Banks may tout with increasing frequency their facility with the array of digital tools available today, but there is a downside to that trend as financial institutions race to catch up with their more mobile-oriented customers.
The secret to having a relationship with customers through an app, for example, isn’t particularly obvious to figure out. And relationships with customers, especially when banks can’t entice customers with particularly high rates for loans, are more than ever one of the secret ingredients that help them stand out from the pack.
Thus, institutions like Magna Bank still rely on people like Rebecca Floyd to make sure customers have someone they can reach out and touch, an actual human on the other end of an encounter who provides something an app can’t.
Floyd, a senior vice president and private banking division manager with Magna, has been with the bank since mid-2006. Plenty about banking has changed since then, but Floyd is an example of what’s also stayed the same.
“In private banking, we’re very relationship-driven as opposed to single transaction-driven,” Floyd said. “If we’re touching a transaction, we want it to go well.
“These relationships can start with someone doing repairs on their home and want an equity line of credit. Or maybe they’re new to town and want to open a new deposit account. And that relationship can build. It’s all about what’s best for the client. If you do that, the business will take care of itself.”
As the private banking division head, Floyd helps work alongside Magna’s other loan officers as they originate loans and help service new accounts and loans for clients. She also carries her own book of business.
Floyd’s group includes four loan officers and two client service representatives, for a total of six. They’re spread between Magna’s Oak Court, Wolf River and Forest Hill branches. Being spread out like that, plus other things like putting cell phone numbers on business cards, is an example of how Floyd’s group wants to make itself readily available.
“We really want to know our clients,” she said. “And we work very much as a team. I’ve seen larger banks driven to cross-sell so many products. And you’re so busy rowing your own boat that you don’t have time to look around you. The people at Magna, we enjoy what to do, and the leadership we have allows us to be on a different playing field. We’re teed up to do the right thing for clients. Our team is made up of people who like to solve problems, and I think you feel that as a client.”
Magna took on its current name in the late 2000s after bank leaders decided they wanted to chart a new course for the institution that opened in 1999 as First Trust Bank. It began primarily as a real estate lender and seller of certificates of deposit, but its leaders eventually saw an opportunity to grow it into a full-service bank. They sensed an abundance of opportunities, for example, to grow by also serving commercial and private banking clients.
New infrastructure was put in place at Magna throughout 2006, and the name switched to Magna in 2007. Services and business lines have evolved to include an array of offerings like SBA lending, private banking, commercial banking and more. The bank has five locations in Memphis in which it frequently showcases the work of local artists, and its personal touches also include things like a personalized note from the bank on a customer’s birthday.
Floyd, meanwhile, described Magna as very much focused on the traditional, non-flashy way of running a bank – which is to say, focusing on taking deposits and making loans.
“And I’m very proud to be part of a bank that wants their private banking to be deep in the core business of banking,” she said. “Everybody’s busy, and banking is not something that should be burdensome and take huge chunks of our time. It should be productive and pleasant.
“Peoples’ finances are such an intimate part of their life, and to be trusted with that, I’m proud of the group we have in Magna as well as the kind of bank Magna is.”