Fayetteville-based Signature Bank of Arkansas will launch a new market employing bilingual staff as it ramps efforts to better serve area Latinos.
The initial market location is planned for downtown Rogers, and its staff of six to 10 will speak English and Spanish. Site selection is expected by this summer. Also, a branding effort is underway for the new market but has yet to be released.
“From a strategic perspective, we have continued to look at the markets we serve, and this is something we feel like we need to support,” said Scott Sandlin, chief strategy officer for Signature Bank. “As you look at the market locations we’re going into this year, we feel very confident this is one that we want to be in and be part of.”
Tori Bogner, vice president/marketing director of Signature Bank, said the planned Rogers location should be considered the headquarters for the new market as the bank works to add more bilingual staff in other area locations.
Sandlin explained this as a holistic approach and has been in the works for about a year and launched in recent months. He added that the bank plans to invest millions of dollars into this.
Brant Ward, chief operating officer for Signature Bank, noted the bank also is opening locations in Harrison and Jonesboro.
Recently, the bank partnered with Fayetteville-based professional development firm Serve2Perform in an initiative to prepare and place eight to 12 Latino members on the bank’s market advisory boards. The LatinXNA Board Placement Initiative is one of the first initiatives undertaken by Francisco Herrero, president for multicultural banking for Signature Bank, who started in the role in December.
Also, Adam Arroyos, CEO of Serve2Perform, recently was named to the board of Fayetteville-based White River Bancshares Co., the holding company for Signature Bank.
Arroyos said the Latino community has grown to become the largest minority community in the region and the United States but is underserved. He noted that Latinos have a buying power of $1.7 trillion in the United States and more than half of the U.S. population growth can be attributed to the Latino community.
He added that it can no longer be ignored in order to compete with other areas. He said Signature Bank has helped to create a model for other companies and organizations to add Latino staff and board members, and he hopes others will take part in the initiative.