Homeownership, savings and holding down a job are three keys to financial well-being and moving out of generational poverty, so that’s what Southern Bancorp focuses on in its home Mississippi and Arkansas Delta region, one of the nation’s poorest. On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Southern CEO Darrin Williams talks about the bank’s high-touch focus on pairing in-depth financial counseling with a Bank On-certified checkless checking account to help reach the unbanked in the Delta.
Williams explains $1.6 billion Southern Bancorp’s work as a group of three distinct community development financial institutions. He also discusses its partnerships, which include equity investments from Bank of America, Simmons Bank, BancorpSouth Bank and Regions Bank, among others, and program-related investments from philanthropic organizations and individuals in the mid-South.
And as a CEO who entered banking laterally from a career as a lawyer and state legislator, Williams discusses the role of hiring from outside the industry in diversifying the ranks of banking.
If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to this week’s episode.
- Bonus clip in which Williams discusses Southern Bancorp’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and participation in the Paycheck Protection Program.
- More information about ABA’s call for all banks to offer Bank On-certified accounts.