THE BANKING industry is transitioning “from old customer habits to new customer needs,” American Bankers Association Chairman Elizabeth (Betsy) A. Duke said in a speech to the ABA's National Agricultural Bankers Conference.

“A lot of people think banks are steady, dull and even a little behind the times,” said Duke, executive vice president of SouthTrust Bank in Atlanta. “But I know that's no longer true. Today's financial services marketplace requires many of our members to think and act globally.”

Last year, ABA launched Operation Credit Unions, “a long-term, nationwide commitment to leveling the playing field with credit unions,” Duke said. “It's about taxes. It's about Community Reinvestment Act obligations. It's about regulatory equalization. It's about education, communication and plain hard work. The importance of this national credit union fight can't be overstated.”