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SunTrust: Companies Look to Boost Financial Fitness This Benefits Season

Nov 16, 2017

ATLANTA, Nov. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Dozens of progressive companies are now offering financial well-being programs to promote financial confidence among their employees and more employers are looking to add the programs to their roster of benefits.

A recent study by the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), sponsored by SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI), found that 77 percent of middle market companies (annual revenue of $10 million - 1 billion) are concerned about the financial security of their employees. As a result, they cited financial well-being programs as the top new benefit they will look to add, outpacing new retirement, healthcare, and parental leave benefits.

"Companies are no longer ignoring the emotional toll financial stress takes on employees and the negative impact it has in the workplace," said Brian Ford, Financial Well-Being executive at SunTrust. "Based on our experience, not only do benefit programs that help people become more financially confident improve employee satisfaction, but also they can also increase productivity and be a differentiator to attract and retain employees."

Business leaders across the U.S. are concerned about the financial well-being of their employees and believe they should play a role in helping them become more financially fit. SunTrust provides Momentum onUp®, an industry-leading workplace financial wellness program, to corporate clients as a way to fulfill its purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being. There is high demand for this new employee benefit with more than 60 large and small companies now participating, including Delta, Home Depot, Waffle House, First Data, McKee Foods, and 1-800 Contacts.

Even when business leaders understand the importance of helping employees with their financial lives, they often do not know how to begin. SunTrust offers the following steps to implement a successful workplace financial wellness program.

Inspire and Engage Employees
A kickoff session sets the tone for the program as a benefit rather than a chore. Develop participation-based incentives that recognize and reward successes along the way to provide ongoing motivation.

Design Programs for Maximum Participation
Offer a variety of ways for employees to engage including in-person classroom sessions, live streaming, online portals, workbooks or a combination of all of these.

Ensure C-Suite Support
For any program to be successful, it must have meaningful leadership. Communicate financial wellness is a priority for the company, and lead by participating. Deploy leaders throughout the company to talk about the benefit and communicate it through all available mediums, including town halls, internal webpages, and during annual enrollment.

Understand the Employee Mindset
Employees may be skeptical, thinking that the program may take too much time, try to sell them a product or expose personal information. Position financial wellness as a benefit by emphasizing there is something for everyone, they can work at their own pace, all data is confidential, and there are no sales tactics involved.

Align Goals and Measure Success
Establish program goals, from reducing employee stress to attracting and retaining talent. Track employee satisfaction and retention, along with behavior change, such as the level of 401(k) participation or the number that establish emergency savings.

"At SunTrust, we're finding that business leaders and employees welcome a focus on financial fitness," added Ford. "We found that employees who participated in Momentum onUp this year have demonstrated results – 98 percent of participants established savings for an emergency and averaged a 35 percent increase in retirement account contributions. These are actions that lead to improved financial stability in the eyes of the employees and their employers who have seen them engage with the program."

About SunTrust Banks, Inc.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses, and communities it serves. Headquartered in Atlanta, SunTrust operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate, and institutional clients nationally. As of September 30, 2017, SunTrust had total assets of $208 billion and total deposits of $163 billion. The Company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Join the movement at

SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.

For further information: Thomas Crosson, (470) 218-9178