Rusty Rust

Rusty Rust
TBA Chairman

Bankers’ resilience and commitment to the future on full display

 ... what they didn’t count on was our commitment to each other and TBA to be an opportunistic body that embraces the innovation side of the business.

When I formally accepted my role as TBA Chair, the 136th Annual Convention was not what we expected after the previous year. However, it was the platform to launch some pretty impressive programs and services that will keep Texas bankers at the forefront of the ever-changing landscape.

If you get the same alerts I do, the news headlines and press releases from some of the most influential and impactful regulatory bodies have been running full steam ahead on calls to diversify all stakeholders within the financial sector. We’ve also seen those cautionary warnings about ransomware and other types of cyberattacks on the rise.

While those headlines seem to be ringing the alarm bells and are becoming ever-present these days, it was remarkable to hear that TBA and partner banks have been solutioning for these very issues for some time now. Rather than discussing how this might impact us, TBA and partner banks shared the results of pilot programs and initiatives to tackle these very problems at scale.

I was ecstatic to hear bankers’ reaction to TBA’s ISAO information sharing platform that cut the ongoing and growing cyberattacks off before they could become viral throughout our community. It showed me how committed Texas bankers are to cooperating by sharing information and aggressively fighting back to protect our customers’ information and placing a premium on trust.

It seems a lot of discussions about diversifying the banking leadership, workforce and customers are just now getting going throughout the regulatory and talking headspaces. It brought me great pride to formally push out programs like CREATE, which officially moves from pilot to full-fledged initiative. This effort will help accomplish regulator set goals and then some. CREATE will diversify our ranks and assist in growing a new and diverse customer base. Relationships with university partners and groups like Bankwork$ and others will amplify those efforts.

I’ve even seen a lot about the decline and fall of our industry because of the growth of financial sector technology that continues to attract new customers. What they didn’t count on is the banker’s resiliency and push for initiatives like MAGNET, which will close the technology gap. Those that count us out view us as individuals vying for survival, but what they didn’t count on was our commitment to each other and TBA to be an opportunistic body that embraces the innovation side of the business.

I took on the role of chairman excited about what we’re doing and what it means to bankers everywhere. While gloomier days have been predicted, all I see are brighter tomorrows with the good work that is getting carried on and expanded.

We are just getting started.