2 min read April 2022 — Invest: spoke with Tyrus Sanders, Dallas market executive and commercial banking leader for Regions Bank, about the advantages of being a large regional bank in a thriving and diverse Dallas economy. “Regions Bank has always considered itself a Main Street bank with Wall Street capabilities,” he said.
In terms of Regions Bank’s unique services, like disaster planning, how has consumer demand shifted and what does that have to say about the Dallas-Fort Worth market?
Our focus at Regions Bank is to provide financial guidance people and businesses need to reach their own, unique goals. That includes sharing insights on topics such as disaster planning and recovery. In 2022, as part of Severe Weather Awareness weeks in several states, we proactively shared information about how companies can make sure they are ready for disasters through a series of key steps. We serve many of the best markets in the country, including Dallas-Fort Worth, where the business climate and quality of life are very strong. At the same time, the Metroplex, as well as our coastal markets, do face historical severe weather threats and, in some cases, emerging issues related to climate change. In the past few years, we have seen our own associates and customers experience the impacts of natural disasters ranging from hurricanes in Florida and Louisiana to tornadoes in Alabama and Kentucky. We believe success resembles being in tune with our communities’ needs.
As we see that need growing, we want to provide solutions and services that can help people through those hard times. Beyond financial guidance offered by Regions Bank, storm-recovery support has been delivered through the Regions Foundation, which is a nonprofit initiative funded primarily by Regions Bank. I’m blessed to be on the Regions Foundation board of directors and have seen the fantastic job the foundation has done in disaster areas of reaching out and using the foundation’s depth and breadth of community partnerships to invest in those communities to get them back and going again.
What challenges has the population influx into Dallas-Fort Worth had on current residents and businesses?
Challenges are opportunities, depending on what side of the coin you’re looking at. For our region, the challenge is less about banking and more about infrastructure. We’re not seeing as many challenges because the region planned for this growth a long time ago. With technology and our thought process around transportation, Dallas-Fort Worth has done a fantastic job of managing the influx. One thing we have to be cognizant of as well is housing inventory.
We are seeing a sharp increase in the cost of housing and it’s posing a significant challenge for people who need affordable housing. To that end, Regions is working with organizations like Builders of Hope in West Dallas to do infill housing, identifying lots to build so we can provide great opportunities for people who need them most. This includes our teachers, police officers and firefighters. These people are the engine and blood of North Texas and they need quality housing. We are in a tremendous position to help them achieve their dream of homeownership.
How is the bank’s commitment to service being felt in the communities of Dallas-Fort Worth?
The circle of life for the economy is that the more we put in, the more we get out of it. We’re focused on filling that circle. To do that, we are focusing our efforts around workforce development and financial wellness, with full-time financial wellness relationship managers who educate people on topics such as repairing or building credit, homeowner education and long-term investing. We view financial education as an investment in our customers’ success. The more resources we can provide, the more we can be part of their success.
We see needs and are proactive with our community partnerships that maximize impact. For instance, we work with Jubilee in southeastern Dallas, which supports homebuyer education and Habitat for Humanity home construction. They are also developing a medical center in partnership with Parkland Hospital to provide healthcare services for local residents.
In terms of economic and community development, if our communities aren’t strong, we aren’t strong. We are collaborating with organizations like the Texas Mezzanine Fund by investing $1 million in equity to help empower small businesses to be strong, vibrant and taking advantage of opportunities they normally wouldn’t be able to.
How are you able to offer the close-knit feel of a regional bank with a national scope and outreach?
Regions Bank has always considered itself a Main Street bank with Wall Street capabilities. We’re a large regional institution, which means a market the size of Dallas is ideal for our scope and vision. Our model puts market leaders in place to make sure that philosophy is brought to bear throughout the region. We personalize service experiences and interactions with our clients to build lasting relationships and support our clients in reaching their long-term goals. We sit down with our clients to have thoughtful conversations and offer advice and guidance on anything from hedging interest rates or assisting with a home equity loan. My job is to make sure we are working well for our clients and community. That’s the heart and soul of who we are as a bank.
What is your outlook in the near-term and what are your top priorities going forward?
The Dallas Regional Chamber estimates that by 2030, we’ll have over 10 million people in the region, and Dallas in particular will benefit from it. Regions views the area’s growth as an opportunity to continue growing our team. We’ve expanded our commercial group to 15 bankers to reach and serve more large companies, and we’ll be adding a third Small Business Administration banker to support small businesses that are valued at $10 million or less. We’re also focused on serving specialty industries like technology, healthcare, transportation and others more prevalent in the market with our specialty teams who focus on specific industries. From a branch perspective, we’ll continue to combine the personalized service of our team members with advanced technology that allows our customers to bank when and how it works best for them. We’re growing our brand in the market as we introduce more people and companies to the unique service model Regions has to offer. We see this as a time for more opportunity than ever.
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