The most prestigious and largest banking association in the United State is the American Bankers Association (aba.com), which was founded in 1875. This association represents all banks in the United States and is recognized as the primary voice for these banks and all banking careers employees in the United States. The ABA offers products, education, resources, expertise, and a wealth of experience for its members. The ABA also offers banking certifications and continuing education through their ABA Institute of Certified Bankers.
The association also offers members a number of affiliate groups. These include the Corporation for American Banking, which endorses certain products and services to help banks; the ABA Education Foundation, which provides educational assistance to communities; the ABA Housing Partners Foundation, which promotes and provides affordable housing; the ABA Marketing Network, which offers varies networking services and events for banking professionals; the ABA Securities Association, which keeps an eye on securities policy and oversight; the Institute of Certified Bankers, a networking arm for certified banking professionals; Bankers’ Association for Finance and Trade, and the International Financial Services Association, both of which provide a forum for banking professionals in the area of global business; the American Institute of Business, which provides training and education to banking professionals; the American Bankers Insurance Association, which works to further the interests of banks in insurance; and finally, Business Solutions, which helps community bankers obtain products and services at a discount through the organization, when they might not be able to procure these items by themselves.
Bankers and financial professionals can find a huge number of relevant associations, depending on what kind of banker they are, or what kind of financial work that they do. Among these are the Risk Management Association, the Society of Financial Examiners, the National Association for Information Destruction, Inc., the Fiduciary and Investment Risk Management Association, the Independent Community of Bankers of America, the American Association of Bank Directors (aabd.org), the Mortgage Bankers Association, NACHA, the Electronic Payers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, the Bank Administration Institute, to name just a few of the many and varied banking careers organizations that help to organize, educate, and assist all the banking professions.
Networking is essential for people in banking, not only to keep abreast of banking trends, technology and policies, but to also to be aware of regulatory and political issues and prospective changes in banking laws and procedures. Such information is crucial to maintaining good business practices helping preserve profitability and fair trade. Associations fulfill a vital role in the banking industry by allowing for much discussion and exchange of ideas and theories among the members of the association. Recently, a proposed rule change on debit card interchange fees, proposed by the Federal Reserve, prompted an unprecedented call from virtually every banking association asking the Fed to review what the combined associations called the rule’s serious flaws, and asking for a corrected and revised rule. After receiving the associations’ letter, the current Chairman of the Federal Reserve was quoted later as admitting that perhaps the rule had not been as carefully reviewed as he would have preferred before publishing. This activity shows the tremendous amount of pressure that a group of associations can exert on federal regulations.
The banking and financial industry, in order to help those in bank careers and financial professionals keep up-to-date with banking trends, activities, and regulatory issues, publishes many trade journals, both in paper format as well as Internet magazines, accessible at any time online. A few of these trade publications are: The ABA Banking Journal , published by the American Bankers Association; The Banker , providing news and views from a global banking perspective; Bank Systems + Technology (banktech.com); Bank Technology News (americanbanker.com), providing the senior banking professional with news and industry resources about banking technology, banking strategies, banking products and vendors; Investment Banking Resources (investment-banking-resources.com), covering news relating to brokerage houses, investment banking, and exchange trading; US Transactions (ustrans.com), with information relating to industry surveys and research for banking marketers; and the Credit Union Times (cutimes.com) and the Credit Union Journal (cujournal.com) for credit union professionals.