Why should your business switch to Atlantic Union Bank?
Because you get the best of both worlds: the customer-centric service of a community bank and the financial power coupled with the cutting-edge technology and digital capabilities of a large one.
Atlantic Union Bank’s Market President and Commercial Group Manager, Northern Region, David Leudemann, switched banks himself. He wanted to have a more personal connection with his clients and now he does.
How did you come to Atlantic Union Bank?
I joined through the acquisition of Access National Bank. I was the Market President for BB&T before that. I was with them for more than 25 years. My current role is the Group Manager for Commercial Banking in the Northern Region.
Why did you switch to a smaller regional bank?
I viewed the smaller regional bank as a chance to do something more entrepreneurial with my career and have a larger impact on the market as a senior banker.
What sort of impact have you had so far?
At the larger banks now, bankers don’t get to provide customized solutions for their clients. Either the client fits within the bank’s appetite or they don’t. At a regional bank, there’s a real opportunity to create capital and banking structures that meet the needs of the bank and the client. It’s not cookie-cutter like the larger banks.
What is the Atlantic Union Bank advantage?
We have a deeper connection with our clients because we’re a smaller regional bank. In our model, relationship managers get to spend as much time as they need with their client. It’s the only way to really understand how their business operates. It allows you to really help them reach their financial goals. In other words, if you don’t know, you can’t help. With larger banks, the decisions get further and further away from the client.
Why would a business owner change to Atlantic Union Bank?
Because they really can get hands-on relationship management from someone in their market. We have experienced and competent bankers willing to put in the time to understand what they need. It sounds like a cliché, but its not. What happens is: business owners start out thinking they want a community bank because they think they’re going to get better client service.
But those community banks don’t have the resources to deliver what many commercial businesses need, whether its access to capital or sophisticated structure or thoughtful advice. At the larger banks, they have those resources, and they even have competent people, but they lose touch with the ability to make decisions locally. That’s the sweet spot we have as Virginia’s regional bank. It allows us to win on both sides: we’re small enough to be local with our people and decision-making, but large enough to have access to capital, technology, and industry expertise.
Is a change from one bank to another usually event triggered?
It starts when the relationship between the bank and banker breaks down. If one of my clients has a problem, they pick up the phone and call me and we solve it. At a larger bank, many breakdowns occur when the banker has lost control over the ability to solve problems. At that point the solution becomes “this is just how it is, sorry we can’t help you.” Additionally, industry research is very clear that business owners consider changing banks when they don’t hear from their banker often enough.
If a company wanted to switch to Atlantic Union Bank, how can we help them?
In order for a business to switch banks, they have to have confidence that we can handle it. The lending part is pretty easy. The payment side of their business is where they often have the most anxiety. Will they be able to meet payroll or pay their vendors? How will they do it? We try to integrate our technology and process automation capabilities with their financial systems – integrated payables, cyber-security protection, information reporting, fraud monitoring, etc. We have to demonstrate to them that we have the technology to meet their business needs. After that, we design an implementation plan to meet their needs and make the transition go as smoothly as possible. We handle everything from opening accounts, setting up online banking and treasury platforms and comprehensive training. Once we’ve tested everything together, we turn it on.
The best approach to change is a team approach. The process requires a strong treasury management team with officers in the market with the relationship managers. That’s exactly what we have, and that’s a huge advantage for us as a small regional bank. We’re still a small bank but with big bank capabilities.