Why the country's fifth-largest bank has made Nashville its new test market

U.S. Bancorp wants a bigger slice of the Nashville market. In order to do so, the $464.4 billion lender wants to be more visible.

Nashville, along with Omaha, Nebraska, will pilot the Minneapolis-based bank's new marketing campaign, called "Consumer Obsession," according to Ward Wilson, who runs U.S. Bank's local operations. Wilson said it's a way for the bank to leverage technology and artificial intelligence to build its local book of business, from drawing in new business to deepening relationships with existing clients.

Nashville and Omaha have never been markets where the bank has done several rounds of consumer testing, according to Wilson. Without that history, bank officials hope to more directly attribute any new business growth with the marketing blitz, particularly in regard to retail banking. Wilson declined to share how much the bank intends to spend on the marketing push.

"We're not just going to be product pushing," Wilson said. "The time is right. … Having been at it the past 35 years, I can't remember [Nashville] ever changing this fast."

U.S. Bank's desire to do more in Nashville comes as lenders across the board look for ways to capture a larger piece of the city's unprecedented boom. That interest has resulted in increased competition for both talent and clients, particularly as local lenders duke it out with regional behemoths for deposits. Those dollars play a key role in fueling a bank's growth.

Since 2010, the Nashville market has seen its total amount of deposits increase by nearly 60 percent, from $38.53 billion to $61.45 million, according to federal data. During that same period, U.S. Bank has grown its Nashville deposits by 88.4 percent, from $1.09 billion to $2.05 billion. Currently, U.S. Bank is the city's seventh-largest depositor.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker from bizjournals.com

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