FIRST TENNESSEE CELEBRATES DECADE OF BEING VOTED ‘BEST OF THE BEST’: Bank Notes Long-term Relationships, Commitment to Community and Dedicated Team as Reasons for Win
CHATTANOOGA, TENN. (September 8, 2017) ---Since 1976, First Tennessee has been a trusted financial resource for Chattanoogans. The bank entered the market when the former Hamilton National Bank was deemed insolvent and taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and had its assets transferred to First Tennessee Bank.
Melinda Davidson, vice president of the bank’s Erlanger Financial Management Center began her career with the bank a few months before the takeover. “We didn’t know if we’d still have jobs the next day or not,” she said. “But it all worked out and this has been a great bank to work for through the years.”
Four decades later, the Memphis-based bank is not only still here, but is the area’s biggest and oldest bank. First Tennessee has more than quadrupled its deposits in the Chattanooga market since 1976; however, even as the bank has grown its’ deposits, it has embraced technology that encourages efficiencies among ever-changing banking behaviors of their customers.
Market president Jeff Jackson notes, “While our operations have completely changed, our commitment to service and the local community has not. As we look back to 1976, First Tennessee’s expansion into Chattanooga was a very smart move.”
Jackson noted that First Tennessee is often top-of-mind not only for customers but also for times of need throughout the community. “We know the importance of being available for the community on short notice. We work hand in hand with many of our local foundations and organizations to assist however we can. Whether the situation is a family tragedy or something that impacts and entire community, we are often on-point to assist in meeting needs.”
First Tennessee is often seen as the presenting sponsor at many of Chattanooga’s signature events. Whether it’s raising money for breast cancer awareness at “Pink!” or building support for Erlanger’s new children’s hospital, the bank and its’ employees are often on hand to lend both financial and personal support. “We believe in the power of relationships,” said Jackson.
“Our employees are encouraged to be active in their communities and to let us know about needs they see.”
By example, First Tennessee provided $100,000 last year to the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults’ Consumer Credit Counseling program. Funds from the program are used for home down payment assistance for those who’ve successfully completed the program. Partnership’s President and CEO Pam Ladd said, “We know that in order to break the cycle of abuse and violence, it’s critical to have stability. For those completing our program, knowing that assistance is available to purchase a first home opens the door not only for an individual but for an entire family for generations.”
Recently, the bank recently committed $100,000 to the Chambliss Center for Children, Chattanooga’s oldest child care center, as part of the Center’s capital campaign. The Chambliss Center is a private non-profit organization that specializes in foster care, adoption, residential care of children and youth, early childhood education, and childcare. Funds will be used for the expansion of the center’s Early Childhood Education & Childcare Services, Residential Services and further expansion.
Plans include opening a second thrift store, developing and implementing stronger communication strategies, instituting a planned giving program among staff, physical plant improvements, and enhancing endowment.
Phil Accord, President and CEO of the Chambliss Center for Children said, “First Tennessee understands the vision and the needs of our families. They invest in ways that are transformational for those we serve. Simply put, Chattanooga is a better place because of companies like First Tennessee.”
Jackson noted that he is proud of the way First Tennessee gives so much back to the community through its foundation and matching contributions from employee gifts to area non-profits. “In a day when many local companies are headquartered out of town, you just do not see corporate dollars locally spent. That’s just not the case with First Tennessee. We all take a great deal of pride in seeing our brand listed as a supporter of events and activities that make a difference in the place we all call home.”
First Tennessee has also been ranked as the Best Bank to Work For by American Bankers; Best Company for Multicultural Women by Working Mother magazine; Top Workplaces in the State by the Nasville Tennesseean; 100 Best Companies by Working Mother magazine; and, Top 50 Companies for Executive Women.
What began as an emergency acquisition in 1976 has proven to be a great investment for First Tennessee in Chattanooga. With second and third generations of customers trusting the bank to meet their financial needs, embracing new technologies to deliver additional products in the market and a strong team of banking professionals who know their customers well, the bank is well positioned for a future that is equally as rich as its’ past.
About First Tennessee First Tennessee Bank is the largest bank headquartered in Tennessee, with the number one deposit market share in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and the Tri-Cities and a top-five deposit market share in Nashville. First Tennessee was founded during the Civil War in 1864 and has the 14th oldest national bank charter in the country and one of the highest customer retention rates of any bank in the country. First Tennessee and FTN Financial are part of First Horizon National Corp. (NYSE: FHN), which has 4,300 employees. First Horizon has been recognized as one of the nation's best employers by Forbes, Working Mother and American Banker magazines. More information is available at www.FirstTennessee.com.