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Honoree: Linda Duncombe

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2021 Inspirational Women

Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing, Product and Digital Officer
City National Bank

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Linda Duncombe and her team found ways to reassure City National’s clients and communities that the bank would continue to support them. Through marketing campaigns and virtual events, Duncombe amplified how City National was assisting clients and communities through an incredibly challenging time. The move helped protect the bank’s image as a safe, strong and stable financial institution and enhanced its reputation for putting clients and communities first. She made sure the CEO spoke out often and strongly on the murder of George Floyd, civil unrest and other diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) topics.

Duncombe also accelerated City National’s digital transformation. When COVID-19 hit, the bank saw an 800% increase in the use of digital channels as clients stayed home. In June 2020, Duncombe’s team launched a reimagined and highly acclaimed mobile app, which was accessed more than 700,000 times in its first five months. They also launched a redesigned cnb.com in April 2021, transforming the site into an interactive online branch with new ways for prospects to engage with bankers.

Under Duncombe, City National became in January 2020 the first issuer in the U.S. to launch a virtual Visa commercial credit card solution with fintech Extend that generates on-demand virtual cards for simple, secure, contactless payments. She also helped the bank automate Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) processes. Her team built two online portals: one for agents applying for referral fees and another for clients applying for loan forgiveness. For the second round, they built an online application system to reduce manual processes and help clients apply faster. Thanks to these efforts, the bank funded more than 9,800 second-round PPP loans worth nearly $1.6 billion.

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