Doing What’s Right: First National Bank Recognized for Financial Education and Community Commitment

First National Bank Wins With Education And Community

In a Nutshell: With a history stretching back to the Civil War, First National Bank (FNB) has seen many changes come and go. That’s what gives today’s team the confidence to confront modern challenges. FNB meets personal and business banking customers where they are and invites them to bank how they prefer. It reaches out online, in schools, and in communities with education designed to make a difference. And it never forgets that community means striving for what’s right for everyone. That giving spirit has earned the bank our Editor’s Choice™ Award.

Greenville in western Pennsylvania (initially known as West Greenville) has never had a population over 10,000. It’s about the same distance from Pittsburgh to the southeast and Cleveland to the northwest, along the Shenango River, in a region long known for its manufacturing interests.

It’s in an area constantly challenged to remake itself in the wake of change. Yet Greenville also gave rise to a bank holding company that today is among America’s top 50 in asset size.

When the First National Bank of West Greenville began business in 1864, a year after the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, less than 2,000 people lived in the western Pennsylvania town.

Rechartered as the First National Bank of Greenville in 1883, the bank saw citizens through the economic and social ups and downs of the Gilded Age, World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. By 1946, it managed about $2 million in assets.

First National Bank logo

A holding company, F.N.B. Corporation, was formed, and the bank diversified. It has expanded from Pennsylvania to Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.

It became the First National Bank of Pennsylvania (FNB) in 1992. Pittsburgh became its headquarters in 2014. Today, it’s a nearly $46 billion institution with over 4,000 employees and more than 300 branches. It’s among the great success stories in American banking.

Yet it has never strayed from its community roots. The FNB team prides itself on offering products and services that cater to customers and communities from all walks of life.

Financial education provides actionable information to consumers and businesses. Philanthropic and service partnerships and initiatives reach out to underserved constituencies. Ticking all the boxes of community commitment has earned the bank our Editor’s Choice™ Award.

“We’ve always been just a strong bank for our communities, meeting the needs of customers and businesses,” said FNB’s Chief Marketing Officer Rick Steiner. “We offer financial tools for success, share our expertise, and support entrepreneurship and community development across our footprint.”

Products That Encourage Success

It all adds up to doing the right thing for customers and communities, whatever that means for them. FNB meets its many constituencies where they are with products and services they need to move forward.

Products that address diverse financial needs and encourage success include FNB’s personal credit card suite.

The FNB SmartCash Credit Card earns 2% cash back on all qualified purchases. The FNB SmartRewards Credit Card earns cardholders redemption points. The FNB SmartRate Credit Card offers lower interest rates to help those who typically carry a balance.

The FNB SmartSecured Credit Card offers a credit-building opportunity to those starting their financial journey or needing a reset. Deposits starting at $500 secure a credit limit, with the bank reporting on-time payments to the credit bureaus.

Rick Steiner
Rick Steiner is FNB’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“We help people with less than perfect — or no credit — build for the future,” Steiner said.

FNB’s checking lineup performs similar duties, with the eStyle and eStyle Plus accounts offering banking free from the worry of overdrafts. FNB’s eStyle checking accounts are Bank On Certified by the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to provide customers flexibility to strive for success.

Homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream and the surest road to generational wealth for many families. That makes helping people purchase homes a particular focus of FNB.

It offers several mortgage programs designed for first-time homebuyers in underserved communities. Customers with limited credit can secure mortgages with little to no down payment.

The bank spends time and resources ensuring customers and communities know its emphasis on lower-cost, frictionless mortgages. It partners with local nonprofits that support homeownership to provide community seminars that help consumers understand its products and the steps to take to qualify.

“That’s one of the areas we’re most excited about — we have the tools and resources to help make homeownership a reality,” Steiner said.

Holistic Financial Education Meets Audiences Where They Are

First National prioritizes helping consumers and businesses use the banking tools at their disposal to the best advantage. Financial education initiatives reach customers and community members online and in person.

“It’s fundamental to what we do and part of our DNA,” Steiner said. “As part of our Clicks-to-Bricks strategy, we’re always looking to deliver financial education to our constituencies in the ways they prefer.”

Part of the bank’s educational strategy’s self-serve component is available through its eStore, an innovative digital banking experience similar to a shopping site.

Since 2018, more than 85,000 users have accessed financial insights presentations and interactive tutorials on affordable homeownership, managing a checking account, and building and maintaining good credit.

eStore kiosk
FNB’s innovative eStore is available online, through its mobile app, and in convenient branch kiosks.

The bank offers personal and business Knowledge Centers with insights to guide users toward their goals. Articles, videos, interactive learning modules, and resource presentations tackle tough challenges, such as building a household nest egg or financing a business expansion, without diving too deeply into arcane terminology.

Emails that go out to customers and in-branch marketing initiatives reinforce those lessons.

Many prefer to learn more directly through in-person resources, and FNB covers those. Employees regularly engage in communities and contribute to financial education presentations, workshops, and special events.

FNB has created classroom lessons on healthy financial habits for teachers and collaborated with local groups and institutions dedicated to education.

For example, the bank provides downloadable presentations for teachers at high schools in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League.

It has provided financial literacy training and credit counseling assistance to Grace-Mar Services. This Charlotte-area nonprofit creates pathways to education, jobs, and entrepreneurship for youth without a high school diploma.

It has an on-campus presence at Slippery Rock University (SRU) to provide students and employees with banking services and financial education. Banking services include a specialized checking package and SRU-branded FNB debit cards.

That’s one of many college and university partnerships that help the bank recruit new talent, gain insight into products and services, and engage future banking customers. Partnerships with local business incubators and organizations support community entrepreneurship and small business ownership.

“Through the community and direct outreach, we ensure people can access financial education however they want,” Steiner said.

Making Communities Better Places to Live and Work

Steiner said FNB pursued the eStore concept, in part, to be more transparent about its products. That’s essential as the bank expands into markets with high-growth opportunities, particularly in North and South Carolina. Dedication to transparency extends into branches.

The bank trains branch managers, business development officers, and community homeownership specialists to excel at community outreach. Branches leverage digital assets to focus on building relationships with minority communities, conducting homeownership seminars, and partnering with impactful organizations.

Community involvement is at the forefront of the bank’s expansion strategy. Its 2024 Corporate Responsibility Report stated that in 2023, it provided more than $7 million in grants and charitable contributions to more than 1,700 organizations.

Integral to that commitment is FNB’s new headquarters, FNB Financial Center, scheduled to open in late 2024 in Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill District neighborhood. The new headquarters will be the anchor building in a redevelopment project to transform that underserved majority-minority community.

FNB’s decision to build in the Hill District follows more than $200 million in loans, investments, and grants it has committed to that neighborhood.

First National community support.
FNB donates time and resources to many local charities.

An example is deeper ties with Hill District Federal Credit Union (HDFCU), a local Minority Depository Institution. FNB made a $1 million Equity Equivalent investment to expand HDFCU’s Business Line of Credit Program to increase small business financing and also contributed $100,000 toward HDFCU’s physical expansion.

The Hill District work underscores ongoing corporate responsibility priority areas at FNB, including significant affordable housing investments. For example, the bank made a $2 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit investment and provided nearly $6 million in collective financing for constructing City’s Edge, a development begun in 2023.

FNB has also contributed to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh’s Small Contractor Program, which recently financed a new grocery store, Salem’s Market, in the Hill District. As part of the American Red Cross’ Sound the Alarm initiative, bank employees helped install smoke detectors in more than 20 Hill District Homes.

The FNB Financial Center project also supports diversity in construction. As of February 2024, the developers have awarded more than $36 million in contracts to minority- and women-owned construction businesses. Moreover, there is a commitment to an overall minority-owned construction representation of 30% and a women-owned representation of 15% in the project.

As FNB has grown from a small institution in Greenville, Pennsylvania, during the Civil War, so has its community commitment.

“It’s all about understanding who we’re speaking to, what their needs are, and what’s the right way to deliver solutions,” Steiner said. “We leverage every channel at our disposal to live up to our responsibilities.”