Banking Exchange Magazine Logo

Ending the crunch with a crunch

Bank sends officers calling with smiles and cookies

Ending the crunch with a crunch


Banker Helen Trotter Caldwell calls on Mary Towns, assistant administrator, Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, as part of Georgia Bank & Trust of Augusta's special calling day blitz.

 Life in a foxhole isn't Dan Blanton's idea of a good time.

Yet that's where he and the staff of $1.7 billion-assets Georgia Bank & Trust Company of Augusta had been living, he says, through the recession. The bank, along with many others around the country and in hard-hit Georgia, had its share of difficulties, and took its share of hits. Blanton, president and CEO, says that his people had been hunkered down, and he himself knew how they were feeling.
So, with results beginning to pick up, Blanton decided it was time for something dramatic. The bank's 22-odd business calling officers got this message: Clear this date and stand by. No one was told why, just told be in and be available.
"No excuses," says Blanton.
On what Blanton informally dubbed "calling day," a few weeks ago, the bankers were issued boxes of chocolate chip cookies--the cookies were from the supermarket, though the boxes were customized to give the bank's name and message.
Marching orders: Go out and bring people cookies. Blanton says the officers were told they had to call on two new noncustomer firms for every existing customer they visited. And off they went.
Blanton says he didn't send the troops out with any hopes of a big win. The idea was to change the mood, to move on from worry and hunkering down to positive energy.
At the end of the day, the bankers' reward was a cocktail party, where each officer shared their experiences. Some new business, chiefly deposits, came along with the upbeat mood. The promise of some future credit requests also came along.
At the end of the party, Blanton felt his mission had been accomplished, and a new tradition started. He plans to have the team out doing these "cookie blitzes" every six months. Many of the members of the Georgia Bank & Trust of Augusta team that took to the field to get out of the foxhole.
   Welcome to Idea Exchange, a place where good ideas can be found and shared.

For years Idea Exchange was a favorite in the print editions of Banking Exchange, going through several evolutions. Now the sources of good ideas range further and broader than ever.

If you have a story you’d like to share, email us today. Email to [email protected]
back to top


About Us

Connect With Us


Webinar: From KYC to IDV

How three leading banks are utilizing cutting-edge
digital tools to onboard, win, and wow customers

Time/Date: June 23, 2021 11:00 a.m. ET

Digital adoption, already moving at warp speed, accelerated seven years into the future during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the number of bank branches continues to fall, with at least one study predicting all branches will disappear by 2034 (Fox Business) and foot traffic declining (Vox), today’s most innovative banks are charting a new, digital-first path to win over customers while increasing security, meeting KYC compliance requirements, and winning customers to drive revenue.

In this webinar, you’ll hear from John Baird, Founder & CEO of Vouched, Tyler Crawford, COO of Bankers Healthcare Group, Anand Sathiyamurthy, CPO of Flagstar Bank and Daniel Sheehan, Chairman & CEO of Professional Bank as they describe their vision for digital transformation and how customer expectations are changing to digital first. They’ll also explore how fostering an innovation mindset creates new ways to tackle complex KYC problems and allows them to quickly compete in new markets and win customers.


This webinar is brought to you by:
Vouched Logo