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New Regions branch in Selma to be one of bank’s ‘most modern locations’

The work taking place alongside Highland Avenue, where in the future one of the state’s most trusted financial institutions will establish its new, state-of-the-art location, is familiar to anyone traveling in or through the Queen City.

But for Regions Bank River Region Market Executive Arthur DuCote, the new Selma branch will be much more than a place for opening checking accounts or depositing paychecks.

“The branch will immediately become of Regions’ most modern locations in the state,” DuCote said. “It will feature a design that’s built for the needs of today’s customers.”

One change will be the end of the dreaded teller line.

“No longer will people have to wait in a traditional teller line,” DuCote said. “Rather, they will be greeted personally upon walking in and all personnel in the facility will be trained to work with customers in a one-on-one manner to help them identify their financial goals and develop plans to reach them.”

While DuCote noted that the new Selma branch will continue to provide the same functions as any bank, he said that Regions is adopting a more hands-on approach to banking by learning about customers’ financial needs and offering “comprehensive solutions” to help meet those needs.

“Banking is about more than opening accounts or issuing loans,” DuCote said. “Sure, we will provide those types of services, as always, but our focus at Regions is increasingly on working with people in a customized manner, listening to their complete financial needs and offering comprehensive solutions to meet those needs. We look forward to providing this type of consultative service at the new Selma location.”

The road to constructing a new Regions branch in Selma is one lacking mile markers, according to DuCote, who said the bank is constantly evaluating its branch network and looking at every community and the needs of its customers.

“We study the current demand, customer traffic, the use of technology and more and we look ahead to the type of branch that can meet the needs of people and businesses, not only today but also in the future,” DuCote said. “With the advent of technology, banking has changed.”

And that technology will play a major role in the new branch, which will feature Regions’ Video Banking ATM service, according to Regions Consumer Banking Manager Jeff Smith.

“Through a Regions Video Banking ATM, customers can choose standard ATM service or they can connect with a Regions Video Banker through two-way video there on the machine,” Smith said. “Regions Video Bankers can answer customers’ questions, provide account maintenance, process transactions and more.”

Video Bankers will be available at the new Regions weekdays from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Beyond the video bankers, however, Smith said the company has not yet finalized its staffing plans for the new Selma branch.

“It’s still a little too soon to give complete team details given that we’re five or six months away from opening,” Smith said. “But you can count on Regions to continue offering localized service from people who know Selma and the needs of our customers.”

According to DuCote, the new branch should be opened by the end of the year or the first of next year, despite the slowdowns caused by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our teams have really pulled together and kept things moving forward,” Smith said. “Yes, there have been some construction projects throughout our footprint that have taken a little longer to complete, but the commitment remains the same.”

Smith noted that, for the first time, branch services had been limited to drive-through service and appointment-only in-office service.

“Our banking teams, from Selma to Demopolis and throughout the state, have really pulled together and kept services moving for our customers,” Smith said. “And our digital teams have stepped up as well, with enhancements to our online and mobile banking, which were already in the works, which are seeing increased demand amid the pandemic.”

While Regions will obviously continue to serve as a local financial institution, DuCote envisions its role as bigger than that, saying he hopes to see the bank “serve as not only a source of financial transactions but also as a source of financial advice, guidance and education.”

“Whether someone is just beginning a banking relationship or whether someone is planning their next step financially, we have solutions to help. We’re invested in the success of this community.”

The banks has already stepped up for the community, providing financial support for a project at Arsenal Place and acting as a sponsor for Salute Selma.

“We believe in promoting more inclusive prosperity in the communities we serve,” DuCote said.

DuCote noted that “financial wellness is one of Regions’ top priorities for community engagement,” particularly as it eyes a new branch in a region with some of the state’s highest rates of unemployment and poverty.

According to DuCote, financial education will be “free and accessible to all” through Regions’ website or one-on-one consultation and opportunities to build savings and use credit wisely will be available through the bank’s Regions Now Banking program, which does not always require an account.

“Regions Bank is committed to Selma and we are grateful for the longtime customers who have trusted us with their business over the years,” DuCote said. “We look forward to building on that legacy of service.”