Insider Louisville

Citizens Union Bank is opening a branch in Middletown today that will feature teller “pods” rather than the traditional teller lines.

CEO David Bowling told Insider that the pods, free-standing kiosks, allow for “high-tech and high-touch” David-Bowlinginteractions in a more relaxed setting.

The branch, at the corner of Shelbyville Road and the Gene Snyder Freeway, replaces the one across Shelbyville Road, which will close the same day.

“We think the new branch is a lot more visible and easier to access,” Bowling said.

The institution added about seven branches between 2003 and 2008, but the recession dampened that growth spurt. Since then, Bowling said, the bank has focused on gaining customers in its existing locations, especially targeting small-business lending.

In 2016, the institution sold a branch in LaRue County and consolidated its Radcliff location with the one in nearby Elizabethtown. It now operates 16 branches.

Bowling said the bank has invested heavily in the last few years to expand its small-business capabilities. For example, he said, the bank has hired lenders with a lot of small-business experience. Bowling said Citizens Union can offer lenders the same kinds of services as larger banks, but its size also allows for more customized responses and faster reaction to customer demands.

The efforts have paid off, he said, in that the bank’s loan growth, of about 12 percent last year, outperformed its peer group by about 3 percentage points.

The new branch, at 3,000 square feet, is roughly the same size as the old one. The facility employs six and was designed by Jeffersonville-based ARC. The bank is leasing an additional 2,500 square feet to Verizon.

And while the bank does not have any definitive plans to add a fourth branch in the Louisville area, it continues to keep its eye open for potential expansions, Bowling said.

Citizens Union was established in 1888 and has assets of $720 million. —Boris Ladwig

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