A preview of our upcoming special guest episode, here Sean and Gina welcome Jimmy Stead, Chief Consumer Banking Officer at Frost Bank, to discuss Frost’s unique story of service in Texas communities. In this preview, Jimmy talks about the bank’s organic growth strategy. He says, “We’re really at our best when we have people who are in communities, they’re engaged in communities, they’re making a difference in communities, and for us, the branch serves as a focal point.”
Tune in next week when Sean and Gina return to reflect on examples of best banking practices brought by our special guests and data and trends that are driving the industry forward.
Sean Keathley: One of the things that strikes me about Frost and just the authenticity, the strength behind the word written or said, and the power of doing what you say, and being committed to that in 2020. That is a real testament to who you are, and I’ll give you an example. There was a big plan for branch expansion. The notion being we don’t need to over branch or branch to the degree we did before digital existed, but I think Frost has this relationship strategy that you need people where people live and people work. You’ve got people commuting, and I think your branch plan has been around where people have asked you to go and where the customer needed you. But just talk about balancing that as COVID hit.
Jimmy Stead: It’s a good question. So yeah, we’ve decided to try to double our size in Houston, and that is part of our organic growth strategy and we are very committed to it. We’ve already opened up 20 additional locations in the Houston market, and we’ve got five more to go plus just outside the Houston market where we’re going into Bryan-College Station.
Jimmy Stead: I think that the real core of your question is, obviously, branches are a little less needed. Over time, less and less needed to take care of transactions. It’s undeniable that pandemic has sped that process up. There’s less need for transactions in the branch. But I still don’t think it means the branch is dead. At least not for a company like Frost Bank. We’re really at our best when we have people who are in communities, they’re engaged in communities, are making a difference in communities, and for us, the branch serves as a focal point. So, we had a lot of communities that we weren’t serving as well as we could in Houston. So, we set off to fix that.
Sean Keathley: You have so many tenants of a community bank mindset, but the sophistication and the forward thinking that’s allowing you to compete above your fighting weight. You have 32 billion, you are competing with banks much bigger than you, and you’ve been outlining why.