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BB&T wins Town banking business bid

The Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen demonstrated its appreciation of longterm businesses within the community by awarding its day-to-day banking business to the Farragut branch of BB&T Bank at its Thursday, Nov. 9, meeting.

The Board was initially presented a recomendation to award the banking business to Town newcomer First Citizens National Bank.

However, the Board allowed representatives of BB&T and First Citizens banks an opportunity to “state their case” to the FBMA during the meeting.

Allen Beale, First Citizens executive, said, “First Citizens is a 110-year old bank ran by a family. We are publicly traded, but we are the largest family-controlled bank in the country. We have that small feel, but we are very capable.”

He added FCNB’s Parkside Drive branch is in operation and construction on its Farragut branch — located in the former Nationwide claims office next to Aubrey’s restaurant — should be complete within four-to-five months.

Carla Lyle, BB&T vice president, said, “We too are a very large bank with all the bells and whistles. What I would like to emphasize is our branch has been a part of the Farragut community for many, many years. We have worked very diligently with the Farragut school system, especially Farragut High School and the programs they have in their business department. We have been very involved in the Farragut [West Knox] Chamber [of Commerce] and sponsor of the 5K run for several years. We would ask that you take that into consideration when deciding which bank would better service the needs of the Farragut


Chris Burnett, BB&T assistant vice president and retail sales officer, said, “We take it very seriously, being given the opportunity to take care of the town of Farragut’s account and we know that in taking care of that account, we are taking care of the community.”

Alderman Dorothy “Dot” La Marche made the motion that the Board award the contract to BB&T because they “have been here the longest and have been a wonderful part of the community,” she said.

Beale, urging the Board to reconsider said, “I think it is important that you understand there are big differences and it’s not just rates; although our rates are lower for loans and higher for interest, those are facts.

“Our lenders do not get paid commission. No decisions are made because of what they are going to be paid monthly or quarterly. They give the advice that is best for you because that is the way to run a bank. That is the way it has been for 110 years.

Though the Board welcomed FCNB to town, the vote was 3-1 to support BB&T. Alderman Tom Rosseel voting no. Alderman John Williams was not present.

The banking change was based on a recomendation by Town recorder Allison Myers.

In a memo to FBMA, Myers wrote: “On Aug. 9, 2007, I received a phone call from a SunTrust Bank branch in Memphis concerning a check that someone was attempting to cash. Needless to say this was not an isolated incident. Later I discovered six fraudulent checks had been cashed against town of Farragut’s SunTrust account in the amount of $11,887.24.”

Myers added the Town’s relationship since the incident has been difficult and she did not feel the town of Farragut was a priority to SunTrust and for that reason she began the process of looking for a new bank.

“I [went through] the interview process with three or four banks and my top two choices were First Citizens and BB&T,” Myers said.

Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III urged FCNB to “remember, there is always tomorrow. We have had many opportunities in the past to work with many banks.”

Kathy Croft, BB&T assistant vice president and business deposit officer, said, “With Chris [Burnett] and Carla [Lyle] being here in the community, and myself in the past, we have as great affection for the town of Farragut and we are most appreciative that the bid came in our direction.”


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