Regions Bank Georgia President: Going Beyond the Brick and Mortar Branch

Lucy Adams

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Now that the U.S. has traversed the recession and planted its feet on the banks of a new economic era, the banking industry is strengthening. Leaders within the banking industry are mobilizing to reinvigorate commercial enterprises that make the economy hum. Bill Linginfelter, Area President of Regions Bank for Georgia and South Carolina, says, “We try to take a lot of the financial management tasks off their plates so they can spend more time developing their business or making more products or innovating.”

Regions Bank operates 134 full-service branches across Georgia with plans to add branches in Atlanta’s Buckhead area and in Alpharetta. Its 2.9 percent market share in the state is supported by $5.6 billion in deposits. Online banking tools complement the brick and mortar locations. Customer experience is emphasized by the approximately 1350 associates who ensure customers receive the products and services that meet their specific needs.

A seasoned banker is assigned to entities that report revenues of $2 million or greater. That Regions Bank representative spends time in conversation and in listening to the client. The banking expert recommends the best solutions for each client’s situation. Treasury management, risk management, fraud protection, global trade financing and merchant services are a fraction of the depth and breadth of resources Regions makes available to commercial customers.

“We help companies of all sizes streamline their back room processes,” explains Linginfelter.  Solutions for small businesses are tailored from the categories of Banking Solutions, Financing Services, Advisory Services and include merchant services, financing, wealth management and insurance, to name a few. Linginfelter says, “Small business is the backbone of our country and our state. They are a vast user of goods and services and a vast provider of jobs and incomes.” Regardless of the size of the commercial customer, Regions Bank financial experts will provide personal finance seminars for the employees. A population knowledgeable about money matters adds another layer of stability to the economy.

Branch managers are trained to advise, guide and educate small business and corporate clients. They’re a presence in the communities they serve, visiting industries, business parks, retailers and mom-and-pops. “We burn a lot of shoe leather going to see our customers face-to-face,” says Linginfelter.

A few years ago, as the economy was turning around, the Regions Bank management team pooled their ideas about what they could offer that would benefit their customers – personal banking and commercial customers – the most. They arrived at the Shared Value concept. Everything Regions Bank does is measured against whether it makes sense for the bank’s shareholders, associates, customers and communities. Creating this atmosphere of shared value as its customers use the bank’s products and services to meet their financial goals engenders trust and confidence. It demonstrates a desire to promote those things that promote economic growth at the local, state and national levels.

This commitment to focusing beyond its bank branches is further demonstrated by participation in philanthropic activities. Each employee receives one day off a year to devote entirely to volunteering with an organization of his or her choice. Regions Bank is a major contributor of both volunteer hours and corporate giving to United Way. In Georgia, Goodwill Industries and Woodruff Arts Center receive charitable support. Furthermore, management selects two to three events in which all employees participate. In 2014, those events included the American Heart Association Heart Walk and the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure. In addition, financial literacy instruction is provided through organizations such as Junior Achievement.

Linginfelter says, “While all banks sell financial products and services, we expect our bankers to provide guidance, advice and education on how the customer can grow and prosper.” Regions strives to set itself apart by focusing on client needs and cultivating a climate of shared value. Its bankers aren’t behind desks. They’re in the community, they go beyond the brick and mortar, seeking out opportunities to help.