"We are involved in our local communities and want to know the challenges that each community faces so we can better equip small-business owners with solutions."
By Rhonda Miller PBN Staff Writer
Krista Snyder is senior vice president and small business banking manager for Bank of America in Rhode Island and neighboring counties in Massachusetts. She is responsible for 13 small business bankers who meet with business owners at their companies to assist them with their financial needs, including credit, cash management and investments.
Snyder has 13 years of experience with Bank of America and predecessor banks. She is active with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and Rhode Island LEAD for Women.
Snyder attended Keene State College and is enrolled in the University of Phoenix MBA program.
PBN: What was your vision for your position as Bank of America’s manager for small business in Rhode Island when you began in January 2013, considering the tough competition for this segment of the market?
SNYDER: My vision has remained the same – it mirrors our purpose as a company to help make the financial lives of small business owners in Rhode Island better through the power of every connection, by offering convenient interactions and by making expertise more accessible locally. My first priority is building the skill of our small business bankers, specifically, their ability to proactively meet the expressed and unexpressed needs of the businesses. We want to ensure they have the tools and resources to help the owners of small business make their companies grow and thrive.
PBN: As a multinational bank that’s one of the largest in the U.S. and headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., what are your strategies to attract consumer and commercial clients in Rhode Island, where so much value is placed on having roots in the community and on tradition?
SNYDER: It is so important that the bankers that are in Rhode Island are geographically placed near where they live and support the businesses in the area with their patronage. We want to be a part of Rhode Island’s economic growth and local businesses’ revenue growth. We are involved in our local communities and want to know the challenges that each community faces so we can better equip small-business owners with solutions. We are part of soccer leagues, chambers, CPA affiliations and many other Rhode Island nonprofit organizations. We actively engage in community volunteer events throughout Rhode Island. For example, our team volunteers monthly with Habitat for Humanity, helping to provide affordable housing.
PBN: Have you experienced anything that surprised you since you started in your current position?
SNYDER: Yes, the feedback regarding the lack of lending to the small businesses. In fact, during the first half of 2013, Bank of America extended more than $5 billion in new credit to small businesses – an increase of 26 percent over the first half of 2012. The bank’s combined new and renewal small business lending totaled more than $10.5 billion. In addition, the research we conduct in our Small Business Owner Report and conversations we have with small business owners indicates that the success of small business owners is more affected by consumer spending and consumer confidence than it is by credit availability.
PBN: With so many national and regional banks in Rhode Island, in addition to very established credit unions, what do you see as the future of the banking landscape in Rhode Island in the next year?
SNYDER: We have seen a lot of opportunity to lend to small business owners in Providence. In Rhode Island, we have originated nearly $150 million in small business loans in the first half of 2013 – an increase of 24 percent over the previous year. As a state. we have so many avenues for the owners to get involved and benefit from programs with SBA, SEED and others. I believe with the slow recovery of the economy and the access to credit that I am seeing now, we will see expansion of business, more availability of jobs and newer technology for business. The future looks very promising.
PBN: In light of Rhode Island’s generally sluggish economy, residents and community leaders always want to know about job creation. Does Bank of America have plans to expand any particular services or locations in the state?
SNYDER: Within the last two years, we delivered the new small business platform, hiring new bankers to meet with clients at their place of business when it is convenient for them. We are always assessing the landscape to see if there is an opportunity to put more feet on the ground.