First Tenn offers ‘financial wellness’ in Halls

Jennifer HolderHalls, On the Grow

First Tennessee in Halls is committed not only to serving its banking customers but also to providing free services to the whole community – both those who are clients of the bank and those who are not, for both personal and business growth.

“We hold financial wellness classes monthly on the third Tuesday at 5 p.m.,” said Jennifer Roberts, Halls Financial Center manager.

The classes do not require preregistration, and refreshments are served. Each month the topic is different and may include topics such as preparing for retirement, improving credit scores, how to pay down debt to build savings, or saving for college.

“We welcome both customers and non-customers to these sessions,” said Roberts. “Financial problems are the biggest stressor at work and at home, especially for marriages.”

The statistics can be staggering. Sixty-one percent of Americans say they have serious financial problems. Eighty-eight percent of millennials have credit-card debt and carry an average $47,689 total debt. “We feel that helping anyone in our community who wants to improve their financial futures is our obligation and privilege,” said Roberts.

To promote business growth, First Tennessee recently launched “Halls” of Fame to help promote local small businesses. Depending on the type of business, the Halls branch provides a display table inside its banking lobby for local businesses to use to promote their products and services. The most recently featured business is Southeast Termite and Pest Control.

Staff at the Halls branch includes: Cassandra Peebles, Lara Armstrong, Jennifer Roberts, Dennis Hensley, Melissa Weaver and Chasea Griph. The six employees total more than 50 years of banking.

“We go to the football games here, the grocery here, our kids go to school here – we see our customers throughout the community, not only when they come into the bank,” said Roberts.

They also participate in many community-service activities, one of which is Water Angels, a 100 percent volunteer-operated and privately funded Christian ministry outreach to the homeless and poor in Knoxville, located at 907 University Ave.

Roberts is a volunteer and board member. “They offer church services for all denominations, a food pantry, assistance with clothing, food, and housing assistance for homeless and those at-risk to help them get back on their feet and guide them to the path for self-sufficiency,” said Roberts. Donations are welcome.

For more information on financial wellness classes or to participate in “Halls” of Fame, visit First Tennessee-Halls at 6801 Maynardville Pike or call them at 865-549-1744. Water Angels can be reached at 865-524-5194 or at

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