How local banks are meeting the needs of the market in South Florida

Manny Perdomo CEO & President – SunTrust Bank

 

What were the main growth drivers for the sector in 2016?

We believe that healthcare, in all areas such as aging services, medical devices and treatment centers for substance abuse, is going to be a big growth driver in Miami. Other sectors that are rising very fast are ports and logistics, transportation, both international and domestic and education. As for consumer lending, it is safe to say that as employment growth continues, consumers will benefit. Residential real estate is a different story, especially because it has always seen waves of ups and downs. One market stabilizer we have seen is the steady demand from colder regions of the country and Europe. Comparative to some of the major cities like New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, Hong Kong or Singapore, prices in Miami are very reasonable. Crises in other parts of the world have also brought demand to our real estate and banking sectors. The fact that the U.S. has legal and economic stability allows us to offer some level of safety that our clients may not enjoy in their home country. We are seeing a lot of investment in the area now coming from Eastern Europe and Russia.

What are the main challenges regarding security automation? Where do the main opportunities for automation lie?

According to the National Center for the Middle Market, more than 54 percent of organizations in the middle market across the country have experienced at least one type of cyber-security incident over the past year, with 39 percent reporting two or more, meaning that in today’s economy, every business must take this issue seriously. Florida is a state with one of the largest number of fraud cases in the country. A good way for businesses to address this is to have better internal controls and employ the fraud protection services provided by their bank to improve security. A SunTrust study showed that 35 percent of fraud is internal, which illustrates the importance of how companies manage themselves.

With the population in Miami and South Florida in general being significantly younger than in the rest of the state, how has this affected the demand for retirement investment planning and long-term savings?

In 2017, we launched onUp, a program designed to promote financial confidence for all Americans, regard less of age or financial status. Our goal is to encourage 5 million people to take steps toward improving their financial confidence in the next four years. Already, more than 1 million people have taken action. SunTrust believes that this is a crucial issue for our country. Tackling the issue of financial stress is a core goal of onUp.