After losing his second home to a Florida hurricane and living out of a hotel in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Sherdie Allin just had to get to the bank.
There was a check to deposit, and accounts to access securely on his iPad as the financial power of attorney for his mother, whose home Hurricane Ian also destroyed.
Done, thanks to Wendie O’Neil and the Northport branch team working out of Regions Bank’s portable branch outside their location while it underwent repairs.
The bank on wheels, whose rear panel features lettering that asks, “Does your bank go the extra mile?” rolled into North Port Oct. 7 — just one part of Regions’ multifaceted disaster response.
Six nonprofits also received $225,000 to help those affected by Ian from the Regions Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank.
The bank also allowed for deferral of principal and interest payments for loans totaling $11 million dollars for local business clients and offered mortgage payment relief to 272 homeowners with unpaid balances totaling $60 million. Regions’ Associate Relief Fund supported associates whose homes were damaged or destroyed.
Regions’ portable branch temporarily replaced the Northport branch until enough repairs from Hurricane Ian could be completed for it to reopen Dec. 1.
“The portable branch helped us out so much,” said Allin of the service that he and his wife, Jacquelyn, received from Regions associates.
Regions first employed the portable branch, built by MBF Industries in Sanford, Florida, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Since then, the original truck and its 2019 replacement have proven valuable temporary stand-ins for customers of banks damaged by tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods and other disasters.
“The portable branch was a big help here since so many buildings were damaged and closed,” Allin said. “The associates inside helped us open up a money market account, and printed statements out for us so we could see where were at financially. That that was very important to us since we had no internet access and hadn’t been able to look.
“The Regions bankers knew exactly what to do and set everything up on my iPad so I had everything I needed to access our accounts right there in one place.”
Randy Wells was on the road serving customers for his Ace Pest Management business when he saw Regions’ portable branch from U.S. 41.
“It’s hard to miss that giant green truck and the help on wheels,” he said.
Wells stopped by to set up an account for depositing the Federal Emergency Management Agency relief check when it arrives.
“They were able to issue me a debit card for the new account right then and there,” said Wells. “In normal times, that might not seem like that big of a deal but when you’ve dealing with the aftereffects of a massive hurricane and running in six million different directions, not having to wait for a card in the mail is huge.
“As someone in the customer service business, I also was struck by the service these associates delivered to me. They had the same issues as the rest of us but were all focused on the job of taking care of their customers.”
Regions associates served more than 100 customers alone on the portable branch’s first day in North Port.
A customer got the safe deposit box access she needed to retrieve the passport for a trip to India. Another got the $27,000 wire for a land purchase, also for that same day. And the portable branch received several deposits from construction teams working in the area.
“We were thrilled at the opportunity the portable branch offered to keep serving our customers and community,” said O’Neil, Northport branch manager.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do that without the portable branch,” she said. “Story after story confirmed how much of a financial lifeline — and encouragement — the portable branch and our Regions team was.
“We’ll always have fond memories of our more than 50 days working out of a portable branch and are now excited to be back inside. We want to continue to be there for our customers every step of the way as they, and our community, recover, rebuild and we move forward together.”
Portable Branch Video Tour
Step inside Regions Bank’s full-service bank on wheels.
About Regions Foundation
Regions Foundation supports community investments that positively impact the communities served by Regions Bank. The Foundation engages in a grantmaking program focused on priorities including economic and community development; education and workforce readiness; and financial wellness. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $161 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,300 banking offices and more than 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.