Scott Gamble is regional president at BB&T Bank responsible for the Greater Delaware Valley. Throughout a history that began in the aftermath of the Civil War in 1872, the financial institution that would become Branch Banking and Trust Company—and eventually BB&T Bank—has been committed to the same mission- and values-driven focus on people in the communities it serves. Today, as the one of the largest banks in the U.S. BB&T provides banking, lending, and wealth management solutions to clients from Pennsylvania to Texas. The former market CEO of Susquehanna Bank, Scott joined BB&T in 2014 as the result of its acquisition of Susquehanna.
Scott Gamble spoke with citybizlist publisher Edwin Warfield for this interview.
EDWIN WARFIELD: When did you begin your career as a banker?
SCOTT GAMBLE: I wanted to get into banking when I came out of college, only from the standpoint it was something that my aunt did. I had an aunt that was very influential with me as a little boy. She worked for Mellon Bank. I knew I wanted to work in banking, and so as I moved from the Pittsburgh area, where I grew up, out to Philadelphia, I went on a journey looking for a bank.
Q. How did your job and outlook change after the acquisition? Was it a smooth transition?
A. The Susquehanna conversion into BB&T was one—if you looked at it from a global standpoint—that would be deemed a big success. There were very few clients impacted in a negative way based on the amount of clients that we have. And again, going back to that buddy system and the training that they provided prior to conversion to all our employees was very instrumental in making sure that we were ready for the conversion.
They provided the legacy Susquehanna regions a thousand BB&T employees from all over the 15 states and the Washington, D.C. area, which are the regions we operate in. They provided a thousand people to come in and spend two weeks with various associates from legacy Susquehanna to make sure that we had the systems down, that we were operating as efficient as possible so that both the associates and our clients could feel good about the conversion and that we were meeting their demands every day.
I would just say that we’re excited about the BB&T philosophy and the culture that they have provided us. The leadership team down in North Carolina is tremendous. They’ve really done a great job in making sure that we’re working every day and understanding how they do business.
Q. It seems that the prestige banks once had has dwindled somewhat in recent years with economic hardships, especially among members of the younger generation. How do you think the industry is changing, and what advice would you give to novice bankers?
A. To me, if you’re a young person and you step up and you want a leadership position, you’ll have the opportunity with proper coaching to be a candidate. You have to have a growth mindset to be able to change with the times and make sure that the regulations are a part of your life, not a hindrance. If you can do that, I think that you’ll have an exciting career.
As far as banking itself goes, I am real bullish on banking. I think banking is here to stay in some form or another. People will always need loans. People will always need to expand their businesses. Manufacturing isn’t going away, if it’s here. And I would advise any young person I know that’s being told differently that I would tell you banking is a great industry to be in.