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Management Strategies

10:30 AM
Lisa Valentine
Lisa Valentine
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The Bank of San Antonio Offers Big-Bank Services With a Small-Bank Touch

By relying heavily on outsourcing IT and partnering with technology providers, The Bank of San Antonio's Brent Given, president and CEO, helps the institution offer big-bank products and services in a community banking environment.

BS&T: What is The Bank of San Antonio's market niche?

Given: Our sweet spot is middle-market businesses with between $5 million and $25 million in revenue. That's a huge and growing market in the San Antonio area. All we want is a little piece of that market.

One of the businesses we've been especially successful with is the medical industry. We handle both the private banking of the doctors as well as the practices themselves. Another market that we've been successful in is residential and commercial real estate firms.

BS&T: One of The Bank of San Antonio's strengths is its treasury management services. As a de novo bank, how did you leapfrog other banks in these offerings?

Given: Loans are loans -- but treasury management is where you can really make a difference. I knew that we needed a strong offering to compete against the big banks. We raised a lot of capital when we started the bank; our niche is business banking, and we needed capital to fund robust treasury management as well as to fund the large loans that our business customers require.

BS&T: Can you describe the treasury management offerings? Why are they important to the bank's strategy?

Given: We offer a full suite of products and services to meet the needs of our middle-market clients for automated processes and streamlined functions, and to accelerate accounts receivables and accounts payables management. We use remote deposit capture (RDC) to basically create a branch at our customer's desk. RDC enables us to compete immediately without a bunch of bricks and mortar. We can put a deposit machine in our clients' office, and they can scan the checks and make a deposit at their office. We already have 35 remote deposit locations implemented.

We offer account reconciliation, ACH, image lockbox, wire transfers and zero-balance accounts. On the payables side we offer online bill pay and outgoing wires. Another functionality we provide is fraud protection with positive pay -- customers send us a file containing whom they want to pay and we can kick back checks written to others not on the list. In the cash management area we offer investment sweeps, online banking, loan sweeps and cash concentration. From soup to nuts, we have everything the big banks have.

BS&T: What value-added services do you provide?

Given: When we call on a prospective client we ask for analysis statements from their current bank. We take the time to understand their processes and their cash flow situation and then provide a proposal for a solution that makes the best use of the technology that is available.

BS&T: Do you outsource treasury management?

Given: We outsource treasury management as well as our core processing through Jack Henry & Associates [Monett, Mo.]. Although the big banks have developed their treasury management systems internally, the technology is so accessible that third-party vendors have been able to keep up with what the big banks offer. We can use off-the-shelf technology and compete with anything the big banks have. In our market, that includes Wachovia [Charlotte, N.C.], Wells Fargo Bank [San Francisco], Bank of America [Charlotte, N.C.], JPMorgan Chase [New York] and Frost Bank [San Antonio].

BS&T: Do you have internal IT staff?

Given: No, but we have some very technology-savvy employees. Our senior vice president of treasury management, Tom Moreno, was on the steering committee for Wells Fargo and on the strategy committee for Compass Bank [Birmingham, Ala.]. We have other staff with technology prowess. We also have a third-party networking consultant. We may be lean, but we're very plugged in.

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