Based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Paul Eckert serves as founder and CEO of Family Financial Centers and maintains a preeminent reputation in the franchise industry. In a 2010 profile, Paul Eckert described the way in which the Great Recession and related Consumer Protection Act and Dodd-Frank Wall Street government reforms benefitted his Doylestown team.
He described a situation in which many people lived beyond their means during boom years through refinancing, taking out secondary mortgages, and other strategies of deriving equity from their residences. This ended abruptly with the near collapse of many banks and tightened lending standards. Many people now found themselves living paycheck-to-paycheck and focused on avoiding extraneous costs such as rising banking fees.
A side effect of this movement away from banks was a distinct uptick in Family Financial Centers business, with customers taking advantage of ancillary services that went beyond check cashing and met unmet banking needs. These included money transfer, bill payment, tax preparation, and savings and direct deposit programs.
Mr. Eckert described himself as a strong believer in the “customer-for-life” concept and felt that the relative affordability of his company’s services compared with traditional financial institutions poised it for sustained future growth.