Message from the President
Lending with a purpose
Lending is a vital part of the business of banking. In fact, it is the life blood of a community bank. We don’t sell stocks, bonds, or annuities, and we don’t have a securities trading desk. Our “inventory” is our customer’s deposits, and our “sales” are loans to borrowers.
No matter how many thousands of pages of new rules and regulations the government throws at us, lending money in a community bank is all about relationships. Unlike the big guys, our loan officers are responsible for their loans from start to finish. In banker terms, that means from the application process until the loan is paid in full. On the dark side (megabank world), you may never see the person again who took the application, nor will you ever see the person who approved it or the person who funded it. You certainly won’t ever see the loan officer again because they have moved on to the next applicant.
In the much more personal world of community banking, you probably know the loan officer at your bank before the application process begins. You run into your loan officer at the Friday night high school game and you mention that you are interested in buying a new property for your business. Your banker invites you to visit the bank at your convenience, and you stop by for coffee on Monday morning. The loan officer is interested in your project and requests the information needed to make a decision. Within a week you are approved and the dollars start flowing for your project. Your banker sends a plant to commemorate your opening, attends the ribbon cutting, and is also very proud of the fact that the loan proceeds have improved the looks and quality of life in the community you both call home.
What I have described above takes place in all cities and towns that are served by a community bank, but the relationship does not stop there. The loan officer will call on a regular basis, will make sure taxes and insurance are kept up to date, and try to assist if payments become difficult. Hopefully the customer will need a car, a new home, and dollars to take that special vacation. When the customer needs help, the loan officer is ready and willing to assist because they have become friends.
The community banker works hard to build your trust, wants you to be a repeat customer, and enjoys the relationship. Community bankers know that they will never make as much money as their megabank counterparts, but take pride in watching the customer grow. HomeTown bankers also take pride in the many community activities in which we are involved, and in watching the community prosper as a result of our loans.
I have enjoyed serving as President of HomeTown Bank over the past 26 years. We started in Galveston in 1966 and have expanded to Friendswood, League City, Alvin and Pearland. All of our bankers are encouraged to get involved in their community, and each takes pride in watching their loan proceeds improve the quality of life of their borrower and their community. Long live the community banker!