Grayson Hall made his first visit to the UAB School of Business as CEO of Regions Financial Corporation on October 30, 2012 when he met with the combined undergraduate capstone and MBA class, “Strategic Leadership Through the Eyes of the C-Suite.” Hall became CEO in March 2010, which he noted was a very difficult time for banks, with many changes occurring in the industry.
Mr. Hall said that the business model that formerly allowed banks to offer free checking accounts to its consumer customers is most likely going to disappear, because it was subsidized by some customers paying fees like overdraft fees that are no longer acceptable in the eyes of many consumers. Instead, he said that banks like Regions and their customers must agree on pricing and relationship arrangements that will allow both sides to realize value.
CEO Hall described the huge increases that have occurred in recent years in mobile and internet banking transactions, at the same time that branch and telephone transactions have begun to gradually decline. Still, he does not predict that branches will disappear but instead might shrink in physical size.
Regions Financial Corporation has its origins in Alabama over 40 years ago when it first became legal for banks to expand state-wide. Today, Regions Financial Corporation operates in 16 states and has over $122 billion in total assets. The company has over 23,000 employees, including many in its various Birmingham headquarters locations. It is the 10th-largest bank based in the United States.
A group of students who had researched Regions Financial’s strategy made a presentation to Mr. Hall. The students encouraged Mr. Hall to continue the company’s efforts to support financial literacy in high school students and among its own customers. They also supported Regions’s marketing and advertising, which with its distinctive green bicycle, they described as “fresh and innovative.”
“Strategic Leadership Through the Eyes of the C-Suite” is taught by School of Business professor Stephen Yoder and by UAB Vice Provost Harlan Sands, and features visits from members of the executive suites of public or other large complex organizations who discuss their organizations’ strategies and how they are developed and implemented.
[Pictured left to right: Matt Elliott, James Knight, Jay Johnson, Mr. Hall, Chris Woodham, Joshua Powell, Meredith Burbank]