The SunTruster makes a profoundly important point; the company’s board would do well to consider it. The only way a bank (or any business, for that matter) can truly thrive is if it offers a differentiated value proposition from its competitors. Think that’s impossible in a “commodity business” like banking? Wrong. Look at Wells Fargo and Commerce Bancorp. For that matter, SunTrust’s predecessors were once powerful, differentiated competitors, as well.
Occasional cost-cutting binges are fine I suppose, and are often necessary. But if SunTrust’s management really thinks it can cost-cut the company into a permanent strategic advantage, instead, it ought to save customers and employees a lot of hassle and go ahead and sell out now.
What do you think? Let me know!
Tom Brown is head of BankStocks.com.