Having Survived a Rough Childhood, S&T Bank Manager Perseveres to Help Others Achieve Their Financial Goals
Having escaped the lure of drugs and survived the threat of violence in the North Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up, Eric Murchison now works to help small businesses in the city thrive as a Community Banking Manager at S&T Bank.
“My grandfather was an alcoholic, my father was a drug dealer, and my mother died last year of a drug overdose,” Murchison said about his life as a youth in the “Badlands,” an area of the city renowned for its drug-related violence. “My father was incarcerated when I was very young, and sometimes we didn’t have food or the electricity would be shut off.”
From that inauspicious beginning, and with the help of a mentor, Murchison hit the books, was accepted at a progressive high school in Center City, and graduated from Rosemont College with a passion to help others gain financial literacy. He now gives small business leaders and entrepreneurs personal service and financial counseling, helping them navigate through the process of securing loans at his S&T Bank branch in East Falls.
Founded in 1902, S&T Bank provides a full range of financial services to families and business across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, with a mission to build relationships through reliability, performance, and long-standing trust as a community bank.
“I was blessed to have my great-grandfather as a mentor,” said Murchison. “He took me to the library and taught me how to play chess and challenged me. Instead of me using drugs as an outlet, I filled that void with books and learned to think about the future. The things he instilled in me are still with me today.”
With the encouragement of his great-grandfather, Murchison applied to and was accepted at the Charter School for Architecture and Design, an alternative high school in the city where he was nurtured and challenged.
“That school changed the trajectory of my life because, for once, I was around people who didn’t look like me and think like me,” he said. “I learned about diversity long before everybody started talking about it, and my mindset shifted.”
While at Rosemont College, Murchison read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which further fueled an interest in financial well-being and a passion for helping others achieve their financial goals.
That passion was on display often at his first job after college as a junior mortgage broker, dealing with people who had higher interest rates, missed payments, and little knowledge of financial planning.
“I would talk to people about how they got into their financial situation and counsel them,” he said, “but my phone calls were recorded, and I would get into trouble with my boss who just wanted me to refinance their loans and get on to the next call. But I was worried these people would get into the same predicament all over again.”
From there, Murchison moved to another bank, where he transitioned from sales into business banking. A few months ago, an opportunity arose at S&T Bank to fill the role of Vice President, Business Development Officer, and as Community Banking Manager.
“I’m back at my roots, in a Philadelphia community where I can touch people who were brought up where I came from,” he said. “Now, I’m a business banker so I have more authority to be able to help people out, even our more affluent clients, because it’s not just people who come from my background that need help with their finances.”
Starting at a big bank, and now settling at a regional bank, Murchison has gained perspective in how such a bank should function.
“Plain and simple, my job is to help businesses grow in the community,” he said. “Businesses, now more than ever, need access to capital, and I want to get to know the business, their owners, find their pain points, and find solutions. A community bank is not transactional — it’s not about getting more checking accounts for the week or getting people to sign up for a credit card — but about giving more personalized service.”
Murchison is happy he can now share with others the financial lessons he learned and be a financial mentor to others, just as his great-grandfather was to him.
“I’ve learned how to overcome struggles, and I learned that no matter what adversity you face, the only thing you can control is to try and get up and keep going,” he said. “What we do here to help people is truly amazing, and I really see the difference we make in their lives.”
Connect With Your Community
Subscribe to stay informed!
"*" indicates required fields