Wednesday, February 12, 2014

PNC says business is improving in the Southeast

PNC is coming up on the two-year anniversary of its entry into the Charlotte area and the South -- and executives are now touting double-digit growth in its new markets.

The Pittsburgh bank entered the region through its acquisition of RBC Bank. It gave PNC its first toe-hold in cities like Charlotte, Raleigh and Atlanta.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Reilly told investors at the Credit Suisse financial services conference this week that PNC now has a full corporate banking and asset management staff in those markets. The Carolinas have had particular strength in those areas, and the western North Carolina region that includes Charlotte has had strong new client growth, Reilly said.

A year ago in a similar setting, executives admitted that performance in its new Southern markets was lagging behind its more established regions. CEO Bill Demchak described the bank's hopes for the markets as a "long-term game" that might not be complete in a few years time. Bankers there were spending their time getting rid of non-core business and real estate it didn't want and bringing in customers that fit their profile.

The Southeast markets aren't yet caught up, Reilly said. But "the encouraging part is that the Southeast businesses across all lines of business are seeing terrific growth rates," he said, according to a Bloomberg transcript. "So in some respects, they are outperforming the legacy markets, but is still a small component piece."

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