Loudon City Council is looking at whether or not to change its
policy regarding bank deposits after learning SunTrust Bank will close its Loudon branch on May
In an age of fast-changing digital technology, smartphones and instant communication and
data transfer, the question is not as simple as it once was.
City Manager Lynn Mills asked
council members for direction on the matter in Monday's council meeting. Mills said he had learned
that SunTrust will close its Loudon branch and that a long-standing contractual requirement for the
city's banking depositories is a physical presence in the city.
Mills said he was not happy
about the loss of the branch, which is located near Loudon City Hall.
"The local branch was
convenient for the city and the utilities," Mills said. "A local branch was part of the contract. We
may need to move our accounts to another bank or change the policy."
Councilman Lynn Millsaps
said he thought the accounts should be moved.
"I think it needs to be a requirement that they
are located here," Millsaps said. "There are other issues. We need to be able to make night
deposits. We don't need to have money on hand here."
Mills said he would draft a bid request
for banking depositories.
Mike Lambert, Loudon Utilities Board assistant manager and
financial director, asked for more consideration on the matter.
"I understand the council's
feelings about the location, but the world is changing rapidly and there are issues from the
technology standpoint to consider," Lambert said. "If they (banks) have to be physically here, can
the other banks do what we need to provide the technology we need? I am afraid they can't. We were
moving toward remote deposit and looking at other security issues dealing with
Councilman Michael Cartwright asked if a local branch was a board requirement or
simply a preference.
"Twenty or 30 years ago, all councils liked to help out the local
businesses, but all the banks here now are branches of banks that are based somewhere else,"
Sue Vollman, SunTrust branch manager at Loudon, said she could not divulge
information about the branch closure and referred questions to a corporate spokesperson. Corporate
officials could not be reached before presstime.