I want to share with you some thoughts about two recent Franklin Synergy Bank news items: (1) debit card fees, and (2) Small Business Lending Fund capital.
Recent media attention has focused on several large banks that are initiating debit card fees. These fees are intended to offset legislative actions and poor bank earnings.
Franklin Synergy is not following the lead of these banks. We will not enact debit card fees or begin levying new fees or increasing other checking account fees. Debit cards are a convenience for our customers. We have encouraged our customers to use their debit cards; it would be inappropriate to begin charging customers for their use.
Franklin Synergy has always been focused on bringing value and convenience to our customers. Pricing of bank services is a key part of this commitment. Please share with your friends who bank with some of the banks now levying debit card fees, that they are welcome to come try Franklin Synergy Bank. We’ll treat them right.
On the second news item, Franklin Financial Network, the parent company of Franklin Synergy Bank, received $10 million in Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) capital last week. Enacted into law as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the SBLF is a $30 billion fund that encourages lending to small businesses by providing capital to the nation’s strongest community banks. The SBLF is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Then new capital is important to FSB for two reasons: (1) it provides capital to the bank to support growth in loans to small businesses in Williamson County and (2) it is another public statement as to the strength and vitality of our bank.
Small business is the backbone of our local and national economy. More than 1200 new business licenses were filed in Williamson County last year and 21% of our local workforce is classified as entrepreneurs. As the county’s lead community bank, Franklin Synergy can be even more vigorous in identifying successful small businesses and working with them to fund growth and expansion. This is a fundamental step in the recovery of our economy.
Not every bank was allowed to participate in the Small Business Lending Fund. Of the original $30 billion set aside for this program, only $4.0 billion was actually invested in community banks. All together, just 332 banks out of more than 900 applicants were approved for the program.
FSB continues to grow and build a solid foundation for the future. We could not do this without the loyal support of our neighbors, our community, and our friends. Thank you for supporting Franklin Synergy.