MIAMI — The thing John Finley is looking forward to the most when he retires is “where I don't have to be somewhere at 8 o'clock every morning.”

 

A 42½-year career in the banking industry comes to an end for Finley on Dec. 31 when he retires as president of First National Bank & Trust of Miami.

 

A reception honoring Finley will be held Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the main bank.

 

He will be succeeded as president by Rob Kimbrough, who currently is executive vice president/chief financial officer.

 

“We (Finley and wife, Carolyn) have grandkids in the Tulsa area and the Fort Worth area who we already spend a lot of time with,” Finley said. “I have neglected a lot of 'honey-dos' around the house that I need to catch up on.”

 

He will still be involved, serving on the board of directors at First National and a bank owned by First National in Billings, Missouri.

 

“I will still help out here … it won't be a total disengagement,” he said. “We need to hire some more people, so I will help the guys when they get busy.”

 

Finley, a 1965 graduate of Miami High School, “went to Will Rogers when it was an elementary school.”

 

He also attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and Oklahoma State University.

 

“I have been here 34½ years,” Finley said. “Mike Sexton retired in June and he'd been here 37 or 38 years. Rob will be taking my place and he's been here 38 years. Cindy Brown (assistant vice president) has been here over 40 years, Steve Cline (senior vice president/consumer lending) has been here 38 or so. We're going through a transition.”

 

Finley said the banking industry has changed dramatically, especially in the past seven or eight years.

 

Bigger isn't necessarily better, either.

 

“We may not be as big as they are, but I don't know that there's not that much that they offer that we don't already offer,” Finley said. “The deposit-by-phone, all the remote banking that you do now. Because of the technology, we can all do that.”

 

Data management issues, regulatory issues and mobile banking are the biggest. The industry survived 9/11, but was hammered by challenges created by the global banking crisis.

 

“All the problems were created by the four or five big ones, not the banks in Miami, Oklahoma,” Finley said. “We are suffering the consequences. The whole goal of the banking industry, especially the big ones, is to be a paperless business. It seems it's made it easier for real smart thieves to steal. You see it all the time.”