Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida (NASDAQ: SBCF) is an $8.3B financial institution located in Florida. With roots that date back to 1926, it’s one of the oldest and one of the largest community banks headquartered in the Sunshine State.
As an SBA preferred lender with a strong understanding of government lending, Seacoast was able to offer much-needed access to the Paycheck Protection Program to support small businesses. As the large banks struggled with internal processes and a massive backlog given demand, Seacoast, with help from Numerated, was nimble enough to be able to work with each PPP customer in a direct and individual way. They were able to fulfill every eligible customer request for PPP funding.
Helping lead that charge is Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer Julie Kleffel.
Julie joined Seacoast in 2014 after an acquisition and affectionately refers to herself as “an adopted child” of the bank. Including time with her previous institution, she has more than 20 years of experience with the organization and oversees all things retail banking, call center operations, residential wealth and trust divisions, SBA division, and the specialty finance groups in Seacoast’s marine and aircraft lending division.
On Tuesday, March 23, we sat down with Julie and the rest of the Seacoast Super Six to talk about a wide range of topics, including advice for banks and credit unions in 2021 as they make the pivot away from PPP and toward the new normal.
Here are three pieces of advice Julie shared with attendees during our Tuesday conversation:
- Ground yourself in “why”. This is the first piece of advice Julie has for lenders trying to get their heads around PPP and what business banking looks like beyond the program.
“Why do you get up every morning as a banker in this crazy and dynamic industry?” she said. “I've done it for 25 years at Seacoast and, for me, it's really our mission, right? It's to drive better experiences and help our customers succeed.”
- Put down the fear. “As an industry, I think we have to stop viewing outside partnerships as a way to somehow diminish the brand, or put the organization at direct risk,” Julie said. “We started off fighting the fintech world, but now we’ve learned that embracing fintech partnerships can help us better serve our customers and scale our business.”
- Provide rich customer journeys. “Great digital end-to-end experiences that can be customer-driven and led, or banker-driven and led, depending on what the customer chooses, are really table stakes for us as bankers and as financial professionals,” Julie explained.
For her, PPP has reminded us of how fast the world can change and how customer expectations will change along with it.
“You have to let that go and really embrace the future, because your customers are expecting you to do that,” she said. “You need a partner with the right team. Numerated is one of those great partners.”
With the recent extension of PPP originations to May 31, Julie said Seacoast is still focused on providing federal aid to any business customers that needs it, and will support their borrowers through the loan forgiveness process and beyond.
To learn more about our partnership with Seacoast, and to hear more perspectives from Julie and the rest of the Seacoast Super Six, watch the full conversation above.
And don’t forget to save your seat for one of our upcoming webinars, held twice-weekly, here.