Corporate planning takes on many forms. Strategic planning (or business planning) is central to the success of your organization. With the phasing-in of the Basel III capital rules and stress testing implemented for larger financial institutions, capital planning has elevated importance. Balance sheet or asset and liability planning is critical, not only for interest rate risk management, but also for profitability and for capital management reasons. Technology planning is a fundamental activity for banks of all sizes especially as mobile delivery and information security become more important. Finally, merger and acquisition planning is a priority for management and board of directors for all financial institutions regardless of size.

Your various planning activities should be embedded seamlessly into your organization. Separate out key elements of your strategic planning: technology planning, M&A planning, capital planning and others for more focused review and discussions. Establish an annual calendar of planning activities tailored to your organization. Develop policies and procedures that are disciplined and workable for your organization; avoid overthinking any of the processes - but make them work - or adding unnecessary steps and bureaucracy that do not add value to decision-making.

If there is other information desired, please contact BankingStrategist.


Mergers and acquisitions have been a key element of many bank strategic plans. The banking and financial services sectors have undergone significant consolidation. In particular, the largest firms have grown much larger. The consolidation is very evident in metropolitan areas and mid-sized markets.

M&A Planning is important to firms of all size. Banks with total assets of less than $500 million have been involved in over 75 percent of bank acquisitions; and in over 25 percent of bank acquisitions, these banks have been the buyers.

M&A planning needs to be part of your bank's strategic planning process. Who can you buy? Who can merge with you? Who can acquire you?

Planning Calendar: April . Position your merger and acquisition planning and strategy review activities during the second quarter of each calendar year. This will create better focus and create a foundation for inclusion in your summer strategic planning activities.


No matter the size of your bank, technology underpins nearly everything that your bank does. It is critical that Technology Planning and Strategic Planning be coordinated. Your Technology Planning process will provide key insights to how you use technology in support of your business strategy.

What are the needs of your customers for mobile delivery of banking information and services? How will you protect the personal and financial information that you hold for your customers? How do you balance "brick & mortar" with mobile access? What management information does your leadership team need to be more effective? Develop a 5-year "Road Map", but recognize that this "Road Map" will be dynamic and will change as you review each year.

Planning Calendar: May. Position your Technology Planning activities in the second quarter of each calendar year. Seamlessly integrate into your strategic planning to determine your IT applications, systems and infrastructure requirements to support your plan.


Capital Planning and Strategic Planning need to be integrated. Your Capital Planning process will provide key insights to how you use your balance sheet and capital in support of your business strategy.

With minimum capital ratios rising by over 30 percent as Basel III rules are phased-in, your Capital Plan needs to be updated to both assure compliance with the new targeted capital levels and to meet your business needs. Understanding what these rules mean for your balance sheet and business plan, for your customers and communities that you serve, and for your shareholders is imperative.

Planning Calendar: August. Position your Capital Planning activities late in the third quarter of each calendar year. Seamlessly integrate into your strategic planning to determine your capital requirements to support your plan.


Your Strategic Plan is key to your success. While your Mission and Vision are more enduring, your strategy should be reviewed and refined on an ongoing basis. The same will be true for your long-term goals and objectives. Your strategic planning process will identify key initiatives to be implemented. And your Strategic Plan should drive your annual Operating Plan with specific short-term goals that align to your long-term goals.

Planning Calendar: July / August. Position your strategic planning activities during the third quarter of each calendar year. This will leverage the value of strategic planning for other key activities later in the year.