Growth in the Seymour area has caused many to take a good look at financial markets here for investment of capital and safety of investment options available. Such investigation finds the area to be average to above in all market probability. Each bank is rated by four major market assessments, keeping institutions competitive and efficient. Rating ranges from 1-99 per assessment, 99 being greatest in performance ratio.
When approached regarding the results of the assessment, Rosemary Walker of BB& T commented, “Outstanding. I am not surprised, though, since three of the last four years we were ranked number one in small business banking. Now that confirms what I already figured.”
Richard Baker of Tennessee State Bank is pleased with the growth and development of the Seymour area. “We have seen much growth in the 19 months we have been here. Our retail customer base has expanded and we foresee expansion of our staff in the near future. We support the community and are involved in the many school projects, including the academic foundation of Seymour High School.”
Larry Stoffle, vice president of Home Federal Bank, remarked on services being provided as the second largest bank in performance. “We try to facilitate our customers in any way we can to provide for them to reach their goals and dreams of a home. Although we are a full service bank, our greatest gain has been in home mortgages.” Home Federal was awarded second best in customer service ranking, receiving a ranking of 22 of a possible 25.
Sevier County Bank president R.B. Summitt II was pleased with the results of the research. “I’ve always thought our staff was the best. We have been in the area since the mid 70’s, working hard to develop the Seymour market. Seymour was our second branch expansion. We have a good location and traffic has grown, necessitating our staff increase. We’re moving up the ladder to be the best.”
Size of market exposure and customer ratio percentage per branch is a calculable rating, which places Seymour in the lower to middle range. Due to comparisons to larger markets such as Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville, Seymour banks have a relatively low rating in this market analysis. “When looking for safe investment, this ratio often is taken into consideration but final decisions are not generally made upon this ratio,” commented T. Reynolds, representative for Research Council corporation management.
Performance based on number of customer per employee base, calculated in percentage effects about one third of investment capital rating. With this ratio comparing Seymour to higher markets, Seymour ranked among the best as percentage effecting market stability. Smaller markets such as Seymour generally out perform larger markets due to the fact of accessibility and customer relations. “Smaller markets draw higher ranking as most market research shows personal customer contact is more easily achieved in communities with populations of less than 50,000 people,” encouraged Theresa Radke, Sheshunoff data information specialist.
Data influencing ratings also include profitability studies comparing percentage of dollar input relating to per residential customer deposit numbers and corporate business account numbers. As Seymour is considered a “bedroom” community (one in which one resides but works outside the area), percentages reflect a much lower rating for some local financial institutions. “Although investment ratios may be lower for these communities, probability studies also look at growth rates per year. Seymour, with percentage growth rates exceeding national averages over the past five years, can expect commercial growth as corporations see stability,” replied Radke.
Seymour, although lower ranking in percentages nationally, has gained much attention from the investment markets due to the phenomenal growth rate over the past five years. “Corporations and individuals alike are drawn by areas which experience major growth. Generally speaking, with five to seven years of consistent growth in population, research has shown that corporations follow that growth rate within the next five to ten years,” reflected Radke.
Banks within the Seymour/Sevier County area have been ranked and compared to larger markets. The totals, which were calculated by independent research, have been based on a ten-year performance ratio.

BANK PERFORMANCE %

BB&T Bank 99
Citizens National Bank 61
Sevier County Bank 58
SunTrust Bank 44
Mountain National Bank 33
Home Federal 28
Tennessee State Bank 24

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