Most Powerful Women in Banking: Patricia Husic, Centric Financial

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President and CEO

in 2015, Patricia Husic began pushing Centric Financial into the suburbs of Philadelphia, a much bigger market than its home base in Harrisburg, Pa.

Five years later, the push is paying off. The Philadelphia area is delivering the lion’s share of Centric’s growth, according to Husic, who has been president and chief executive since founding the bank in 2007.

Centric’s compound annual growth rate for lending in suburban Philadelphia is 35.9% over the past five years, compared with 3.5% in central Pennsylvania, Husic said. The bank’s overall growth rate was 16%.

Centric executives suspected they would find receptive customers after conversations with leaders around the Keystone State’s largest city, Husic said. But, she added, “Sometimes talk is cheap and the proof is going to be in the pudding. So, was that a strategic risk we took? It was.”

As Centric grows — it topped $1 billion in assets at the end of June — it faces a new challenge: delivering consistent service to its customers, no matter where they are. “We started to see some fractures of that as we got bigger,” said Husic, who put together a three-year strategic plan with a focus on improving the customer experience. The goal is growth and retention.

The plan was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and the demands of making loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. But it also may have gained new urgency: Nearly 70% of Centric’s PPP loans went to borrowers who were not previously customers, Husic said.

Husic is active in industry causes, and she is particularly passionate about bringing more women and minorities into the banking sector. She founded a women in banking program at the Pennsylvania Bankers Association and recently was selected to join the American Bankers Association’s new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group.

For the first time, American Banker's Most Powerful Women in Banking celebration is open to the whole financial community. Join us virtually October 6-8 to hear our 2020 honorees' stories and experiences. Register here.

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