Allowing a Columbus Police Department precinct station to share space with a new branch on Buena Vista Road has garnered Columbus Bank and Trust and its parent company an award from the American Bankers Association.
The ABA Community Bank Award, announced today, was presented during a trade conference in San Diego. The category in which CB&T — the largest bank in Columbus in terms of deposits — won was “Revitalizing Your Community.”
The ABA, in its award presentation, lauded CB&T for “partnering with the local police precinct to construct a new building in a crime-filled area to serve as both a police station and bank branch. This partnership provided residents with safety and security in both the community and when conducting business in their bank.”
The 4505 Buena Vista Road branch opened about six months ago with about a dozen employees and more than 25 officers staffing the precinct. No public money was used for construction of the 6,000-square-foot building, although the city must pay the bank rent of $1 a year.
“I hope this national recognition will show banks and businesses in other communities how unique public/private partnerships like this can be effective,” Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren said in a statement. The chief has previously said the bank precinct would boost presence in east Columbus, while reducing officer response times.
CB&T, which employs more than 400 locally, is a division of Columbus-based Synovus Financial Corp. The banking firm and its Bank of North Georgia division in the Atlanta area also were honored for work with various programs, including Teach Children to Save, United Way and House of Heroes.
Synovus, which is cutting 850 jobs companywide this year, said its combined work force volunteered 35,000 hours in various community endeavors and charities in 2010.
Once the job cuts are completed by the second quarter of this year, the firm will have just under 5,300 people on its payroll. That’s down from more than 7,300 in early 2008. The company does business in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.
This is the sixth year for the ABA community awards. The trade organization represents the $13 trillion banking sector and its collective 2 million employees.