Cry 'Fore,' Not 'Foul'

BB&T Corp. is getting visibly involved with golf at a time when others are keeping the sport at arm's length.Kelly S. King, the Winston-Salem, N.C., company's chief executive, was named honorary chairman for the 2009 Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C.

For King the job means more than simply promoting the PGA Tour event. It will allow him to tout increased regional cooperation between Greensboro and Winston-Salem, which is about 30 minutes west of the tournament site.

"The Wyndham Championship is the perfect vehicle to help bring all parts of our region together so that we can all experience growth," he said in a news release.

"The proceeds from this event go to charities, so we are helping people," King said. "With the economy the way it is, everything we do should be about what we can do to help others, and this needs to be" a regional effort.

A number of banking companies have caught flak for spending on lavish golf outings and the like after receiving funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Wells Fargo & Co., for instance, decided not to put its name on the Wachovia Championship (now the Quail Hollow Championship) after buying Wachovia Corp. of Charlotte in December.

BB&T helped its own cause this week, exiting Tarp after buying back $3.1 billion in preferred stock from the Treasury Department.

Needed Brand Boost

First Horizon National Corp.'s bank has found some succor in the midst of the financial turmoil.First Tennessee Bank was named the "most loved" consumer financial services brand in a quarterly survey by Brand Informatics Inc. of Rockville, Md. Respondents especially praised the bank's customer service, convenient locations and staff.

The findings are a bright spot for the Memphis company, which accepted $866.5 million in Tarp funds last year and has posted several quarters of losses while leaving the struggling national lending businesses.

Dan Marks, First Tennessee's chief marketing officer, said the survey results validate the efforts of the bank's 6,000 employees.

"This research shows that our customers feel a strong emotional connection" to the bank, he said.

Promotion at HSBC

Patrick Burke has been named senior executive vice president and CEO of the card and retail services division of HSBC Finance Corp., part of the U.S. arm of HSBC Holdings PLC.Burke was most recently chief operating officer of card and retail services.

Burke, who joined HSBC in 1989, will continue to manage HSBC's U.S. credit card business.

He is also joining the team charged with building HSBC's global credit cards business.

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