Time for a Throwback... Way back. - WBA staff dusted off our past publications and found some gems for your enjoyment: 

How is this for an understatement?: The past year has been one of the most challenging in decades for an industry that has unfairly suffered the backlash from the public and politicians alike for the financial crisis. 

Most bankers tell me that they have never experienced anything like what the industry has already gone—and continues to go—through. The good news is that Wisconsin bankers have continually risen to the challenge. How many other industries do you know would continue to donate hundreds of thousands of hours and millions of dollars to their communities while also being the target of the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" fired at them by the media, politicians, and the public? 

Even though the word "bank" has become a negative catch-all term, our industry continually works to serve its communities to the best of our abilities. 

Just as our bankers have stepped up to meet the challenges of the past year, your professional association has ramped up its efforts to deliver the unparalleled representation you deserve during these demanding times.

  • WBA logged more lobbying hours than any other Wisconsin financial organization and ranked 11th overall in the number of hours (3,514) spent lobbying out of 750 groups lobbying in Wisconsin. 
  • The Communications Department handled a record-breaking number of media calls with 478 contacts, nearly double from the previous year. 
  • Our Legal Department shared its expertise with bankers at an extraordinary rate of 35-40 calls each day. 
  • WBA staff defended the industry's image by addressing Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, and other community groups across Wisconsin with its "Five Biggest Myths of Banking" presentation. 

In addition, membership dues have been frozen for the third year in a row, meaning that what you paid in 2008 and 2009 will be what you pay in 2010. 

That is just the tip of the iceberg when listing all the ways WBA works to meet the demands of what may be seen as the most difficult time period for bankers in this still relatively young new century. 

That is why your membership in WBA is so important. Simply put, our focus, loyalty, and expertise is to you, the Wisconsin banker. We are answerable and beholden to no one else but you. 

In these challenging times, you are WBA's best partner, and we remain committed to being yours.

Originally published in the June 2010 edition of the Wisconsin Banker.