Magazine article American Banker

Country and Western Artist Charlie Pride Signs Deposit Slips to Make His Bank Investment Sing

Magazine article American Banker

Country and Western Artist Charlie Pride Signs Deposit Slips to Make His Bank Investment Sing

Article excerpt

DALLAS -- Country and western singer Charlie Pride is the major stock-holder of First Texas Bank, but you won't find the celebrity's portrait hanging inside the sparkling 20,000-square-foot bank building.

Mr. Pride doesn't like to spend a great deal of time around his eight-year-old investment, and says he is content to let his wife Rozene keep tabs on the institution. She is one of the bank's 10 directors.

"I make my living singing," said Mr. Pride, who until recently had kept such a low profile around his bank that few people in Dallas realized he owned it.

Competition for deposits among banks and thrifts forced Mr. Pride onto the grounds of First Texas on Oct. 23, however, to celebrate its 10th birthday. First Texas was founded two years before he bought it. During a barbecue staged by a newly hired public relations firm, Mr. Pride sang for several hundred customers and clients, autographed their bank deposit slips, and did some hugging and handshaking.

It was part of a marketing plan designed to sustain the bank's 18% overall growth rate. That rate soared to 34% in 1984 when commercial ventures began to flourish in the north Dallas neighborhood where First Texas is located, but dropped to a projected 10% this year.

Bank President Lynn Turner said loan demand remains strong, but that deposit growth is lagging because First Texas cannot match the high returns offered by dozens of Dallas thrifts.

In 1983, he said, deposits totaled $50.4 million, up $10 million over the previous year. In 1984, they totaled $67.3 million, a $6.9 million increase. So far this year, assets have reached $72.6 million, up $5.3 million.

Mr. Turner also intends to take advantage of the bank's minority status to attract new sources of funds. Because Mr. Pride is black and the major stockholder, First Texas, in the eyes of the U. …

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