News from the Tennessee Valley Business

President, others leave Regions for Bank Independent

By Eric Fleischauer · 340-2435

Five employees of Regions Bank’s Decatur banking group — including its city president, David Mathews — left the bank last week, moving to Bank Independent.

Bruce Pylant, the city president of AmSouth Bank — now part of Regions — left the bank Jan. 19.

Mathews, who had been Decatur city president at Regions since May 2005 and with the bank for 17 years, resigned Wednesday. He has since taken a position with Bank Independent as president of the Decatur area, which includes Hartselle and Moulton.

“I hope there won’t be frictions (with Regions),” Bank Independent President Macke Mauldin said. “We’ve got to do what’s best for our bank and David’s got to do what’s in the best interest of him and his family.”

Pylant left AmSouth/Regions voluntarily, according to Rick Swagler, Birmingham-based spokesman for Regions.

Neither Mathews nor Pylant returned calls seeking comment.

“We expect to name a new city president very soon and the transition will be seamless,” Swagler said in an e-mail. “One of the benefits of being a top 10 bank in the U.S. is that departures like this won’t affect the service we provide our customers because of the depth of our management team.”

Also leaving Regions and starting at Bank Independent were Jim Turner, Todd Rainey, Karen Tidwell and Janet Maner.

Turner, who had been with AmSouth before it merged with Regions, was vice president of commercial and small loans at Regions. He will be a vice president of lending at Bank Independent.

Rainey was a vice president and commercial lender at Regions, where he had worked for six years. He will be a vice president of lending at Bank Independent.

Tidwell and Maner “will provide personal assistance to (Bank Independent’s) Decatur customers” in their new positions, said Mauldin.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have these distinguished bankers on our team,” Mauldin said. “We’re proud we could make it attractive enough for these guys to move over to us.”

Sheffield-based Bank Independent has two Decatur branches, one branch in Hartselle and two in Moulton.

“We’re in the process of acquiring some sites in Decatur, expanding in that area,” said Mauldin. “We’re not ready to go public with the details, though.”

Mauldin’s grandfather founded Bank Independent in Leighton in 1947. Its presence in Decatur came about last year when it bought all of the North Alabama branches of Colonial Bank located west of Interstate 65.

In November, Regions completed a merger with AmSouth, vaulting Regions to a place in the top 10 of U.S. bank holding companies.

Regions swallowed more than 600 Union Planters branches in 2004, including several in North Alabama.

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