ABA Banking Journal - July 2008 - (Page 24)
Community Banking Pass the Aspirin The Headache: Coping With Rising Gas Prices E ven bankers from oil states pay more at the pump these days. We asked Aspirin prescribers to tell us what their institutions are doing to help staff, customers, and themselves deal with rising fuel costs. Remedy 1 Kate Marcum, president and CEO, Millbury National Bank, $71.1 million-assets, Millbury, Mass. We’ve done two things. For my senior management team, as part of their annual salary increase, I gave each a prepaid gas card for $1,000. This was obviously very well received and a way for me to ease the bite for them. For all customers with $100,000 or more on deposit with our bank, I sent a $10 prepaid gas card as a thank-you for doing business with us. This was also very well received. I had several phone calls from customers who wanted to personally thank me. This demonstrates how this issue affects people of all income levels. Finally, I am considering holding a “clinic” on a Saturday morning for customers to bring their bicycles to the bank for minor adjustments and repairs (i.e. flat tires) to encourage the use of bicycles. Remedy 2 Mike Murphy, executive vice-president and CFO, First American Bank, $297.2 million-assets, Norman, Okla. We have implemented video conferencing for training and board meetings, as some of our staff were commuting 350 miles roundtrip to attend those gatherings. For some time, we have provided cars for each of our nine banking centers to use for errands and making customer calls, along with a few extra cars for our administrative team and our internal courier. We are now much more cognizant of gas mileage in our car choices. For instance, we recently replaced our courier’s car with a model that doubled the mileage economy of the previous vehicle. We have gone to a vehicle allowance for our administrative team as we replace their cars, taking into account our costs to purchase, operate, and maintain cars in-house. As to employees who commute long distances, we have discussed the issue, but we have not come up with a solution yet. • If you’d like to contribute your own answer to this question, for consideration for www.passtheaspirinplus.com, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org 24 JULY 2008/ABA BANKING JOURNAL Subscribe at www.ababj.com
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