In a Nutshell: Regent Bank’s slogan is “Passion to Serve,” meaning the Oklahoma bank makes a point to provide quality customer service while also strengthening the community. The institution regularly hosts events for business leaders, nonprofit organizations, and Christian business people. Regent Bank also contributes to local nonprofits through volunteer efforts and monetary donations. The bank recently donated a total of $50,000 to nonprofit organizations that have been working to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, the bank has continued to help clients by providing its concierge-style services and compiling important resources, such as emergency loans, for businesses.
With a slogan like “Passion to Serve,” Regent Bank’s record of supporting, educating, and strengthening Oklahoma communities should come as no surprise.
The bank was founded in 1898 in Nowata, Oklahoma, and today maintains branches in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Springfield. Over the decades, Regent Bank has established itself as one of the region’s premier business banks, focusing on helping small and mid-sized businesses profit and grow.
“We’re not really your traditional ‘consumer’ bank, though we work with many consumers. We’re just more of a concierge-style business bank,” said Regent Bank AVP and Marketing Director Brandon Gaffney. “We have one location in each market, and we serve a lot of business clients.”
Gaffney said the bank manages more than $700 million in assets.
“Banking is not just a job for us, it’s personal,” according to the institution website. “We are emotionally invested in the success of those we serve.”
That means listening closely to the hopes and fears of customers and taking the time to understand their unique challenges and needs, according to the bank. Regent bank provides funding for growth, acquisitions, equipment loans, operating lines of credit, commercial real estate, SBA, USDA, and more.
“Guided by a set of core values that set us apart in the world of banking, the entire Regent team does whatever it takes to add value to our clients’ everyday business,” according to the bank website.
Hosting Leadership, Business, and Nonprofit Events
Gaffney explained how Regent Bank differs from many banks in another way, by spending a large portion of its advertising budget on hosting an array of events for the community.
Of course, with the COVID-19 pandemic still surging in parts of the country, the event schedule has been a bit different in 2020. But Gaffney provided us with an overview of the types of events and the audiences the bank reaches under normal circumstances.
Gaffney said the bank puts on four different types of events in each of its markets, including the Faith in Business Series, the Executive Luncheon Series, the Regent Elite Series, and the Nonprofit Leadership Series (NPLS).
“With each one of these, we bring in speakers specifically for that audience,” he said. “It gives the people who go to the events an opportunity to network with other individuals as well in that same industry.”
Each event series is held monthly, with the exception of the Nonprofit Leadership series, which is held on a quarterly basis.
The NPLS is geared toward executives at local nonprofits. The installments include a one-half day course of world-class training, including roundtable discussions and brainstorming sessions, according to the institution website.
“Please note that you do not have to be a Regent Bank client to attend the Non-Profit Leadership Series,” according to the bank. “We simply want to do our part to help Tulsa’s non-profit community enhance the great work you are already doing.”
Meanwhile, the Faith in Business Series is a free breakfast program designed to encourage business leaders to utilize their platform to live out their faith, an important component in Regent Bank’s philosophy. So much so that the bank’s CEO leads a daily devotional every weekday morning that anybody can dial in to and listen in on.
The Executive Luncheon Series is geared towards C-Suite executives and tends to draw top-level speakers, Gaffney said.
A Marketing Strategy Focused on Donating to Charities
Regent Bank has a long history of working with and doing what it can to help nonprofit organizations in its communities.
“Regent Bank is dedicated to helping organizations that help our communities fulfill their mission by providing financial services that support the unique needs of charitable institutions,” according to the bank website.
This means the bank not only happily accepts nonprofits as clients, but it maintains a team of Nonprofit Banking Directors to help clients however they can. The bank also encourages its employees to serve and be active in the community through incentive and recognition programs.
And because of the pandemic, Regent Bank was actually able to help out local nonprofits even more this year, Gaffney said.
“We just got done giving away $50,000 in total in all our markets to nonprofits,” he said. “Since we weren’t able to hold as many in-person events this year, we were initially going to use that money for some real heavy advertising. But then we thought, ‘That doesn’t really fit our values.’”
Instead, the bank donated the money to nonprofits that were really making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Gaffney said the bank gave away a number of $5,000 awards based on community votes. And it gave away $10,000 and $15,000 to two nonprofits that submitted an application and demonstrated how they were making a positive impact during this challenging time.
“I was blown away by how many people were in desperate need and still doing amazing things,” he said. “The two organizations that jumped off the page really blew my mind with the amount of stuff they’re doing right now.”
He said both of the nonprofits that received the largest awards had basically become hubs to help people procure government assistance.
“They were giving out thousands of hot meals to families who needed them,” Gaffney said. “They’ve been providing job resources, masks, everything you could possibly think of during this time.”
He said the giveaway program was such a success that the bank is looking at doing it again later this year or possibly next year.
Offering Valuable Resources to Help Clients During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Regent Bank is well-versed in providing crucial financial services, including loans and lines of credit, to small and medium-sized businesses. So, when it became clear that COVID-19 was going to bring serious economic challenges, the bank gathered its resources to help its clients and communities.
“The CEO of the bank is also the Secretary of Commerce for Oklahoma,” Gaffney said. “So, every day we kind of hear about the urgency because he sees it firsthand, the way businesses and families are being affected by this.”
And speaking of urgency, Gaffney said one of Regent Bank’s core values for its employees is to have a sense of urgency.
“And that’s kind of really intensified now because people are desperately counting on us,” he explained. “We’re kind of a concierge-style bank, so you don’t necessarily always have to come into our bank — we come to you a lot.”
That concierge-style service happened to become an even more valuable policy during the pandemic.
“Our people are masked up and going out to meet with people and take care of things — bring them their PPP documents and all these different things,” Gaffney said. “Just giving them what they need as soon as possible.”
Of course, the PPP documents Gaffney referred to are for the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the CARES Act that allows businesses to keep employees on the payroll via loans. The bank also offers information on the Small Business Association’s Disaster Loan Program.
The Regent Bank website features a collection of COVID-19-related resources for businesses, from the national loans, to state programs, CDC guidelines, business tips, and much more.
Regent Bank’s slogan is “Passion to Serve” and upon taking a closer look at the bank’s practices, it’s clear that that passion carries through in how it treats its clients and communities.