• Developed plans to use social media. The bank plans to keep customers up to date with new products and services as they’re rolled out. Social media platforms will also provide a two-way conduit through which the bank can engage the community.
The team hopes its rebranding efforts will help them land additional retail clients, an area overlooked by many of the larger banks. “We see a very appealing market-based opportunity there, because the larger financial institutions are pretty much ignoring that aspect of the market,” says Wright. “According to them, it costs as much money to make a $10 million loan as a $1 million loan, so they focus on the higher loan balances. That opens up a market for us.”
The bank also joined the Kasasa network, a national network of 130 community financial institutions representing $2.25 billion in deposits. Through Kasasa (an invented word), City National is able to offer value-added and reward services to its customers, including free checking that rewards customers with cash back on debit card purchases. According to Patricia Nelson, vice president of retail banking, “well over” 400 Kasasa accounts have been added since the bank joined the network in January.
Renewed Focus on Small Business
Pinkett realizes that small businesses make up an important part of the communities that City National serves, and as a federally certified community development financial institution, the bank has a social mission aspect to its lending. To serve small businesses while mitigating risk, the bank is planning a rollout of a suite of small business products that includes payroll processing, as well as providing SBA-backed small business loans. “We want to do more in small business lending with businesses and nonprofits that have a recurring revenue stream, that have operations, and that are not dependent on donations for their income,” says Pinkett, who is only the third president in the bank’s history.
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