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First Financial Bank Case Study


First Financial Bank was created by the merger of First Federal Savings Bank and First State Bank of Bibb County in1937. Upon completion of the transaction, the institution’s name was changed to First Financial Bank. Headquartered in Bessemer, Alabama, First Financial has eight additional locations in the Birmingham metropolitan area and surrounding counties. As a state-chartered commercial bank, First Financial serves the varied banking needs of the businesses, families and individuals located in small communities and rural areas in Central Alabama.


In 2007, with an established overdraft program in place, bank management decided to take a serious look at how to expand the benefits of the program – increased revenue for the bank and well-disclosed service for account holders to utilize for their financial needs. As part of that plan, they looked at competing overdraft solutions.


Based on knowledge of JMFA’s expertise in overdraft programs, existing relationships with JMFA personnel and the endorsement of the Community Bankers Association of Alabama (CBAA), First Financial selected JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®.

“During our discussion with JMFA representatives, they were able to demonstrate how their overdraft solution could significantly improve our non-interest income and streamline our processes,” explained First Financial Bank Executive Vice President Lynn Joyce. “Based on what we knew about the company and its personnel, we were convinced we could get the results we wanted with their strategies, training and software. Plus, we knew we wouldn’t have to worry about any compliance issues with their 100 percent compliance guarantee.”

The Results

According to Joyce, JMFA has delivered on their commitment to improve First Financial’s overdraft program results. “In addition to a significant increase in revenue, the Privilege Manager software has helped us streamline our processes and increase our collection results – and the support team has been outstanding,” she said. “Plus, the in-depth employee training and member communication tools were very helpful when new Reg E requirements were implemented in 2010.”

Lessons Learned

The decision to switch to JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® has paid o_ in a number of ways, according to Joyce. “We are very happy with the many benefits of implementing JMFA’s program, both for the bank and our customers,” she said. “JMFA gave us the strategies, tools and training we needed to get the results we wanted – increased earnings and customer satisfaction. Plus, their regulatory expertise and 100 percent written compliance guarantee gave us something we didn’t have before.”

About JMFA

JMFA is a leading provider of profitability and performance-improvement consulting. For more than 38 years, JMFA has been recognized as one of the most trusted names in the industry, helping financial institutions reach their goals. Simply stated, JMFA’s programs and services are designed to increase income or reduce expenses. JMFA is proud to be a preferred provider for performance-enhancement consulting services among many industry groups.

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