Capital Bank names new market president for Upstate

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Kin Britton. Photo provided by Capital Bank.

A senior executive with more than 30 years of commercial banking experience will lead Capital Bank’s expansion efforts throughout the Upstate.

Kin Britton, who joined Capital Bank in 2010 as the commercial team leader and senior vice president, has been promoted to Upstate market president, according to a news release.

He will be responsible for “all lines of business,” including private client, commercial, and small-business banking, the release said.

Britton, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina, began his career in 1985 with Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America, where he eventually became senior vice president. Prior to joining Capital Bank, Britton was senior vice president of NBSC, a division of Synovus Bank.

His promotion at Capital Bank comes just nine months after First Horizon National Corp., the parent company of First Tennessee Bank, finalized its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Capital Bank Financial Corp., the parent company of Capital Bank.

Following the merger, First Horizon elected to keep Capital’s name in markets outside of Tennessee in the interest of brand recognition, according to the release. Most of the conversion involved internal and technical issues.

The combined institution has about $40 billion in assets, $32 billion in deposits, $27 billion in loans, and 350 branches in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia, according to the release.

Rick Manley, mid-Atlantic region president for Capital Bank and First Tennessee Bank, said Britton would continue to lead the Upstate market “in all aspects of business development” and “guide his team through this acquisition.”

“I look to him to focus on client retention and expansion throughout this area,” he said.

The Upstate Business Journal recently sat down with Britton to discuss his new role and plans for Capital Bank. The following transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.

How would you characterize Capital Bank? 

You would consider us a Southeastern regional bank. However, we push a lot of the decision-making authority down to as close to the customer as possible. I have significant authority to make credit decisions. We try to retain that community-bank aspect. … You’re always going to be a part of the fabric of your community.

How has the merger with First Horizon impacted Capital Bank?

We had our challenges like any conversion does. Having said that, we’ve retained 100 percent of our team. To my knowledge, we have not lost any of our clients. What it brings to the table is a larger suite of certain products. It doesn’t really change the day to day of what we do. But it does bring some other things through our sister corporations. … There were enhancements to our online banking, for example. For larger customers, we bring different levels of expertise in franchise finance [and] health care lending. We also bring a bigger investment-advisory platform.

What are your goals as Capital Bank’s new Upstate market president?

Our goal would be to expand our market presence. … The Greenville-Spartanburg market accounts for about 20 percent of the total deposits available in South Carolina. It’s a tremendous growth opportunity for us.

What kind of growth opportunities do you see in the Upstate?

We were very much focused on a commercial and retail bank with Capital Bank. We were a young bank, and we didn’t have the same broad platform that we now do as part of the First Tennessee-First Horizon Corp., so we’ll be looking to flesh outside of that — kind of what you would think of the core of making business loans and retail loans and trying to expand that footprint both with people and physical locations. Our office in Greenville is full, so we’ll need additional space. In what form and how fast is yet to be determined, but we will be expanding.

What trends do you see emerging in the region’s banking market?

Technology continues to change the way we deliver information and customers access information, so the continual investment in the technology side of the bank will continue. Having said that, one thing never changes, and that is people value relationships. And while you can deliver certain information and deliver certain products and enhance products with technology, the No. 1 value that I’ve always experienced with customers and clients is that relationship-based approach.

Are there any economic worries on the horizon for the banking industry?

I would say the biggest concern is the rising interest rate environment [and] what impact that has on margins [and] customer borrowing patterns. … And certainly, given the reliance of South Carolina, in general, and the Upstate, in particular, with companies such as BMW and Michelin, any unintended consequences of a trade war certainly could have an impact. BMW is already discussing having to increase the price on its sport-activity vehicles being shipped to China.

Competition for deposits has increased from banks and nonbanks over the years. How is Capital Bank addressing that issue?

There’s always somebody running a special. … We have to be mindful about paying a fair rate to a customer but at the same time being responsible to our shareholders. … It’s a never-ending balancing act. … You have to be proactive in your customer base and make sure you’re retaining existing customers while trying to attract new customers.

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