BNY Mellon move part of disturbing trend
Bank of New York Mellon will close its Ligonier wealth-management branch in November. It will have just one such office in Pittsburgh, down from the nine it operated here several years ago.
BNY Mellon insists most customers now use the telephone or the Internet to do their banking.
What this really reflects, however, is not a change in customer preferences but a disturbing trend in American banking.
Back when Mellon was one of the world's premier banking names, I sat on its board of directors. In those days, Mellon was a presence in nearly every neighborhood and community of our region.
In fact, community was both the point of its operations and a matter of corporate pride.
Mellon's directors, loan officers, tellers and other employees knew their communities and their customers. They knew what both needed to grow and to prosper — and often put up the money, vision or influence to get those things done.
Mellon financed the industrial revolution that transformed Pittsburgh and created many of its best-known companies — Gulf Oil, U.S. Steel, Alcoa and others that provided jobs and better lives for hundreds of thousands of people.
Yet, in the past decade, Mellon has retreated from commercial banking. It has concentrated instead on wealth management — a lucrative pursuit for it, but one that does little to serve our community in the manner it once did.
Not every financial institution, enlarged by mergers and acquisitions, abandons its customers and communities; Pittsburgh-based PNC, for example, strives to remain an essential part of the communities into which it has expanded.
But far too many don't do that. Their loyalty and financial interests are no longer tied to a community, a region, or even our nation. Instead, they are concerned with a few directors or key investors — and with profit, first and foremost.
Federal policies of recent decades have encouraged this and ultimately led to our latest financial collapse.
This misguided transition may be beneficial to a few corporate-headquarters cities and a few CEOs.
But it is a tragic loss for Americans in many midsized cities and small towns who relied on local banks for financial strength and community progress.
Dick Scaife is owner of Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Turkey Trot runners turn out to burn calories despite chilly Pittsburgh temps
- PIT wants non-passengers allowed past security to shop
- Comeau’s hat trick leads Penguins; Crosby reaches 800 career points
- Queen of crime writing P.D. James dies at 94
- Cosby made deal with National Enquirer to spike accuser’s story in 2005
- Starkey: Rutherford will add when timing’s right
- Pitt plays best game of the season in rout of Kansas State
- Vanaski: Protesters won’t be thanking Wal-Mart
- Pregnant woman struck by van in North Side dies; doctors save baby