Response to 2020 Challenges

COVID-19 and nationwide unrest spurred by racial and social justice issues led to large-scale challenges for all businesses. Pinnacle quickly and decisively executed an aggressive pandemic response plan and accelerated diversity and inclusion efforts to take care of associates, clients and shareholders.


Activates the firm’s pandemic response the same day the World Health Organization (WHO) declares a global health emergency.

  • Pandemic Response Team meets weekly in preparation for protecting associates and clients.
  • Begins communicating with associates about COVID-19 and how to protect against infection.
  • Orders initial supply for health, safety and sanitation items for offices.

  • Activates our associate assistance fund for the March 3 tornado in Nashville and matches contributions to the account.
  • Contacts tornado-affected clients to assess their needs and determine the best vehicles for financial assistance. Collects information internally to determine overall needs and credit risk for deciding the best path forward.
  • Offers disaster assistance loans for tornado relief with low rates, flexible terms and no fees.
  • Volunteers to distribute food and water to those affected by the tornado
  • Implements full paid leave policies and guidance for associates who are ill, caring for a high-risk family member or unable to arrange childcare.
  • Decides to fully cover all COVID-related medical costs for associates on Pinnacle’s insurance plan at no cost to the associate, including testing, treatment and hospitalization.
  • Asks high-risk and other associates in back-office roles who can work remotely to stay home.
  • Restricts non-essential business trips to help prevent exposure, inventories personal travel and asks associates to report illness.
  • Moves in-person firm events to virtual and limits size of meetings.
  • Augments daily cleaning services with additional disinfectant for high-touch surfaces.
  • Shifts banking office model to drive thru only with lobbies available for specific needs by appointment.
  • Launches client education series on seven pandemic-related financial topics, such as FDIC deposit coverage, mortgage relief and small business tactics, with more than 3,000 views.
  • Offers credit relief in the form of loan payment deferrals, as well as personal recovery and home equity recovery loans.
  • Suspends share buyback program and subordinated debt redemption to preserve capital until firm has better clarity on length and severity of pandemic.
  • Begins managing our well-diversified portfolio to understand the impact of COVID on our borrowers that are in industries we believe were directly impacted.
  • Launches the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application, making 14,000 loans worth $2.4 billion in a matter of weeks.
  • Conducts PPP education webinars for clients with 5,100 participants prior to launch.
  • Adds our Chief Credit Officer to the earnings call to review asset quality with analysts and shareholders, particularly in hotel, restaurant, retail and entertainment industries.
  • Begins conducting client surveys and collecting current financials from commercial loan clients to better understand their circumstances and how to help them while protecting the firm.
  • Finishes processing and funding initial wave of PPP lending applications and continues accepting new applications, including targeted outreach to minority-owned businesses.
  • Begins education on PPP forgiveness, including two recorded webinars for clients with nearly 11,000 participants.
  • Issues $225 million of preferred stock to add incremental capital and significantly increase our flexibility.

  • Implements screening measures, such as taking associates’ temperatures, monitoring symptoms and assessing exposure.
  • Launches PPP forgiveness, submitting 547 applications before many national banks even begin accepting them.
  • Regrades roughly 1,280 loans for clients with deferred payments by the end of the second quarter to better understand our borrower’s current financial health.
  • Opens dialogue between associates, the CEO and other senior leaders on racial justice issues, including internal blog series on listening, empathy and care for each other.
  • Commits to escalating diversity and inclusion efforts and improving concrete outcomes for the firm to be “the most fair place to work in the country.”
  • Commemorates Juneteenth by closing offices early on Friday, June 19.
  • Conducts associate survey on COVID-19 response to assess the need for adjustment, ensure associates’ basic needs are met and identify anyone who needs medical, mental or financial assistance. More than 1,300 associates respond, with 97%t saying the firm’s overall response is favorable or very favorable.
  • Sends kits to help offices reopen safely, including plexiglass germ shields.
  • Pilots reopening offices and decides to resume drive-thru only model.
  • Participates in the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program to support small- and mid-sized business by creating another avenue for accessing credit during the pandemic.
  • Adds a component to the incentive plan to encourage us to grow pre-provision net revenue.


Appoints first diversity and inclusion officer, who joins the leadership team and begins work with a series of listening sessions with diverse associates across the firm.

  • Regrades roughly 2,500 commercial loans in the C&I and CRE segments.
  • Implements the CARES Act 4013 loan modification provision that provides guidance on modifying existing loans to help clients bridge to the other side of COVID.
  • Begins meeting with market leaders to discuss diversity and inclusion initiatives to include hiring pipelines, succession plans and potential new leaders.
  • Celebrates our 20th anniversary with a spirited week of socially distant and virtual activities, adhering to our travel and meeting guidance.
  • Presents first draft of Diversity and Inclusion Strategic plan, with measurable goals and priorities for swift implementation.

Names 33 associates to the leadership team, marking an immediate improvement in gender and racial diversity.

  • Regrades nearly 430 commercial loans that had been assigned a temporary risk grade specifically for clients disrupted by COVID.
  • Enacts a “hub and spoke” model for our banking offices to keep critical locations operating at all times and reduce the number of temporary office closures overall.
  • Activates crisis response for the Christmas Day bombing in Downtown Nashville, just two blocks from headquarters. Associates assess client impact to determine need and credit exposure.