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American Bankers Association Taps Hancock Whitney for Top Community Commitment Award

GULFPORT, Miss. (October 12, 2021)—Considered the voice of the nation’s $22.8 trillion banking industry, the American Bankers Association (ABA) has named Hancock Whitney—one of the country’s strongest, safest banks—as a recipient of the prestigious ABA Foundation Community Commitment Award in the category of Economic Inclusion. ABA leaders presented the national award to Hancock Whitney on October 19, 2021, during ABA’s annual convention in Tampa, Florida.

Ashley Photo ABACommunity Affairs/CRA Manager Ashley Harrison​ accepts the ABA Foundation Community Commitment Award on October 19 during ABA’s annual convention in Tampa, Florida.

Founded in 1875, ABA is the largest banking trade association in the United States, comprising small, regional, and large banks that together employ more than two million people, safeguard nearly $19 trillion in deposits, and extend $11 trillion in loans.

The ABA Foundation Community Commitment Award recognizes Hancock Whitney’s efforts to help Gulf South small businesses grow and thrive, particularly in underserved communities, through the bank’s “Small Business Matters” initiative. Hancock Whitney Small Business Matters is a comprehensive, companywide entrepreneurship and small business outreach program to educate and create opportunities for pre-existing business owners and their teams, with an emphasis on minority and women owned businesses. Concentrating on four entrepreneurial and small business success goals (Grow, Fund, Market, and Manage), the program also helps deliver access to opportunity core to Hancock Whitney’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Hancock Whitney saw an opportunity to improve the lives of those in its communities and took action,” said ABA Foundation Executive Director Corey Carlisle. “Hancock Whitney Small Business Matters is making a meaningful difference in so many of the bank’s communities, and we hope their work serves as a blueprint for others throughout the industry.”

Banks submitted award applications to ABA in one or more of six categories: affordable housing, community and economic development, financial education, economic inclusion, protecting older Americans, and volunteerism. A selection committee representing a broad array of nationally recognized experts chose winning banks based on the creativity and thoughtfulness of programs—traditional or innovative in structure—that embody corporate social responsibility ideals and demonstrate measurable success.

“We are honored to receive this national recognition from ABA,” said Hancock Whitney President and CEO John M. Hairston. “This award further reiterates our belief that small businesses do, indeed, matter so much. At Hancock Whitney, we know our communities thrive when small businesses thrive. We also understand that small businesses, especially in underrepresented communities, can benefit from our ongoing investments to help small businesses succeed, which in turn builds stronger communities and better quality of life.”

Since its founding 122 years ago, Hancock Whitney has upheld a core commitment to small businesses, which make up almost 100 percent of local businesses in the hometowns Hancock Whitney serves. Hancock Whitney Small Business Matters offers entrepreneurs and small business owners—especially minorities and women—a “one-stop shop” of programs, people, and services to help meet business needs, whether guidance for a viable business plan, business management and technical assistance, training and research to improve profitability and stimulate growth, international trade expertise, or small business banking services.

To learn more about the ABA Foundation Community Commitment Awards, visit www.aba.com/awards