James Sills returns to community banking with a strong focus on technology and IT security

By Elizabeth Judd

Mechanics and Farmers Bank
Headquarters: Durham, N.C.
Assets: $300 million
Retail locations: Seven
Full-time employees: 75
Founded: 1907
Website: www.mfbonline.com


A New Perspective

Recently landing at Mechanics and Farmers Bank as chief executive after eight years away from community banking, Sills says the biggest industry change he sees is how technology has leveled the playing field between community banks and the largest financial institutions.

“If you look at the banking-related commercials on TV, most of them have a heavy emphasis on technology in terms of products and services that the bank wants their existing and potential customers to know they offer,” Sills points out.

With the memory of wide-scale data breaches at JPMorgan Chase and big-box retailers still fresh, Mechanics and Farmers Bank in Durham, N.C., can take considerable comfort that its new president and CEO identifies himself as a “technology strategist.”

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