A First Foundation Blog

What is Personal Banking?

It is said that banks tend to speak over people. They say things like “start saving today,” “for a limited time get cash back,” or “the convenience of personal checking.” But phrases like this are noise, as they really don’t speak to the individual. Things are getting better, but the industry is still plagued with this type of talk. If someone spoke to you the way the industry writes the materials they create to capture your attention, you would likely punch them in the face.

But the reality is that this is a common occurrence across all industries. Consumer products are no better. Catchy jingles morphed into pandering, which now is just babble.

But moving back to banking, what do we mean when we say “personal banking?” It is an expression that is seemingly straightforward but bears explanation—largely because of all its related terms. So, let’s address those first. Personal banking is often used alongside “retail banking,” “individual banking,” “consumer banking,” or simply “banking.” Given that you are not a “retail” and that it might be presumptuous to call you a “consumer,” we opt for the more descriptive term, personal banking.

So, what exactly is included when we talk about personal banking products and services? It can be anything from a loan to a deposit account. In simple terms, individuals have financial needs. Banks meet these needs with products, which are different than those designed for businesses. The term “product” has seemingly become viewed as a negative word, but the reality is people need them. Banks create solutions for individuals, which usually take the form of a personal bank account—like savings and checking—or a loan.

When you hear it, think of the items you would need from a bank to spend or save. This would also include personal credit cards and debit/ATM cards.

The industry has become so insular with jargon that they had to (re)define this basic offering of products. Unfortunately for some banks, they try to get too cute and fancy with lingo that confuses their audience. So, remember when you hear the terms retail banking and consumer banking, just think of the good ol’ fashioned products you would need from a bank for everyday items like buying groceries or gas, or putting some money away for savings.

Now that you have a clearer idea of what personal banking means, it should be easier to take action when you're ready to save. First Foundation Bank offers an Online Savings account with one of the strongest rates in the market, which is a great place to start when setting out to improve your financial profile.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published May 31, 2019, but has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Tyler J. Resh, Director of Marketing and Strategy
About the Author
Tyler J. Resh, Director of Marketing and Strategy
As a Director of Marketing and Strategy, Tyler Resh oversees all marketing efforts of First Foundation’s three main lines of business: private wealth management, personal banking, and business banking. Mr. Resh works on a diverse range of business development activities including public relations, communications, design, branding, digital and print advertising, events, in-bound marketing, and content marketing. Previously, Mr. Resh worked at the investment banking firm, ECHELON Partners where he oversaw the investment banking, consulting, and research engagements of the firm. In this capacity, he negotiated transactions between buyers and sellers, prepared offering documents, created detailed financial models, conducted valuation analyses, and produced industry research reports. In the course of these assignments, Mr. Resh has developed close working relationships with the most prolific investors and buyers in the financial services industry. Over the course of his career, Mr. Resh has consulted on both strategic and tactical assignments across a wide range of financial services markets, business lines, and products. His work experience has included engagements with investment managers, insurance companies, private banks, trust companies, commercial banks, broker dealers, and financial planning firms. Mr. Resh also has published and produced white papers, executive seminars, conference presentations, and institutional research reports. Prior to working at ECHELON Partners, Mr. Resh worked as a consultant for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a recognized leader in business process and technical outsourcing. At CSC he advised Fortune 1000 companies in ways to redesign their business processes to reduce internal costs and increase productivity. He began his career with a boutique management consultancy in Los Angeles. Mr. Resh holds a degree in International Economics from UCLA and has performed extensive coursework in accounting, finance, and computer science. He currently resides in Dana Point, California. Read more