By STEVEN NALLEY
Trustmark announced plans Wednesday to open a new bank in mid-September in Starkville, located in the shopping center that houses Jeweler’s Bench near Piggly Wiggly.
It’s the same shopping center where Newk’s will open in the former location of Movie Gallery in October. Art Stevens, Trustmark’s president for the Mississippi region, said an exact date for the bank’s opening has yet to be determined.
“The second to third week of September is what we think, but it’s pending construction and regulatory approval, so we don’t really want to be tied to a specific date as of yet,” Stevens said. “We are still in the regulatory approval phase, but we don’t anticipate any issues with that.”
Trustmark has been pursuing this particular location for nearly a year, Stevens said, and they have been analyzing possibilities for expanding into Starkville in general for several years.
“We have known for some time, or heard for some time, from our customer base that they would like for us to have a location in Starkville,” Stevens said. “As you can imagine, we have lots of customers in Starkville when school is in session, and we have a good number of customers in Starkville just in the adult population and the normal business population. Those people that do business with us would like to be able to do business with us when they’re there. We’ve heard that from our customers for years and years and years and we’ve been working on formulating the right time and the right way to go in.”
Trustmark will also use the location to build its involvement in the Starkville community, Stevens said.
“We plan to be really good corporate citizens and be involved in the Starkville community and the things that go on there, both on campus and off campus,” Stevens said. “We feel like we can make a contribution to the community.”
Stevens said the shopping center location was chosen for several reasons.
“This one appeals to us because of the activity in the shopping center,” Stevens said. “We feel like it’s a place that is easily accessible, with good parking, good visibility and we feel like it’s a place that will be easy for our customers to come see us.”
While the space would be too small to host large numbers of staff including stockbrokers and insurance personnel, Stevens said, Trustmark’s Starkville staff will be able to direct customers toward whatever they need.
“With that being said, that location is going to be geared toward our retail delivery channel and our personal checking accounts, our student checking accounts and the customers that hold those,” Stevens said. “But, if someone came in and wanted to ask about a business loan, if someone wanted to ask about a trust service or whatever else, we would be able to refer that and accommodate those requests.”
Because the location is not on the center’s periphery, Stevens said Trustmark plans for no additions to the building, including drive-thru ATM lanes. He said the location will feature walk-up ATMs that will be upgraded over time with features setting them apart from those of other banks.
“We’ll eventually have ATMs that recognize deposits without the envelope system,” Stevens said. “You just throw the money in, throw the checks in and it will automatically deposit to your account, give you image receipts back so you can see the checks you just deposited. They’ll give you printouts of your account if you want to look not just at your account balance but your activities. There’s a wide variety of things these new ATMs can do, and we’re going to have to make decisions as to which of these things we can and will deploy over what period of time.”