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Upstate banks play a game of strategy and opportunity to offer services to the region

  • By Upstate Business Journal
  • Posted on December 04, 2020
Nestled between the two metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina, it seems that Greenville was destined to benefit from the two large cities. As both of those cities grew, so did Greenville. The location has provided Greenville with prime territory to house some impressive businesses. Those businesses have brought in billions of dollars to the Upstate — and as banks have followed the money, the financial institutions have thrived.

Growth in the banking sector means that Greenville is attracting not just new or additional bank branches, but the whole banking industry, said Mark Farris, CEO of the Greenville Area Development Corporation. After a career spent in Charlotte’s banking industry, Farris says he’s seeing the same evolution in Greenville.

The keyword is “growth,” says Farris, and with “new people, new companies, new investments, new jobs, that kind of opportunity means a lot to the banking industry.”

Quickly adapting to a changing game

Another key to banking success is diversity in the businesses banks work with, according to Michelle Seaver, president of Greenville County for United Community Bank. “We want to make sure that we don’t have too much of a concentration by type of business. We’ve just seen that that’s how we can be in banking for the long haul, so to speak.”

Banks have also had to make adjustments to their game strategy. Take online banking, for example. Thanks to the pandemic, more customers are needing reliable online banking due to people not wanting to go out as much and protocols businesses have put in place to protect customers from the coronavirus. Banks must be able to deliver. 

“United put a pretty good investment over the last several years into our online blink banking platform capabilities. And it really has been a good thing for us, because we needed it over the last several months as the banking dynamic changed,” said Seaver.

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