The plan is simple.
“We want to lean into our strengths,” said John Turner, the President and CEO of Regions Financial Corporation, Alabama’s only Fortune 500 company. “We believe that if we remain committed to continuous improvement, we continue to invest in innovation and technology, and we make investments in people and capabilities, we can have a lot of success.”
Turner shared his vision with some of the state’s top business and philanthropic leaders as they gathered at the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, an organization that, for over 100 years, has served as a catalyst for growth in Regions’ headquarters city.
Below are five key takeaways from the CEO’s remarks.
1. Banking is evolving. But its core remains the same.
With digital tools that are constantly advancing, anyone can have the power of Regions in the palm of their hand. But one of Regions’ key differentiators remains the people who are at the heart of how the company operates.
“Our business is still a relationship business,” Turner said, pointing to Regions professionals who are embedded in communities across the Southeast, Midwest and beyond. “While technology is certainly important, our business is still about bankers who are enabled with really good technology, building trusting relationships with customers based upon the unique ideas and solutions they provide.”
2. Customer expectations are rapidly evolving as well.
“Our customers increasingly are expecting speed, convenience and reliability, and they’re banking with us lots of different ways,” Turner pointed out. That’s why Regions is investing $625 million in technology in 2019 alone. Much of that investment will be allocated toward new capabilities for consumers.
“Our teams have to be very, very passionate about how we improve the customer experience through the use of technology,” Turner said, adding that strong, thorough cybersecurity is among Regions’ top priorities.
3. It’s not branches vs. digital. It’s both.
Much has been written about the role of the bank branch in the digital age. With online and mobile banking, many people don’t need to go to a branch for routine transactions like they did years ago. But Regions finds the same customers who use the company’s digital services often still seek branches for face-to-face guidance.
“We’ll see branches still be very relevant,” Turner said. “Because customers, even young people, when they have a big life event, they want to come into the branch and talk to somebody about that life event.”
At Regions, over 60 percent of consumer deposits are from people who have been customers for more than 10 years, which could indicate an aging customer base. “But the reality is that 50 percent of the accounts we open are for individuals who are 30 years of age or younger,” Turner added. “So, clearly we are appealing to the younger crowd and to younger customers, and we think that bodes really well for our future.”
4. Regions is taking a more strategic approach toward community engagement.
For years, Regions has supported nonprofits through donations and volunteer support. To build on this commitment, the bank is refining its community investment strategy and focusing on three key priorities:
- Economic and Community Development
- Education and Workforce Readiness
- Financial Wellness
Turner pointed to the endowment of the Regions Financial Corporation Foundation, which is making strategic investments in programs that create more inclusive prosperity throughout Regions’ 15-state footprint. Regions Financial contributed $100 million toward the Foundation’s efforts.
“We believe that our business can only be as good as the health of the communities that we serve,” Turner said, saying more purpose-driven community investments will help Regions build on its overall impact.
5. “We are fully invested in Birmingham and in the state of Alabama.”
More than 8,000 people work for Regions across Alabama, with nearly 6,000 of them based in Greater Birmingham. Turner pointed to research that was commissioned by the bank in early 2019 to quantify Regions’ economic impact on its home state.
“Our average wage is 46 percent higher than the average wage in the state. So it’s a good place to work,” he said. The percentage is based on a combination of wages and benefits.
Regions also continues to attract top workforce talent to the state.
“We’ve recruited a lot of really talented people into Birmingham,” Turner pointed out. “And they like the quality of life. They like the opportunity to be here.”
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $126 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 1,500 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.
About Regions Foundation
Regions Foundation is an Alabama nonprofit corporation with offices located at 1900 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama, 35203. It is exempt from Federal income tax as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Regions Foundation is funded primarily though contributions from Regions Bank. It engages in a community grantmaking program focused on priorities including economic and community development; education and workforce readiness; financial wellness; and related initiatives fostering inclusive growth across the communities it serves.