“We pride ourselves on being a community bank,” says Ariana Flores, small business development officer at BB&T. “Our goal is to make the communities we serve better places to live. It’s all about establishing a financial relationship with our customer to enhance their lives so they achieve economic success.”
The BB&T bank, at 4401 Backlick Road, has been solid presence in Annandale since 2004, when the Branch Banking and Trust Co. acquired First Virginia Bank, says Vice President Raymond Kim.
In additional to providing all the regular banking services – such as checking and savings accounts, home loans, credit cards, and investments for retirement – BB&T is the fifth largest insurance broker in the world.
It’s also a business-friendly bank and makes a special effort to serve the multicultural community of Annandale, Flores says.
BB&T’s Bank on Your Success program provides financial education to local residents. The bank partners with nonprofit organizations and the faith community to host courses for their members and clients on banking basics, family budgeting, and preparing for home ownership. BB&T also works with companies to provide similar sessions for their employees.
“It’s all about educating the public, not promoting our bank,” Kim says.
BB&T is also big on giving back to the community, Flores adds. Through the Lighthouse Project, BB&T supports community service projects for nonprofits.
Bank employees have helped decorate a clinic waiting room, installed a fence at a church, assembled emergency kits for elementary school students, and put together bags of food for needy students at George Mason University.
BB&T employees get eight hours of paid leave a year for volunteering.
It’s these objectives – to make a difference in people’s lives and to reach out to the multicultural community of Annandale – that “makes the Taste of Annandale so ideal for us,” Flores says. “This event brings so many cultures together.”
BB&T invites the community to stop by its booth at the Taste of Annandale to meet bank officials, learn about the bank’s services, and spin a wheel for prizes, such as free credit reports.
“We want the community to see us a trusted institution, not just a business out to make a profit,” Kim says. “We want to help people financially and we want to serve our community effectively.”