Demand for banking services and lending in Kentucky is strong and competition for that business is vigorous. Banks expect continued loan growth in 2022 and are increasing the number of loan officers in Kentucky and elsewhere. One aspect of the competition is playing out in efforts to provide more of the digital services customers want while also improving personal interaction. Interactive teller machines that link clients to bankers by video are a growing trend. There are concerns about being able to hire enough qualified employees, supply chain issues, how the pandemic plays out, and about tight margins. Despite this, the consensus is that the financial services sector is broad, robust and growing.
“In 2022, the success of small and local businesses will again be vital to the health of our economy. While we expect to see businesses in recovery mode, we are optimistic that many industries will return to or exceed their pre-COVID performance. We also anticipate the financial services landscape to be increasingly competitive as consumer expectations for digital banking platforms will be higher than ever before. While digital capabilities will be key to success, the trend toward a preference for relationship banking is likely to continue. As a result, we will continue recruiting team members to serve our growing customer base.”
–Luther Deaton Chairman/President/CEO, Central Bancshares Inc.
“We expect the housing demand to remain strong and a sustained rise in business lending. As manufacturing and distribution businesses continue looking for employees, this will influence the economy in many ways. Hiring at U.S. Bank remains strong and we’re actively seeking across various positions. Throughout 2022, we look forward to capital spending and staffing meeting market demands. Overall consumer and retail banking is prospering, with the change in customer preference and behavior toward mobile and digital. Our highly rated mobile app and new tools for serving customers personally yet at a distance positions us well to support that demand.”
–William J. “Bill Jones Market President, U.S. Bank
“We expect the Kentucky and U.S. economy to continue to grow moderately during 2022 as we believe there is ample pent-up demand and significant liquidity, both for small and large businesses and consumers. The continuing threat of new strains of the coronavirus and inflationary pressures could lower economic activity. Our bankers across Community Trust are optimistic, however, as we believe opportunities will be available to assist our business and retail customers, particularly in our central region. Our capital spending will increase during 2022 in the information technology area and as we complete new branch facilities. We continue to look to hire employees to get back to staffing levels similar to pre-pandemic levels.”
–Mark Gooch President, Community Trust Bancorp Inc. and President/ CEO, Community Trust Bank Inc.
“We are optimistic about 2022 and the direction of the Kentucky banking industry. As the benefits of fiscal and monetary stimulus fade, we are likely to see the pace of economic growth revert to a slower, but more sustainable pace in the coming years. Low interest rates are poised to continue, driving intense competition in the lending sector. Stock Yards Bank & Trust is confident that our relationship-based, community bank model will continue to appeal to our existing customers and new customers joining the bank through mergers with Kentucky Bank and Commonwealth Bank & Trust. These tremendous investments ensure we can provide a high level of service and remain strong in 2022 and beyond.”
–James ‘Ja’ Hillebrand Chairman/CEO, Stock Yards Bank
“We believe Kentucky’s well-diversified manufacturing, health care, distribution, service, technology and knowledge economy will continue to grow at or near the pace of our nation’s economy. The headwinds of inflation, supply chain disruption, workforce shortages and unknown future effects of the pandemic will govern the pace of the recovery both in Kentucky and the U.S. throughout 2022. The financial services sector is broad, robust and growing. Delivering on our customers’ needs through innovative, timely and valuable solutions will always be a primary focus. In addition, increased investment in technology, data security, product innovation, high-quality customer service and workforce development will continue to be paramount for the industry throughout 2022.”
–Chuck Denny Regional President-Louisville PNC Bank
“Our 2022 economic outlook is cautiously optimistic. Negative pressures are present, including inflation, supply chain issues, available labor and an increasing yield curve. Infrastructure legislation will increase construction and a demand for equipment. Locally, we believe demand will remain healthy. Residential and commercial real estate markets remain at higher levels, though certain segments such as retail and office space will need more time for longer term clarity. We intend to increase lenders in our market and across the organization. We expect to continue to experience loan growth, as we remain nimble to react to market developments.”
–Todd Zieglar Central Kentucky Market President, Republic Bank
“Despite hardships tied to COVID, Kentucky banks — and businesses in general — have performed exceptionally well in 2021. However, there are challenges on the horizon for banks due to compressed margins and a highly competitive lending environment. A continued focus for many financial institutions will be managing the risks associated with cybersecurity. Protecting bank and client information is paramount and will add layers of complexity to our growing business. In early 2022, Forcht Bank will be opening a new location in downtown Lexington offering businesses and residents access to business bankers and an interactive teller machine (ITM) with 7 a.m.-7 p.m. access, six days a week. As evident in our investment of ITMs, the bank will continue to evaluate and improve digital banking channels to ensure our customers have the tools to make their banking ‘happier.”
–Tucker Ballinger President/CEO, Forcht Bank
“I am cautiously optimistic about Kentucky’s economy for the coming year. Consumer demand is strong and could continue to improve if we continue successfully on our current path without significant disruption. The variables in the economy, which remain a concern, are inflation; the labor force; supply chain issues; and unknown outcomes from the pandemic. PNC’s success, both in Kentucky and from a national perspective, is directly correlated to the macro issues the rest of the U.S. is facing. Although the economic environment across the country continues to be challenged, we believe the economy is resilient and will effectively work through its current obstacles.”
–John Gohmann Regional President-Lexington, PNC Bank
“In the Kentucky/U.S. economy in 2022 we will continue to see challenges in the labor market as we navigate “The Great Resignation.” People are rethinking their careers and taking this moment to re-tool and re-skill themselves. In the long run this will be a positive for the economy, but in the short-term it will be challenging. In our sector, while some banks see the fintech sector as a threat, Fifth Third embraces technology. We’re integrating new technologies into our current business, which we know will continue to be a significant differentiator for us moving forward. Regarding capital spending and staffing, Fifth Third is currently third in deposit market share in Kentucky. We will stay focused on attracting and retaining top talent to achieve growth, deliver for our customers and increase market share.”
–Kimberly Halbauer Regional President Kentucky, Fifth Third Bank
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