the small businesses you’re catering to, what are the couple of financial tools you would say are the highest impact for those owners? The one maybe when you sat down as you’re thinking about what do we need to have as our first initial offering with Owners bank, you’re like, we got to have this, we got to have this, we got to have this. Go find partners for them first. Are there any 1 or 2 types of tools that stand out amongst the hundreds of them that can have value to a small business owner? Are there any that stand out as these are the highest impact? We need to make sure we have these first and the best possible available for sure.
Harry: Yeah. There’s this popular show Jacob on and it brings in entrepreneurs and there’s a guy on that show who likes to say cash flow is king, right? We believe that at owners, bank cash flow is king. Again, 50% of the businesses that fail because of cash flow. And on average, my friend, they have 3 to 4 weeks of working capital, right? So if you look at almost any small business in America today, they have a cash flow problem. They may not have a product problem, a service problem or a customer problem. But look, as an AC guy, I ran an air conditioning company. Here’s what I will tell you. Jacob calls me up and says, Hey, Harry, can you come out and fix my air conditioning? Absolutely. I’ll be there in a minute. Right. I show up at your house. Jacob, you need a whole new air conditioning system. You’re like, Oh, man, that stinks. Go. Yeah, yeah. And by the way, as the air conditioning guy stinks for me too, because I have to buy all of that stuff first. Right. What customers don’t understand, right? Jacob may not understand this, but that air conditioning company buys all of it first. So they have the outlay. They install it. And then, Jacob, you take on average 30 days to pay for that air conditioner. Some people finance it even. So when do I get my return? It’s that’s the cash flow problem, right? And so we think cash management, cash flow management, this understanding of your financial picture. So we allow you to bring all of your other financial institutions in so you can have a one view, a world view of your financial picture.
Harry: We make it easy for you to move stuff from those big banks to us and vice versa, right? Because we understand that we’re probably well, I’m pretty sure we’re not your only financial relationship, right? You got mortgage somewhere else, you got this somewhere else, you got a car loan or a van loan or whatever. And we’re not trying to do those things. We don’t do car loans because there are a lot of places that do them way better than we will. And I think the credit card and the way that we’ve positioned our loans, right. So if you need a small line, you get a credit card. If you need a little bigger line, you get a line of credit. If you need a sizable loan, you get a term loan. And we interact with every one of our customers. Right? So, Jacob, we don’t want you to get the wrong product for the wrong use case. Hey, Harry, I need, like, ten grand to cover payroll on a recurring monthly basis. Well, that sounds like a great product for a line of credit, right? That’s how we would solve that problem. But I wouldn’t recommend that you put your payroll on your credit card. And so we want to have that consultation with our customers. We think that’s super important and I think that’s how the relationships are built, quite frankly. There’s a lot of banks out there that’ll just let you wander around their website and talk to their ivrs until you get lost. But we’re going to interact with you.
Jacob: Yeah, and that can be where someone does end up with that. I paid my payroll with a credit card because the big company I went to for my banking services, I saw it was available and they weren’t really paying much attention to me because they pay attention to much bigger fish than myself. And so that’s what I ended up doing because it was available and I didn’t know any better and no one told me any better either. So really bringing that personalized touch and again, just actually focusing on what do you need? Not these services are here because bigger people than you need them and so you can have it too. But we don’t really care about if you’re here or not here, anything like that. So. Well, Jacob.
Harry: We don’t do we don’t do mezzanine financing.
Jacob: Great way of putting it like that. Yeah.
Harry: There are companies that absolutely need that. That’s not our customer. And we’re very clear about who our customer is.
Jacob: So, yeah, let’s turn our attention here for a second to some of the tumultuous times I mentioned in introducing the show here today, because you did happen to launch this bank early in 2023, right around I didn’t look up the exact dates or anything, but pretty close to that around the time when Silicon Valley Bank crashed and the subsequent kind of weeks to months went by of the banking industry being in a little bit of a state of flux and a lot of questions being asked and a lot of changes being made. What was that like, opening a bank in a time where suddenly not that the banking industry is ever super static, it is always changing. And certainly in the last half a full decade, the digital age upon us, things are changing super duper fast every day. But with that said, it still would be a pretty crazy time, I would think, from the outside of like, we’re preparing. We’ve been preparing for some time now to launch this new bank and now the whole banking industry seems to be turned on its head and everyone’s talking about how it’s all failing this, that and the other. So what was that like And did anything that happened with Silicon Valley Bank or just the general reactions to it and changes that took place in the industry? Did that change your approach with Owners Bank in any way? Or just walk me through what that situation was like, because I would imagine it was a pretty wild time for you. Even more wild than starting a new business would be otherwise.
Harry: Yeah, a true gut check moment, right? Like what’s happening? Here’s what I’ll tell you. The first thing that you should know is, look, again, we pay very close attention to the industry and what you should know about SVB and signature, etcetera, etcetera, is their banking business model was completely and utterly different, almost 180 degrees different than owners Bank. Right. So if you think about and for the listeners banking lesson right SVB specifically banked a lot of high net worth fintech even customers who had big deposits on account. Right. So big deposits, 20 million, 30 million, $50 million on account. And guess the Internet being what it is nowadays. The rumor went out, everybody got freaked out a little bit and they all came in and said, we need to get our money out of here real quick. So there was a quote unquote run on the bank and we don’t have those people. Jacob simply said, We don’t have those people. Our average customer is going to have an average deposit of anywhere from 10 to $18,000. Remember, cash flow is king. The lesson that we’ve learned today is that that guy on that show is right. Cash flow is king, and our customers don’t have $50 million sitting in a bank account waiting to be spent.
Harry: We’re not banking political action committees that bring in all this money through fundraising and wait to buy media. We’re not doing any of that kind of business. So this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to explain why we’re not all freaked out about it, because we had people, even within our own organization going, What’s happening? There’s this penchant to be chicken Little guess, but we held true. And to this day, I don’t believe that anybody that would be a customer of owners bank was in fact a customer of SVB. And so did it change the industry? Yeah, I think it did right. A lot of people became very aware of that FDIC insurance limit. And so if you were even a smaller guy, right, not 50 million, but 5 million on deposit, you might want to move some money around. And we saw that happen over the course of the next whatever period of time, year, year and a half. And we have been steadfast in our approach. Right. Our small business customer does not have 5, 10, $50 million sitting on deposit waiting to be spent on some new acquisition. So for us it was a very different play in the industry, but it did impact the industry for sure.
Jacob: Yeah, and it had to be, I’d almost imagine with that answer a little bit, validating in we’re doing something with a more specific approach for a specific subset of customers that we can also go say, Hey, all that scary stuff you’re hearing about in the banking world doesn’t really apply to us and it shouldn’t apply to you because you should be working at a place that actually applies to you and isn’t a place like that where something could happen because they’re working with individuals who are in a way different set of circumstances than what you are. So that makes sense. But yeah, I can imagine it was quite, quite a few months for you there with both dealing with opening a business while also all of these questions of Wait, you’re opening a bank are horrible.
Harry: I have several PowerPoint presentations around it. Why? Why it didn’t impact us and why we’re different. Yeah, for.
Jacob: Sure. Love that. Well, the final topic I want to turn to here to get you out on is with someone who I think at the beginning used the term grizzled veteran of the banking industry and the financial world in general. I always like to ask folks like yourself who have found success in a lot of different places within this industry, these last two questions here. So in all of your experience in banking, financial industry from a business or company standpoint, first we’ll ask the personal later. But the business standpoint, are there any key characteristics or traits that stand out about the companies you’ve seen? Be successful Recurringly Be successful within this world that kind of stand out. If you looked at another bank or financial institution and saw, Hey, they do this and this or they approach it in this way, I think they’re going to be successful because I’ve seen that model, that idea, that philosophy be successful before any couple of characteristics that stand out for companies you’ve seen have success over and over throughout the years.
Harry: Yeah, I mean, from my perspective, Jacob, you’ve got to be you’ve got to have your eye on the prize, right? You’ve got to be you’ve got to be reading every day and you have to be innovative. You have to be futuristic and you have to be purposeful. I don’t know unless you have scale, right? I can put a thousand branches in a in an area and take market share. Unless you have that kind of scale, I think you have to be really very purposeful and you have to be very focused. And if you have those things where you can say, Look, it’s easy to get distracted by the shiny object squirrel, but if you stay purposeful and you stay focused on the market that you’re looking to serve, and I’m a big fan of blue ocean. Red ocean, right? And if you can find a blue ocean strategy around that. Yeah, I think you’ll be successful. And I think there are lots of banks that do lots of things right. There are some banks that that specialize in lending and they’re really good at it and they’re successful. And so I think that if you’re purposeful, it’s tough to be all things to all people. You just naturally gravitate to where the customer base is and where the money is. And I think you’ve got to be that. And the thing I’ll say about the banking industry, to your point earlier, it’s not boring. You have one thing happen over in California and it creates this shock wave of reaction. That’s pretty exciting. Right? It’s pretty interesting stuff when you think about the model of banking, right? Debits and credits is way more complex than just if I give you a piece of paper, will you give me four pieces of paper back? It’s very much more complicated than that. And there’s a tremendous amount of technology that goes into to running any bank of any size.
Jacob: Yeah, I love that answer. Yeah, having a purpose. Because in a whirlwind world where everything is always changing, if you don’t have a purpose, you can get pretty swept up and just the tides of it all versus actually knowing exactly what you’re trying to march towards. Let’s turn that then the final one. Then on a personal level, for an individual, someone who’s maybe just starting out in the industry or wanting to find a successful career within the financial world, are there any on an individual level traits or skills that stand out as the highest indicator of success that if you came across a younger individual and said, Oh, you’ve got that trait, I would bank on you finding a successful career in this world. Anything that stands out there, Yeah.
Harry: Like the first two things that pop into my head, Jacob, is work ethic and lifelong learner. You have to be willing to learn stuff. And if you have the work ethic, I think those are the two things that that that will serve you well in any industry really. But in banking, again, it’s very complex, right? If you just take I tried to explain this to my wife, Banking is not just a one size fits all, not a one model, right? It’s not just one model. Lots of different banks doing lots of different things, being very successful in niche plays. Et cetera. Et cetera. And evolving. And you got to evolve. You got to evolve and you got to innovate.
Jacob: Love it. Awesome. Well, Harry, this has been a real pleasure. For those listening who may want to follow you or learn more about owners Bank, keep up with all you and the company have going on. Where would be the best place for them to go to do so?
Harry: Yep, you can find us on all the popular social media sites and OwnersBank.com. It’s a great website. You’ll enjoy looking at it, if nothing else.
Jacob: A lot of fun. Wonderful. Yeah. Well, I will link to those in much more in the show notes below. Harry, thank you so much for your time and knowledge today. I’ve greatly enjoyed speaking with you and hope to do so again sometime soon. Great.
Harry: Jacob, thank you. It’s been a pleasure.
Jacob: If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more, head on over to soarpay.com/podcast to subscribe on your podcast listening platform of choice. That’s s o a r p a y.com/podcast.