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FAB&T News and Updates






For more than 70 years, First Arkansas Bank & Trust has served the Jacksonville area by investing in the community. 

"In my grandfather’s day, most banks had a top-down, ‘my way or the highway’ approach to business,” says Mark Wilson, president and COO of First Arkansas Bank & Trust (FAB&T). “Our management philosophy has evolved a lot since 1949 and today we have a much more collaborative approach. We emphasize hiring the right people, then empowering them to do their jobs. As a result, we have a great team across the board.”
 
In an era where family-owned banks are a rarity, FAB&T is a thriving regional institution with 21 branch locations in the Jacksonville area. One key to the bank’s 70-plus year history of success and growth is a willingness to listen to the needs of the communities they serve.
 
“When we get suggestions that have merit, we hear them out and make changes accordingly,” says FAB&T chairman of the board and CEO Larry Wilson. As the son of one of the bank’s founders (and father to Mark), Larry’s management perspective is informed by a lifetime of firsthand experience. “We listen, and our team members and customers appreciate that,” he says.
 
FAB&T also offers customers something unique to a boutique bank: exceptional access to decision-makers. If customers have a suggestion, concern, or serious issue, they can talk to one of the bank’s owners directly.
 
“Very few banks offer that kind of accessibility, and it really makes a difference when it comes to taking care of our customers,” Larry says.
 

 Valuing Diversity and Innovation

FAB&T redefines the future with its long track record of hiring and promoting women and minorities. As Mark explains, diversity is built into the bank’s origins. 

“We are the beneficiaries of the diversity that is inherent to having a large military installation nearby,” he says. “Because of the Little Rock Air Force Base, which this bank helped to establish, Jacksonville has always been a very diverse community. Because we’ve hired from that community and placed the highest emphasis on retaining those who do great work, diversity has come naturally.” 

Innovation in customer technology is also important to FAB&T. For example, the bank recently made a major investment in upgrading to Interactive Teller Machines to provide customers with one-on-one service (including on the weekends) and live tellers working remotely. This is just one of many examples of the bank responding to their customers’ needs. 

“We do a better job listening than we do preaching,” says Larry. “That’s important for the businesses and customers we serve.”

Kiley Dulaney, University of Arkansas soccer player, partners to promote financial wellness and healthy savings habits on behalf of FAB&T and Plinqit

Jacksonville, AR, Aug. 11, 2022 ­– First Arkansas Bank & Trust (FAB&T) and Plinqit, the only savings platform of its kind that pays users for learning about personal finances, have partnered with University of Arkansas soccer player, Kiley Dulaney to promote positive financial health within the local communities of Central and North Central Arkansas.

A collegiate soccer player with aspirations of becoming a business owner after graduation, Dulaney is a Jacksonville, Arkansas native and a long-time customer of FAB&T. The Jacksonville-based bank, which manages more than $960 million in assets, is proud to showcase Dulaney’s accomplishments and future business goals to inspire other young athletes, especially women, to pursue their dreams, both athletically and professionally. As a student-athlete, Dulaney also recognizes the importance of financial planning and saving, which makes her the ideal spokesperson for this partnership.

By partnering with FAB&T and Plinqit, Dulaney will help promote financial wellness, strong personal finance skills and healthy savings habits throughout the communities across Arkansas.  Far too often, this demographic relies on credit or other means to pay for things, which can lead to financial stress that could be alleviated by setting aside money on a regular basis to pay for both wants and those unexpected life moments.      

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of female athletes, aspiring entrepreneurs, and future business leaders to reach their personal, professional and financial goals, no matter how big or small – to dream as big as possible,” said Dulaney. “As a student, I understand the countless financial stressors that so many young people experience, especially considering inflation and the rise in prices for basic necessities. Still, financial challenges should not prevent someone from pursuing their dreams. That’s why I’m proud to partner with First Arkansas Bank & Trust and Plinqit to empower others to take control of their finances and achieve their goals.”

Understanding that saving is the first step on the path to financial wellness, Plinqit provides users with a free, simple and easy-to-use way to save and plan for future financial needs. Unlike any other savings platform on the market, Plinqit allows users to not only interact with content that improves their financial literacy, but they are paid to do so. FAB&T first partnered with Plinqit in 2020 and since launching Plinqit’s platform, the bank’s customers have collectively saved more than $500,000 and many have successfully hit their savings goals while boosting their personal finance skills. By partnering with Plinqit, FAB&T has experienced strong deposit growth while empowering its customers to achieve sustained financial wellness through better savings habits.

“Not only is Kiley Dulaney a phenomenal student-athlete and collegiate soccer player at the highest level, but she also is from Jacksonville and has spent her life in our bank’s footprint,” said Roger Sundermeier, SVP & Chief Brand Officer with First Arkansas Bank & Trust. “Kiley has a deep personal connection to the Jacksonville community, which is why we chose to partner with her. We are proud to have Kiley and the Plinqit team as partners in our efforts to advocate for financial health and promote women’s soccer. This is important work and being able to involve local talent like Kiley makes this initiative even more meaningful. We are proud to showcase the talent that comes from the communities which we serve.”

On the partnership, Kathleen Craig, founder and CEO of Plinqit added, “There are many skills that make a great entrepreneur and the ability to make smart financial decisions is one of them. As an incredibly disciplined student-athlete and an aspiring business owner, Kiley Dulaney is the perfect spokesperson for FAB&T and Plinqit and will help raise awareness of the importance of establishing good financial habits early on. We look forward to working with her as we continue to advocate for greater financial wellness for all.” 

About First Arkansas Bank & Trust

First Arkansas Bank & Trust is a family-owned and operated commercial bank based in Jacksonville, Arkansas with more than $960 million in assets. Founded in 1949, the bank has remained committed to doing right by its customers and has since grown to 21 locations across Arkansas.

About Plinqit

Plinqit is a brandable, mobile-first platform that is elegant and highly powerful at the same time. Unlike any other savings platform on the market, its patented Build Skills™ pays users for engaging with content, creating higher user engagement for financial institutions. Created by Millennials for Millennials, Plinqit helps financial institutions connect with this important demographic in a meaningful, relevant way – bringing together digital customers, FIs, and savings in one beautiful place. For more information, visit info.plinqit.com.

FAB&T has helped customers save more than $500,000 since launching Plinqit, a brandable, savings app and the only savings tool that pays users for engaging with content.

Plinqit screenshotAs an early adopter of Plinqit, FAB&T has experienced an increase in customer engagement and deposits. The average Plinqit user saves over $1,400 and 80% of users mainta in or create another goal after achieving their first Plinqit savings goal.

FAB&T customers are enjoying a better digital experience and learning positive money habits with a wide variety of savings goals from emergency funds to summer vacations to college tuition.

Plinqit is unlike any other saving app on the market because it’s free and easy to use, while simultaneously driving engagement and deposits.

The mobile-first platform’s patent-pending Build Skills™ pays users for engaging with content and learning about finances. By watching educational videos or reading articles in the Plinqit library and taking a short quiz, customers are rewarded by adding money toward their savings goal. This creates higher engagement for financial institutions, like FAB&T, while rewarding users for improving their financial literacy.

“Plinqit has proven to be our customers’ savings tool of choice and the results have been pretty remarkable,” said Roger Sundermeier, SVP & Chief Brand Officer with FAB&T,
“The app really helps people save by giving them a goal to work towards rather than just storing away funds. It feels tangible and real for users because they know what they are saving for and learn more about finances in the process. Plinqit’s mobile platform makes it even more attractive in our current environment.”

Sundermeier continued, “While we have locations across the state, our headquarters is in a military town with a lot of military personnel who come in and out of the city. With Plinqit, we have the flexibility for them to maintain their initial financial relationships while saving digitally. Plus, we are able to strengthen our relationship with the base by supporting their initiatives such as Military Saves week, Teach Children to Save project and overall promoting financial literacy.”

“We created Plinqit as a tool to not only help customers safely and securely meet their savings goals, but to also help financial institutions compete for deposits and develop deeper relationships with customers,” said Kathleen Craig, founder and Chief Executive Officer of HT Mobile Apps, creator of Plinqit. “We are thrilled to see FAB&T and their customers meet this milestone. Saving over $500,000 truly demonstrates how effect Plinqit is at helping users practice better savings habits and grow their knowledge of personal finances.”

About Plinqit

Plinqit is a brandable, mobile first platform that is elegant and highly powerful at the same time. Unlike any other savings app on the market, its patent-pending Build Skills™ pays users for engaging with content, creating higher user engagement for financial institutions. Created by Millennials for Millennials, Plinqit helps financial institutions connect with this important demographic in a meaningful, relevant way – bringing together digital customers, FI’s and savings in one beautiful place.

For more information, visit www.plinqit.com.

About First Arkansas Bank & Trust

FAB&T is a family-owned and managed commercial bank chartered in Jacksonville, Arkansas with Total Assets of $760 million and 22 locations in Central and North Central Arkansas. FAB&T also offers a full-service mortgage department, trust and wealth management services, 24/7 Customer Call Center, and a credit card division, located in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit www.fabandt.bank.

March 2020 — The stockholders of FAB&T recently elected three new members to its Board of Directors. Ali King Sugg, Dr. Chev Ergle, and Mark Wilson assumed their new roles at last month's board meeting.

FAB&T Chairman, President, and CEO Larry Wilson stated, “We are extremely pleased to be able to add three quality individuals to an already wonderful and experienced Board of Directors. Each of these individuals will bring different ideas and opportunities to the table. They are all well-respected members of their communities and circles of influence, and we are excited for our future with their leadership.”

Ali King Sugg is a native of Clinton and is a graduate of Arkansas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio-TV and a minor in Marketing. In 2016 she built the only full-power FM radio station licensed to Heber Springs and Cleburne County, and is now the Owner/General Manager of Red River Radio, Inc. and a morning show personality on KSUG. She is also a dance instructor at her mother’s dance studio, Judi King School of Dance.

She is a passionate advocate for The CALL in Cleburne County, a Councilwoman for the City of Heber Springs, Past-President of the Arkansas Broadcasters Association, board member on Arkansas State University-Heber Springs Development Council, and the Heber Springs Future Fund. In 2017, Ali was chosen as one of Arkansas Business Top 40 under 40 honorees, and in 2018 and 2019 Arkansas Business listed Red River Radio, Inc. as a Top Woman-Owned Company in Arkansas. Ali was also a 2019 recipient of the Emerging Young Alumni award from Arkansas State University Alumni Association. Her radio station has received multiple community service awards, given by the Arkansas Broadcasters Association. Ali and her husband Joe live in Heber Springs, they have two children, Spencer and Sydney.

In practice at Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Jacksonville for more than 15 years, Dr. Chevron Ergle has worked tirelessly on behalf of Optometry in Arkansas. He is instrumental in growing new leaders in Optometry as the co-developer and facilitator of the Arkansas Optometric Association’s (AROA) Leadership Program (LEAD). He has served as Chair of the AROA’s Membership and Nominating committees. He received the AROA’s Optometrist of the Year award in 2017 and the Young Optometrist of the Year award in 2008. Dr. Ergle joined the Arkansas Optometric Association’s Board of Directors in 2009 and served as President in 2015-2016.

He currently serves as President of Vision Arkansas, the charitable foundation of the AROA. He was awarded the Young Optometrist of the South, by the Southern Council of Optometrists (SECO), in 2009. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2016 for the SECO as the Trustee from Arkansas serving alongside Trustees from 12 additional southern states. Dr. Ergle currently serves as Optometry’s representative to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program’s Advisory Committee. He is a graduate of Arkansas State University and the Southern College of Optometry. Chevron is married to Angela and they have two children, Noah and Hannah.

Mark T. Wilson serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at FAB&T. He oversees the bank’s commercial and consumer lending activities, mortgage department, and the retail branch network of 22 locations in central and north central Arkansas, as well as the bank’s credit card issuing operation located in Kennesaw, Ga.

Mark has been with the bank since 2001. He started as a loan officer, and has held several positions at the bank, including supervising online banking, debit cards, ACH and wires, retail services, the customer service call center, loans, and credit cards.

A native of Jacksonville, Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business with an emphasis in Accounting from Hendrix College, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. He completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in 2008, and the American Bankers Association’s Graduate Commercial Lending School at Southern Methodist University in 2015.

Mark and his wife Rebel have been married for sixteen years and they have two boys, aged 10 and 12.
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FAB&T is a family-owned and managed commercial bank chartered in Jacksonville, Arkansas with Total Assets of $785 million and 22 locations in Central and North Central Arkansas. FAB&T also offers a full-service mortgage department, trust and wealth management services, 24/7 Customer Call Center, and has a credit card division, located in Kennesaw, Georgia. FAB&T has been recognized as a “Best Places to Work in Arkansas” by Arkansas Business, a Military Bank of the Year by the Department of Defense, and a “Best In-State Bank” by Forbes.
FAB&T has been named a “Forbes Best In-State Bank 2018.”

Forbes magazine has released its lists of best banks in the United States, and each state. FAB&T has been recognized as being one of the best banks in the country, as well as Arkansas.

“We are pleased to be placed on this prestigious list,” said Larry Wilson, FAB&T Chairman, CEO and President. “We constantly deliver on our commitment of providing quality products, services, and experiences for our customers, employees, and communities. It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized not just locally, but also nationally for our efforts by a global brand such as Forbes.”

FAB&T shares this honor with 123 other banks across the country, which ranks them in the top 2.3 percent of banks in the United States. Nationwide financial institutions like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase Bank, which have branches in at least 15 U.S. states, were excluded from the final rankings.

Statista, a company that specializes in nationwide polling, conducted the research forForbes and over 25,000 customers were polled for this particular research project. Customers were asked their opinions on their current and former banking relationships, as well as five other categories, including trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice.

FAB&T is a family-owned and managed commercial bank chartered in Jacksonville, Arkansas with Total Assets of $760 million and 22 locations in Central and North Central Arkansas. FAB&T also offers a full-service mortgage department, trust and wealth management services, 24/7 Customer Call Center, and a credit card division, located in Kennesaw, Georgia.