Tech, Commercial Loans Drive Gains

Published on: December 11, 2015

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Meagan Nichols, Memphis Business Journal

A locally owned and operated Memphis bank is having a stellar 2015, and the bank president attributes that to "smart growth."

In addition to an overall improvement in the economy, William R. Tayloe, president of Financial Federal Bank, says the bank’s investment in technology, new hires and emphasis on commercial banking have been crucial to the company’s expansion.

“I think it has been a good year. One of the bigger things we have done is make this technology investment that has allowed us to expand our products,” Tayloe says. “We’ve gone after more commercial banking, which is really [where] a lot of our longtime customers wanted us to expand, and so that is what we are doing.”

Building out the bank’s online banking, mobile banking, remote deposit and treasury management are a few of the facets of the company’s multi-year tech plan.

Tayloe says portfolio loan growth year-to-date is up 17 percent and deposit growth YTD is up 15 percent. The bank has a projection to hit $450 million in overall loans by year’s end.

Part of the bank’s loan portfolio includes a significant amount of lending for multi-family projects. For 2015, Financial Federal has originated $200 million in multi-family loans, some of which includes financing for 750 Adams Place, Number 10 Main Street and Eton Square apartments. Financial Federal has financed student housing in Mobile, Alabama; Oxford, Mississippi and Gainesville, Florida.

Tayloe says 2015 has also marked a lot of financing for acquisition and rehab projects in Midtown Memphis near Overton Square.

“We’ve focused on multi-family lending for a long time,” Tayloe says. “It’s in a good cycle right now, because of what happened in the downturn in some of the housing, it really has benefited multi-family. And, obviously, there are more projects going on now because of demand for that type of housing.”

Location is also key to Financial Federal’s gains.

Financial Federal moved into 31,000 square feet of space at Aaron Brenner Drive about a year-and-a-half ago and recently acquired an additional 4,100 square feet of space that the bank plans to grow into in the coming year.

“It is a smart growth,” Tayloe says. “We aren’t just growing for growth sake. We are hiring the right people, not just hiring for hiring sake. We want to make sure we are doing the best job we can for our customers and potential customers.”