Citizens Bank of Edmond is trying to get closer to small business customers by providing space, guidance and almost anything else they might need — besides, of course, a loan.
The one-branch community bank in Edmond, Oklahoma once had another branch, 12,000 square feet located one block away from the main space, with a drive-thru window and some executive offices. But recently the bank decided to consolidate it into a single location and has now turned it into a “business social” co-working environment, called Vault 405, for its small business customers that includes wireless charging stations, conference rooms and a podcast studio.
It’s similar to the way Barclays’ Rise accelerator provides a co-working space for its startups, but Citizens also sees it differently.
“The difference is as that as a community banker I’m also a small business owner,” said CEO Jill Castilla. “So when I’m talking and collaborating with them in this incubator type of space we’re not just talking about what’s good for them, we’re talking about challenges we have in our small business and how we address them… The office space will be just as beneficial to the bank beyond loans and depots, it’ll make us a better small business.”