Twelve months after PNC Bank completed its acquisition of Raleigh-based RBC Bank, the bank’s regional executive says business is going well and the company remains on track to add more than 250 employees across the state by next fall.
“Our results for this last year exceeded our expectation and our plan,” said Paula Fryland, the bank’s regional president for the Eastern Carolinas.
She said the bank’s growth has been driven by some new clients and additional business generated by adding services that RBC lacked. She added that PNC also has been “really pleased” with its ability to retain former RBC customers.
In keeping with PNC’s corporate policy of being tight-lipped about details at the local level, Fryland declined to provide hard data on the bank’s performance in the area she oversees, including the Triangle.
Pittsburgh-based PNC acquired RBC Bank from its corporate parent, Royal Bank of Canada, last March for $3.45 billion. All of RBC Bank’s 415 branches in six Southeastern states were converted to the PNC brand, and the Raleigh sports venue that is home to the Carolina Hurricanes and N.C. State University basketball team also was renamed PNC Arena.
Today PNC has more than 2,900 branches in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
New services for consumers introduced by PNC that weren’t available from RBC include “Virtual Wallet,” an online money management system that tracks bills and spending, and mobile banking, or banking conducted via cellphones.
For business clients, Fryland said, PNC has upgraded “treasury management services” that mange the inflow and outflow of funds, adding capabilities and providing a greater degree of automation.
The bank also added specialists in areas such as health care and “ag banking,” banking services designed specifically for farmers and agribusinesses.
“When we arrived it became clear that ag banking is a big part of eastern Carolina,” Fryland said.
Lowry Perry, who at RBC was a commercial banking manager based in Rocky Mount, was tapped to be ag banking sales manager for PNC’s nine-state East Territory.
“He was recognized for his talent in dealing with ag customers,” said PNC spokeswoman Dorsey Tobias.
Fryland said in an interview 12 months ago that PNC planned to add more than 250 employees across the state by the fall of this year.
“We are well on pace, if not ahead of pace, on that,” she said recently.
The vast majority of those new hires have been employees that work directly with customers, including a number in wealth management who are focused on advising affluent customers on their finances and investments. Royal Bank retained RBC Wealth Management, the nation’s fifth-largest investment advisory firm, when it sold RBC Bank.
“We had to hire and build a team (anew) around wealth,” Fryland said.
PNC also eliminated jobs after it took over.
Last year, the bank disclosed in a filing with the state Commerce Department that it planned to eliminate as many as 621 jobs in Raleigh and Rocky Mount, about 40 percent of RBC Bank’s workforce in the two cities. Rocky Mount was the site of RBC’s operations center, where employees were involved in functions such as information technology and mortgage processing, and remains an operations center for PNC.
Fryland isn’t saying exactly how many employees ultimately were laid off in Raleigh and Rocky Mount, but she did say that PNC found new positions for more than 200 workers whose old jobs were eliminated.
That included more than 100 positions in Rocky Mount assigned to a new “center of excellence” at the Rocky Mount operations center – a first for PNC – that is devoted to special projects.
“We recognized that we had people who were capable, that had a multitude of skills ... and we could leverage that,” she said. “We wanted to keep them within the company.”