Rusty Rust

Rusty Rust
TBA Chairman

What a difference a year makes

It is important to note that despite the current events, we are approaching this coming year from a position of strength and a sense of optimism.

What a difference a year makes! Just one year ago, coronavirus was spreading like wildfire, our nation was in lockdown and businesses were shutting down and laying off employees. Many banks had to restrict access to their lobbies and, on occasion, close. But we never prevented our customers from getting their financial needs met. As I embark on my term as Chairman, there is so much to be thankful for and to look forward to. 

Throughout this very unusual and challenging year, your Immediate Past Chairman Chip Jenkins led our association with strength and class. I believe our industry and association emerged from the pandemic in a stronger, more well-respected and agile position.

TBA has a long and proud history, and I am humbled to be a part of it. I believe continuity is important, and I will be continuing much of the work Chip initiated in addition to focusing on a few new priorities. It is important to note that despite the current events, we are approaching this coming year from a position of strength and a sense of optimism. We will be proactive. We will continue leaning forward to ensure that the TBA remains the preeminent banking association in the nation.

Although our industry and nation are in much better shape than we were a year ago, it’s vital that we help Texas banks and their communities emerge strong from the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, my goal is to have TBA return to a full schedule of educational and professional development events as well as to focus on peer-to-peer leadership engagement for our members.

In addition, we’ve just undergone a big change in leadership in Washington, D.C., and we must make sure our story and our banks’ needs are recognized at both the federal and state levels. This means:

  • Amplifying our efforts to urge Congress to create a bipartisan commission to lead the CFPB.
  • Supporting regulatory consistency on the Community Reinvestment Act.
  • Protecting Texas oil and gas banks and their customers.
  • Returning to in-person government relations engagement with leaders in Austin and Washington, D.C.

Lastly, we will continue to deliver sound oversight on key TBA projects, including the construction phase of the TBA headquarters building, the implementation of the Texas community bank innovation program and continuing to build the strongest banker university and education program in America.

None of these priorities will come to fruition without an active and engaged Board of Directors working alongside me. I am inspired and reassured by the experience represented within this group, which is the most diverse board in the history of our association. Thanks in advance to the members of the 2021-22 Board.

While our volunteer groups serve as representatives for our broader membership, I encourage all of our members to pull together during this coming year to serve and protect our industry interests, whether that’s engaging in the political process, sharing your thoughts with us or a dozen other ways, be involved!

Our industry answered the bell when we were called on to help keep our communities and commerce going. Now is the time to keep stepping up and continue the momentum  — not only in banking, but by serving on boards, volunteering and providing financial education. Whatever fits your passion, but we must make sure we get our communities and businesses back up and going!

When history looks back at the years 2020 and 2021, it is my hope that the banking industry will be remembered for its efforts to keep our businesses afloat through the Paycheck Protection Program and countless other measures. We helped lots of customers and businesses through this pandemic. Now is the time for banks to shine again, both internally and externally. TBA is there to support our efforts.