Robert Wilmers: The Good Banker

May 31, 2011
J. Webster
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Robert Wilmers

Robert Wilmers of M&T Bank (MTB) doesn’t like what the banking profession has turned into and where it’s headed at many banks, especially the big ones that are so called ‘too big to fail’ banks. And, he might be hated, or rather his profession, as much those employed as IRS agents and parking enforcement officers.

In person, Wilmers does not immediately strike one as a rabble-rouser. At 77, he is soft-spoken, a bit reticent, and almost excessively polite. “I personally believe that there isn’t a more honorable profession than the banking industry,” he began. “Most bankers are very involved in their communities, and they can stand up and be counted. I saw a poll recently,” he continued, “that showed we are now considered the third worst profession. That bothers me.”

Read full piece over at the NY Times, The Good Banker, by Joe Nocera.

He also has a differing opinion than JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who doesn’t think the banking system needs changing, it’s an old school versus new school type of battle. One wants more regulation the other less. I think this also gets at the question of an international or global economy versus a local or single country based financial institution. The world is so interconnected now that, to compete on the world stage, you need less oversight. Other wise another company from another country will fill the gap. So, what’s needed is global financial regulation.

Nocera is also the co-author of the book: All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis.

Image Source: Buffalo News

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