Mike Prescott talks a lot about the importance of being rooted in the community, for both his family and the bank he runs.

Prescott was named Cincinnati market president for U.S. Bank in February of 2011, after moving to the region 12 years ago. A graduate of Ohio Northern and Ohio State universities, Prescott held executive retail and commercial banking positions with Huntington Bank and spent 14 months managing the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority before the US Bank opportunity came along.

He jumped at the chance for a position that would keep him based in Cincinnati.

"I just turned 50 and it's the longest time I've been in one place," said Prescott, with 25 years in the business.

"We moved here when our kids were toddlers. We think the people of Greater Cincinnati are fantastic."

Charter from Cincinnati

While the Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank is the fifth largest bank in the nation, with more than $340 billion in assets, Prescott likes to point out that it, too, is rooted in Cincinnati. Those who trace bank genealogy will tell you what became U.S. Bank started here in 1863.

"Next year we celebrate our 150th birthday. Our original charter dates back to this city," Prescott says.

During Prescott's first year as market president, U.S. Bank reached a milestone, overtaking Fifth Third Bank with the largest local bank deposit market share.

FDIC figures from November give U.S. Bank a 34.5 percent share with local deposits at $21.6 billion, up 25 percent. Fifth Third has been the largest bank in the region since 2001, now with a 29.8 share.

Prescott downplays the significance of a number one market share.

"There are qualities of size that are appealing. It lets you do more product development, economies of scale and things like that. But, at the end of he day, whether we are first in market share, or it's Fifth Third, I just focus on delivering the best customer experience we possibly can."

Hiring Across the Board

Prescott is proud that U.S. Bank is a significant employer in Greater Cincinnati with more than 3,225 employees.

"It's important to be an employer of choice, a place where people really want to work at," he said. "We have a lot of momentum locally and hope to keep that going. We are definitely hiring across the board. We plan to open another three to five branches in the next year."

Prescott says the Cincinnati banking climate is as competitive as it gets with 81 banks in the region, all facing the same issues that we read about daily in the economic headlines.

"The challenge for a lot of Midwestern cities these days is that there is not a lot of new job creation, not a lot of new company start-ups. So, much of the banking business we are all competing for is residing at our competitors. It's take-away business. That is a challenge here as opposed to some of the Southeastern and Western states where population and business are still growing."

Prescott says he finds Cincinnati is still better off than many Midwest regions.

"While our economy in general has become more service oriented, the nice thing about Cincinnati is there is still a great deal of manufacturing here. That is absolutely a difference." -