FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2009
Charley Gillespie (614) 249-5701
Nationwide Bank president named one of the "25 Most Powerful Women in Banking"
U.S. Banker award recognizes Anne Arvia
Columbus, Ohio — Despite one of the most difficult years facing banks in decades, strong leadership and a strategy to market its financial strength allowed Nationwide Bank® to double its assets and bring in more than 13,000 new customers. In recognition of her leadership in the banking community, U.S. Banker magazine named Nationwide Bank President Anne Arvia one of the industry's "25 Most Powerful Women in Banking" at an awards dinner last week in New York.
Nationwide Bank's absence of subprime exposure and its model of efficiency as a direct bank enabled it to turn a threatening environment into an opportunity. With consumers looking to banks for safer savings products, Arvia chose to take advantage of consumers' flight to quality by aggressively marketing the bank's financial strength and stability, as well as attractive rates.
The bank prospered as a result, doubling its size and beating its income plan by 48 percent. Increased internet presence brought 13,261 new customers to the bank, and the larger enterprise, totaling deposits of $734 million.
"Every market, regardless of the challenges, has opportunity; you just need to look really hard to find it," said Arvia, hired at launch in 2006 to be president of the new direct bank after 15 years at ShoreBank in Chicago.
Arvia turned to the larger Nationwide company, Nationwide Financial Services is its parent, for resources to invest in search engine optimization. The strategy has worked as deposits have nearly doubled as of the end of the second quarter and the average deposit amount for the bank spiked from approximately $5,000 to $55,000.
Perhaps the best example of Arvia's leadership came when the claims division of the bank's parent company worked with the bank to help customers after Hurricane Ike hit Florida and Texas in September, 2008. Nationwide Bank quickly developed a pre-approved credit card that customers could start using immediately. In addition, any purchase made in the first three months carried zero-percent interest for the next 12 months, easing the burden of cash-strapped victims.
Arvia will expand her leadership role within the Nationwide Financial organization when she assumes her new role leading the company's retirement plans business on Nov. 1.
Arvia earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Michigan State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Prior to being elected Nationwide Bank president in 2006, she served as president and chief executive officer at ShoreBank, Chicago's premier community development and environmental bank.
This is the sixth year that U.S. Banker has recognized the most influential women in the industry by ranking the "25 Most Powerful Women in Banking" and the "25 Women to Watch." This was the fourth time that Anne's achievements have been recognized by U.S. Banker.
About Nationwide Bank
In April 2006, Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. received approval from U.S. regulators to expand the powers of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nationwide Trust Company, FSB and to operate as Nationwide Bank. Nationwide Bank provides a full range of banking products and the trust operation continues as a separate division of the bank as Nationwide Trust Company, FSB.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide, Nationwide Bank, Nationwide Financial, the Nationwide Framemark and On Your Side are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.