Trust One’s Parent Rolls Out Cost-Cutting Measures

By Andy Meek

Synovus, the parent of Trust One Bank in Memphis, is rolling out a slew of efficiency initiatives, cost-cutting measures and revenue boosters intended to generate tens of millions of dollars in savings.

Georgia-based financial services company Synovus, which has $30 billion in assets, announced within the last few days it’s enhancing its large corporate banking efforts to drive revenue growth in that market segment, which the company has designated as “high-potential.”

As part of that effort, Synovus is adding new talent and working to build relationships with large commercial clients across its five-state footprint.

The company also has hired Chris Abele away from Wells Fargo, where he was a vice president and relationship manager. At Synovus, Abele will focus on building Synovus’ relationships with large corporate banks it can partner with.

The company said Abele’s background will fuel Synovus’ commercial and industrial lending and help it connect more commercial clients with its range of products and services like private banking, treasury management, insurance and more.

Synovus also has named a large corporate banking team that will partner with local banking and financial management experts across the company’s footprint.

Meanwhile, Synovus is looking to cut costs around the edges of the company in the hope of generating an estimated $100 million in annual expense savings by the end of 2012.

Most of those savings – about $75 million – are planned to come in 2011.

The savings will come primarily in the form of eliminating the roughly 850 positions the company announced earlier this month are on the chopping block.

“We do not take lightly the decision to eliminate even one position, but we are confident that these are the right and necessary next steps to make our company stronger for the long term,” said Synovus president and CEO Kessel Stelling.

A little more than half of the targeted positions are being eliminated now and through the next couple of weeks, with the rest planned to be eliminated during the second quarter.

Synovus shaved more than 300 positions during 2010. The total reduction over the 18-month period that ends Dec. 31 will be about 1,150 positions.

The company also is closing 39 bank branches it says represent 4 percent of the company’s total deposits. Within the remaining 283 bank branches, the company says it will look to consolidate service coverage where it can.