Boards of directors at community banks may be well-informed, but they’re not the greatest at putting their knowledge to good use.
That’s the consensus from a new study conducted by Bloomington, Minn.-based technology company Integrated Governance Solutions and commissioned by accounting firm Baker Tilly in Chicago.
Baker Tilly said 74% of respondents ranked their banks’ boards’ knowledge of organization health and organization practice monitoring as “strong” or “moderately strong.” However, respondents only gave their banks’ boards an average rating of 2.5 out of five for their recruiting, orientation, training, tenure and removal processes, the firm said.
The study also revealed that the better a community bank’s monitoring system is, the more promising its financial return data might be. The banks that gave high ratings to their information monitoring systems and the reliability of their systems had higher pre-tax return on equity totals than other banks did, according to Baker Tilly.
“Community bank boards have been given the task to steer the ship in the midst of a major storm,” said Bill Bojan, CEO/founder for Integrated Governance Solutions. “It is important that they are equipped for their new responsibilities and are prepared to thrive in this challenging economic and regulatory environment. This study provides insights into just where their focus needs to be.
The study was conducted from April 1 to June 30 at 23 banks in the upper Midwest with assets ranging from $30 million to over $4.5 billion. Respondents consisted of board members and senior management, of which 56% were bank CEOs, presidents, and chief financial officers.