How To Ethically Steal Your Competitors’ A+ Top Clients

Rendering of old Pac-Man arcade game.

Loan growth. Ears of bank CEOs across the country perk up when those two words are spoken, especially now in 2022. But there’s a caveat to that as well.

Grow loans too quickly and regulators will be all over you, assuming all manner of misdeeds. Too slowly and your earnings and NIM suffer.

Many bank CEOs tell me they’re doing well…but they see danger on the horizon with small businesses being squeezed from every angle at the same time.

The smart ones from the highest-performing banks are the most nervous. That’s always a sign of what is next to come.

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Today’s Bank Strategic Planning is Neither Strategic Nor Planning…

Wooden chess knight and pawns atop paper currency, all on top of wooden chess board, illustrating bank strategic planning.

What’s the biggest question in board rooms and among smart bank executives right now?

Easy: “How will we replace PPP income in 2022?”

That is the hottest question from call-ins to our office from bank CEOs over the last few weeks.

And this may be the most important question you answer in your bank’s strategic plan for 2022.

If your plan has the old tired “strategies” of “hire more lenders” and “make more calls”—which aren’t strategies at all—2022 may not be as forgiving as past years.

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Loan Growth Strategies for 2022: Insights for a Post-PPP World

Overhead view of one open, yellow umbrella surrounded by open, black umbrellas, illustrating differentiation as growth strategy.

It’s unprecedented. In talking with a few dozen CEOs these last two weeks, almost all used the exact same words… 

“I’m very concerned about 2022. How are we going to replace the income from PPP and the other programs?


  • “We’re making new loans… but the payoffs are killing us.”
  • “The competitors have gone mad with their low-ball offers—how do we compete against that?”
  • The Fed was telling us that interest rates are going to stay low for at least a year,

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