First National Bank of Waynesboro was established in 1905. With assets of $115 million and three locations, the community owned, home-operated, independent bank takes pride in providing its customers with “more banking hours than any other financial institution in Burke County, GA.”
The importance of establishing long-term relationships
For more than a century, the bank has been focused on knowing its customers on a personal level and offering services to meet their individual needs. So in 2010 when bank management decided it was time to replace First National’s existing overdraft program, Bank President Jesse Palmer called on an expert for input.
Palmer had met JMFA Regional Director Waid Thompson previously at Georgia banking conventions, and Thompson had called on the bank from time to time. So Palmer was comfortable contacting Thompson to inquire about JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®. “Initially we were impressed with JMFA’s compliance guarantee and the additional income they projected for the bank,” said Palmer. “When we decided that we were indeed going to replace our existing overdraft program, JMFA was the only new product we considered.”
Client support and follow-through are instrumental to a smooth transition
When it came time to install the program, Palmer credits JMFA’s support and expert personnel with making the transition smooth for bank personnel. “Anytime you change a major product offering there is going to be additional work for staff,” he explained. “JMFA has been great from the beginning with on-going reviews and visits by the support team. Our employees know that someone is monitoring our program, which gives them the assurance that it is being maintained correctly.”
Program provides benefits for both the bank and its customers
When asked about the benefits of implementing JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®, Palmer noted his two main goals: to have a manageable program that results in a substantial revenue increase for the bank and to provide customers with the assurance that in the event they overdraw their checking account, they won’t be embarrassed by bouncing a check.
In 2011, the bank netted a 37 percent increase in non-interest income and since the implementation of Reg E opt-in requirements on charging fees for electronic transactions, more than 2,500 customers have signed up for overdraft coverage on their debit card and ATM transactions. “Thanks to JMFA we have a better organized program for the bank that has become a better program for our customers,” Palmer said.
Confidence in the future
Like most bankers these days, Palmer is concerned about the uncertain regulatory environment and how changes on overdraft programs by the FDIC and OCC could affect First National’s income. But with JMFA as its overdraft program partner, he is 100 percent confident that the bank’s program will remain compliant. “Overall, the quality of their reports, their efficiency and follow-up have reinforced for us that we made the right decision to hire them."