The Big PayBack
By Katrice L. Mines
Citizens Trust Bank has a great deal to celebrate in its 95th year. As a gift of sorts for its nearly century-long existence as an institution in the black community, the community gave back to the bank with nearly $1 million in deposits — in just five days. The major influx of account applicants mid-July was in response to rapper Killer Mike’s challenge to black consumers to move their money to black-owned financial institutions; 8,000 answered the call with CTB in Atlanta.
The rapper and other black influencers took to social media with the hashtagged phrases “bank black” and “move your money” as a push back against the deluge of high-profile police killings of African Americans. And CTB’s seasoned bankers were prepared for the immediate foot traffic; in fact, the bank was already in the midst of its own campaign for a long-term infusion of business from a younger demographic of bank customers.
Arkeedah McCormick was one such customer. “I was inspired by Killer Mike’s most recent interview with Hot 107.9,” she says. “It made me reevaluate where I was spending my money and most importantly where I was investing my money.” McCormick, an Atlanta-based blogger, immediately felt a shift in her consciousness when she visited CTB.
“My heart smiled as I was sitting in the lobby for over two hours waiting to open my account. It was a pleasant and calm atmosphere while everyone came together for the same purpose. Since posting on social media that I opened an account, a lot of my followers shared that they will be doing the same. I know for a fact that my mother will be opening an account at the same branch I did.”
It was serendipitous. A month earlier, the introduction of CTB’s Next Generation Advisory Board — a council of young executives who will serve in a collaborative capacity to explore innovative and strategic ways to offer financial solutions to a changing and diverse demographic — had been announced.
The NGAB is comprised of 13 young Atlanta business leaders who have an interest in enhancing access to financial services to build wealth and financial success for the current generation and generations to come. In partnership with our advisory board, the bank intends to expand its reach and deepen its impact through alliances.
“As we continue to move our bank forward in an ever-changing marketplace, we wanted to include a new, younger set of thought leaders to help us better serve our customers and communities in ways that are consistent with the 21st century banking customer,” says CTB president of CEO Cynthia N. Day of the group that started to take shape in her mind two years ago.
“I felt like we could do a lot of things and put a lot of things in place, but we could miss it. So why not go and ask the people that are our future generation? This past year, we spent some time putting the infrastructure together as far as our thoughts and who it was we wanted to target, and what we wanted to accomplish and it was birthed.”
The NGAB members represent- local businesses, non-profit and educational organizations that strengthen the Atlanta community. …