Diana Quesada featured in July 20 Louisville Business First

People to Know Banking: Diana Quesada
By  – Associate editor, Louisville Business First


Diana Quesada, vice president, commercial relationship manager – Louisville market, Paducah Bank

Years in current job: 1.5
Years in banking industry: 30+

Now that some banking regulations have been eased, what are some top legislative priorities? The Kentucky Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers Association, local representatives and other organizations champion legislative priorities for the industry. Regulatory relief is certainly welcomed. The closer alignment of assessing risk to the asset level of an institution is an effective change to addressing the most important consideration, which is evaluating systemic risk versus local market risks.

How is rapid M&A/industry consolidation impacting your business? Change and disruption always create opportunity within an industry. All indications are that M&A activity will continue to accelerate as institutions benefit from scale, enhanced delivery channels, technology and client accessibility. We believe that talent and commitment to the market will always be a driver of client preferences regardless of the industry changes that may take place.

Is Louisville’s economy impacted at all by the limited number of regional/large bank headquarters in the city? As I see it, technology, talent and capital are the factors that allow banks to compete and serve across a variety of defined client segments. In many ways, Louisville is much more of a community-bank market than many of the comparative larger cities. A sincere personal touch — complemented with technology and the ability to make quick decisions — is the featured client experience framework of Paducah Bank. 

What’s the smartest way for banks to grow in the current economy? The best way for banks to grow is having the right team assembled and supported by a strong corporate mission. At Paducah Bank, we believe in relationships. Making sure that we thoroughly meet our client’s needs with appropriate solutions is our priority. Retaining, attracting and expanding relationships are the three foundational components to growth. Once the opportunity is provided, sincere, fast and exceptional service is critical.

How is automation and artificial intelligence impacting your business? We will continue to introduce technology based on the needs of our clients. New capabilities are emerging faster than at any time in history. AI will be the driver of transaction-assistance modes, such as voice and chat. It will play a key role in the processing of a variety of client requests. Integration ability, ease of use and security will influence not only client adoption rates, but also the level at which banks invest and prioritize in such technology. It is an exciting time to think of the possibilities.

Why did you choose a career in banking? I really look at banking as a form of community service. I believe a community prospers when a business prospers, which is why I’ve devoted much of my financial career to commercial banking. When I have the opportunity to help businesses grow, that’s an opportunity to see vital and innovative changes in our community as a whole. Banking is a dynamic industry. I continue to meet interesting people, learn about new industries and create lasting relationships. I’m fortunate to continue to enjoy it. 

What’s been the best development in your sector of banking over the last year? Seeing both individual clients and companies benefit from technology changes are readily the most obvious developments. Ongoing industry regulations are encouraging bank innovation and opening doors for new tech services such as online lending. Banks are taking an in-depth look at their operations and processes through digitization and are leveraging data analytics and automation to streamline operations. Specific to Louisville, we are investing in the market with talent and support to make doing business with Paducah Bank not only an option, but over time, the preferred option. Technology and customizable solutions are continuously in development with the industry and at Paducah Bank.

What’s your overall impression of the local economy? And what’s on the horizon for the economy in 2019? I’m encouraged that our local economy is growing and our downtown is flourishing. As an example, we’re looking forward to the reopening of the convention center which will have a significant positive impact on Louisville. We also have several development projects on tap including the new Louisville City FC stadium which will create new business and jobs. Banking will play a vital role in the assistance of all these emerging projects. We also have great economic partners, such a GLI, that continue to attract new companies and support job creation and retention in our market. 

What would you change about the way financial institutions operate in the United States? This may be an unusual answer but I believe clients will be the driver of change within our industry as we look ahead. Our client base is much more connected and experiential than ever before. Financial institutions will need the capability to rapidly adopt some of the emerging technology that today is classified as being disruptive. If our clients demand ease of use for payments, connectivity via social networks or transformational interactive experiences, the industry will need to find a way to respond.

What is your biggest concern about the industry? The concerns for our industry are not unique to banking. Every company wishes to offer excellent service, rapid decision making and cutting edge technology all of which enhance the client experience —thereby creating loyalty and power of brand. A challenge we hear today from many sectors is related to the workforce of tomorrow. Competing for top specialty talent is critical to serving the expanded needs of our clients. Attracting and developing talent is a priority for Paducah Bank because we feel our clients deserve the very best advice, responsiveness and expertise within the industry.