Steve Rawl and Craig Dowdy, United Community Bank (North Fulton Business Radio, Episode 249)
What happens when you’ve just left your megabank employer and a pandemic hits? You get busy serving the market by helping business customers who can’t get timely help from their own bank with PPP loans and you build relationships. At least that’s what Steve Rawl, Craig Dowdy, and their commercial banking colleagues did when they started work at United Community Bank in March. Steve and Craig joined host John Ray to tell their story, and it’s a good one. “North Fulton Business Radio” is produced virtually by the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® in Alpharetta.
Steve Rawl and Craig Dowdy, United Community Bank
Since 1950, United Community Bank has been known for excellent service. They are a service-first organization; it is part of their foundation and is one of their guiding principles. It’s who they are.
Banking is a people business. Their growth has, and will, lie heavily with the strength of the people of their bank.
United is a bank, but they’re more than that. They use attentive service and the right mix of products to bring solutions that don’t just impact the bottom line—they strive to make a meaningful difference. No promises or pledges are necessary, it’s just what they do.
Culture is not just what you say, it’s what you do. It must be authentic and it has to start at the top. Together, they create their culture. As an organization, they believe in the power of coming together for good. Whether that is to help their customers, develop their team or support their community, they believe in coming together for a positive outcome.
Their business is not about money—they understand you can deposit that anywhere. And, it’s also not about service, as every bank can promise to do that better. To them, it’s about knowing what they stand for and living it.
They’re committed to being there, for good. For the good of their customer, for the good of the community, for the good of each other. They are honest. To them that means, they’re consistently genuine, trustworthy and authentic. Customers can count on them to take time to understand their needs and to have their best interest at heart. They never forget that it isn’t about them, it’s about their customers and our community.
To best understand them, it’s often helpful to compare them to what they are not. They are honest, but not harsh. They are clear, but not stiff. They are familiar, but they do not make assumptions. They are positive, but not unrealistic. And, they are proud, but not selfishly so.
In addition to personal consumer banking products, they offer lending for renewable energy, medical, dentistry, franchises, owner-occupied commercial real estate, manufacturing and more. Their goal is to add one new line of business a year. In 2018, they introduced United Community Bank’s Navitas Equipment Financing Division. This subsidiary allows their customers to purchase the essential machinery or tangible assets needed to run their business. Their Commercial Business Solutions lines of business are fully staffed with industry experts who work together with their local community bankers to meet the lending needs of their customers while also originating independently nationwide.
Over the past 30 years, the banking industry has seen an increase in consolidation – around 63% of banks have disappeared. The least happy customers are ones that are digital-only. The happiest customers are ones that use a combination of digital and in-branch services. They are actively investing in assessing and meeting the digital needs of their customers while also prioritizing security. In a world where banking can get complicated, they talk like humans do—they are personable and approachable. They want to make banking and finances easier to understand.
They have been recognized as one of America’s Best Performing Banks by Forbes magazine for seven consecutive years. In 2019, they were ranked one of the Best Banks in the World by Forbes, and #5 in the country. They have a strong presence in the growing perimeter communities of Atlanta and are well positioned in this rapidly growing market. They have added multiple new team members who will lead expansion efforts into the city.
Points of Contact:
LinkedIn URL: https://www.linkedin.com/company/united-community-bank/
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/unitedcommunitybank
Questions/Topics Discussed in this Show
- Profile of United Community Bank and their operating philosophy
- What sets the bank apart
- PPP loans and how they approached and handled
- How honest, timely communication set them apart from larger competitors
- Clients they serve in UCB’s Commercial Banking Division
North Fulton Business Radio” is produced virtually from the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® in Alpharetta. You can find the full archive of shows by following this link. The show is available on all the major podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, TuneIn, and others.