Umpqua Bank is the West Coast’s largest independent community bank, headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The bank calls its branches “stores” and designed them as inviting spaces for people to come in, read the paper, surf the internet, and enjoy a cup of coffee. This approach of using the bank branch as a community hub has been incredibly successful. Umpqua Bank has grown from five locations and $140m in assets in 1994, when it moved to this community design, to more than 330 stores and $24bn in assets today.
Umpqua’s approach to banking is in many ways an answer to a simple question: what does it take to have a conversation about money? The bank is doing just that with a highly acclaimed podcast called Open Account. Hosted by SuChin Pak, the podcast tackles tough issues such as how divorced couples handle finances, or my personal favourite, an interview with Neil Gabler about the secret shame of the middle class.
– This podcast is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes may have been made to the text to reflect BankNXT style considerations, but the podcast itself is always unchanged. Listen to more here. Main image: Umpqua Bank; MIKHAIL GRACHIKOV, Shutterstock.com