San antonio attractions

San antonio attractions and financial adviceSan Antonio attractions a Texas state chartered mutual savings and loan, was founded in 1921. It’s total assets are $3.2 billion, making it the largest financial institution in San Antonio and the 104th largest thrift in the United States.

It is a mass retailer of consumer services with an additional emphasis on commercial lending and real estate. Serving over 180,000 consumer households, the company is a market leader in checking accounts, total deposits, ATMs, branch locations, and consumer and commercial loans.

With corporate headquarters in San Antonio, has 53 branch locations in 29 cities in South Texas and 1,200 employees. The Texas-based company also owns San Antonio Federal Savings Bank in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Company client information by household. Russell Cobler, San Antonio’s executive vice president and manager of the marketing division, wanted to learn how to upgrade the service the firm currently offered to key clients, and his first step was to tap his GIF resources.

Through a GIF-generated report, Cobler discovered that 20% of the institution’s customers accounted for nearly 91% of all company deposits. Yet these people held only 40% of their funds with San Antonio Savings, spreading the rest of their wealth among other financial institutions.

Conventional wisdom suggested that since these people were already excellent customers, maintaining average balances of $46,000 and taking advantage of more than four services offered by San Antonio Savings, it would be nigh on impossible for the firm to charm any additional funds from them. But Cobler likes bucking the system and he wanted answers to the why behind this multiple-relationship phenomena. So he gathered together several client groups and put the question to them. “We’ve earned our money the hard way,” was their answer, “And, and as a result, we feel we now deserve some recognition from our financial institution, for example, some special way of conveniently accessing our bank funds.”

San Antonio responded by setting up a home-banking facility, staffed with knowledgeable employees from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through the week and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Customers now need only pick up a phone to fulfill any of their banking and investment requirements. Theoretically available to any of the firm’s customers (“We didn’t want to run the risk of alienating the balance of our customer base,” notes Cobler), the telemarketing service is promoted only to San Antonio’s top client population through a special informational magazine, entitled the SASA Money Advisor.

Catering to its top customers has proven to be a very successful strategy for San Antonio. In 1987 alone, these key customers increased their loans through the Texas savings and loan by $17.5 million and added deposits of $81-million.

People are emotionally attached to their money, yet see themselves as woefully inadequate at managing their finances. Overwhelmed by today’s plethora of financial products, consumers long for a knight in shining armor to guide them through the maze. Paul Bates, then vice president, Personal Advisory Services for Royal Trust co Limited, recounts a typical story.

A woman in her sixties asked one of the trust company’s junior officers to transfer her life’s savings of $60,000 from a guaranteed certificate of deposit to a Canadian equity mutual fund. The officer asked why? It seemed her nephew had recently enrolled in an investing course and, based on his first lesson, had immediately recommended the stock market to his aunt! “Of course,” says Bates, “we explained to her that while the stock market was an exciting place, she’d be best advised to stay put. In other words, our advice was that this investment would not be suitable for her needs and objectives.”

Other firms have found a similar consumer need for financial assistance. Midland Doherty Financial Corporation’s experiment with a direct mail campaign for a personal financial analysis brought home how responsive consumers are to an offer of such advice.

Midland’s senior management was convinced that any right-thinking consumer would jealously guard facts about his or her personal finances. However, they had learned the power of consumer research. Thus, they didn’t interfere when then vice president of Marketing, John Vivash, elected to test consumer reaction to a request for personal financial data.

A financial questionnaire, with a covering letter guaranteeing confidentiality, was included in every Midland fulfillment kit sent in response to a consumer request for company product information. A 2% response rate included consumers with net worth’s ranging from $25,000 to $1.5 million.

“These people told us everything there was to know about themselves and their money,” recalls Vivash. “They were not afraid to seek financial consultation from strangers with a good reputation.”

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