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VOL. 130 | NO. 154 | Monday, August 10, 2015

Iberiabank Building New Memphis Branch

By Andy Meek

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Iberiabank is expanding its Memphis footprint with another full-service branch in the works along Poplar Avenue east of Overton Park.

The Louisiana-based bank filed a $750,000 building permit in April for 2504 Poplar Ave., where Iberiabank Tennessee market president Greg Smithers said a standalone branch is planned. Set to open in the fourth quarter, it will mark the bank’s eighth branch in the Memphis area, not counting 10 other offsite ATMs included in the bank’s Memphis footprint.

Iberiabank is expanding in Memphis with a full-service branch at 2504 Poplar Ave., east of Overton Park.

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

“We’re continually looking at opportunities to expand our retail franchise in Memphis,” Smithers said, adding that he's pleased with how the bank has grown its commercial and private client business in Memphis so far. “This will be a standalone branch and will adhere to our high architectural standards. Instead of a strip center, end cap approach, we decided to build a very attractive, full-service branch on this site in order to better serve the neighborhood.

LRK is handling design work and Zellner Construction is the general contractor.

“We love the idea of being highly involved in a community when we build a branch,” Smithers said. “This branch will be no exception, and we look forward to establishing partnerships with the area residents and businesses.”

Based on its recent expansion activities, Iberiabank remains bullish on the Memphis market. Earlier this year, it opened a Medical Center location at 1296 Union Ave., across from Methodist University Hospital, which also was designed by LRK. The location expanded Iberiabank’s footprint to Union Avenue and serves commercial, private banking, medical banking and consumer clients.

That location’s design also represented a bit of a stylistic departure for the bank, eliminating traditional teller lines and focusing on a concierge-style environment. Indeed, it's a design the bank said was unique to the Iberiabank brand but one that’s popping up more frequently industry-wide.

In a traditional bank branch, the center of activity tended to be so-called “teller row,” with the layout oriented to draw customer traffic and attention to the tellers. Concierge-style branches, though, do things differently and tend to feature bank employees greeting the customer upon entry and taking them wherever they need.

That branch is also home to a new kind of employee – the so-called “universal banker.” Banks like Iberiabank are moving to integrate more universal bankers into their operations – bankers who are versatile and can handle basically anything the customer needs done.

News about Iberiabank's latest Memphis location, meanwhile, also cuts against the grain of an industry-wide attitude that brick-and-mortar locations have lost favor with many customers, particularly younger and mobile-oriented customers. First Tennessee Bank executives, for example, talk frequently about their ongoing big investments in technology and in the bank’s mobile infrastructure, not so much in expanding the bank’s physical footprint.

Likewise, Pinnacle Financial Partners CEO Terry Turner told The Daily News in May –shortly after Pinnacle announced its merger with Memphis-based Magna Bank – that he doesn’t foresee a branch building boom accompanying Pinnacle’s entry into Memphis.

Tipping his hand somewhat, Smithers in January said the Medical Center branch and new branch setup represent the “perfect next step” in Iberiabank’s growth strategy for the Memphis market.

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