Stephen D. Steinour, Huntington Bancshares Incorporated

Stephen D. Steinour

Focused Execution

Editors’ Note

Prior to joining Huntington, Stephen Steinour was Managing Partner of CrossHarbor Capital. Previously, Steinour was President and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Financial Group (CFG). Before joining CFG in 1992, he was Division Executive for Fleet Financial Group after having been Executive Vice President at Bank of New England. Following his graduation from Gettysburg College in 1980 with a degree in economics, Steinour was an analyst for the U.S. Treasury Department and subsequently worked for the FDIC. He is a graduate of The Executive Program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Company Brief

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (huntington.com) is a regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with $100 billion of assets and a network of 996 branches and 1,855 ATMs across eight Midwestern states. Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumer, small business, commercial, treasury management, wealth management, brokerage, trust, and insurance services. Huntington also provides auto dealer, equipment finance, national settlement, and capital market services that extend beyond its core states.

What is the secret to Huntington’s success?

We’re in the people business and, fundamentally, this starts with our colleagues and having them feel enthusiastic about being part of the company. They need to be focused on their objectives and understand what we’re trying to do more broadly as a group and execute on it every day.

This focused execution phrase is vital. Money is a tough commodity to compete against. The difference comes from the quality of our people and the capacity for them to build relationships and make decisions that are important to those they’re working with.

How do you make sure that technology doesn’t take away from the human element?

Rapid change in technology gives consumers more chances to transact, to shop, and to become more knowledgeable through these different channels. For many people, even though they could take a point of sale online, something like a first mortgage is still a complicated product. We have customers that could do things with us through mobile or digital technology, but they choose to do them in person or call. Many also want the opportunity to talk to someone in person, not just over a phone.

We will continue to see this evolve as an industry. Chat is something we do and will expand upon based on consumer preferences, but the in-person preference will remain a priority for a lot of people.

Do you anticipate that your growth will primarily be organic?

We had one large acquisition that we have completed in the past eight years that has been very successful, as it was an opportunity to leverage up the franchise. We expect to grow organically in the future.

Will you touch on the diversity and inclusion efforts for Huntington?

We are committed to representing our neighborhoods and the people in those neighborhoods. We do this in a variety of ways, and there is ownership of this concept at the executive level. We have a board committee that has a mandate on inclusiveness efforts, including developmental programs. We have an internship program that is 75 percent inclusive of minorities.

Huntington generally has a robust diversity strategy so each colleague has the opportunity to perform at his/her best in an environment that is inclusive. Colleagues have the opportunity to participate in diversity-based business resource groups (BRG) and inclusion councils throughout our footprint.

Diversity and inclusion highlights also include our BRG successes. We have 13 business resource groups and inclusion councils that align with our overall business strategy. They lead the way in extending our community engagement in markets across our footprint.

Huntington was recognized as a “Champion of Opportunity Award Winner” by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities for our commitment to hiring individuals with disabilities. We also were recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality and received a 100 percent on the 2016 Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index.

Will you also address the commitment that Huntington has to public/private partnerships?

We recently announced plans to add 1,000 new jobs by 2024 at a new 210,000-square-foot office complex in the Northland neighborhood in northeast Columbus via our new $18.3 million Huntington Gateway Center. Expected to be complete by next summer, the Huntington Gateway Center will initially house approximately 1,400 Huntington colleagues with space for 1,600. Additionally, we announced Huntington will lend $300 million within Columbus low-to-moderate income neighborhoods over the next five years. This includes $175 million in small business lending with focused outreach in Linden and Northland, $25 million in mortgage lending in those neighborhoods, including small home improvement unsecured borrowing opportunities of up to $3,000, and $100 million in community development loans and investment throughout Columbus’ low-income neighborhoods.

What steps has Huntington taken to support small business?

Since the economic downturn in 2008, Huntington has made small business lending a key priority as we recognized that small businesses would be paramount to revitalizing the economies in our local Midwest markets. Despite being the 20th largest firm in our industry, Huntington has consistently ranked number two in the country and number one in all our markets, including both the state of Ohio and the city of Columbus, in SBA lending. Our commitment to championing the success of small businesses is central to our role as a good member of our local communities. It’s been an important driver in the Midwest economic recovery as small businesses account for well more than half of all net new jobs each year.

Would you highlight Huntington’s focus on being customer friendly?

In the wake of the financial crisis, as more and more banks were taking away benefits and adding fees, Huntington made a bold, customer-friendly move in September 2010 by launching 24-Hour Grace®. This is the first-and-only service of its kind that gives customers additional time during the next business day to cover overdrafts. Huntington followed that by launching Asterisk-Free Checking as the next phase of its “Fair Play” banking approach. Both ideas came directly from feedback from customers and frontline employees. It was apparent consumers were looking for simplicity, fairness, value, and transparency. While this required foregoing fee income with both, we believed doing the right thing for our customers was doing the right thing for our business. In the years that followed, we experienced best-in-category growth in household checking accounts during a tumultuous time within the industry and the Midwest economy. This underlying Fair Play philosophy and “Do the Right Thing” ethos to look out for people still drives all we do at Huntington.