Community bank focuses on customer service
The interior of the new Frontier Community Bank Building at 1630 Shortline (next door to the old building) looks like the inside of a Park City home complete with hot coffee, cookies, couches and a flat-screen television.
That’s because the bank managers don’t want customers to feel like they’ve stepped inside a branch of some large national banking corporation. Frontier Community Bank started in Park City, and it wants people to think of them as neighbors.
"Every deposit we get here in Park City goes back into loans in Park City," said Marc Estabrook, president and chief operating officer.
The bank started in 1998 when James Montgomery retired to Park City after a long career with Great Western Bank and found a need for a community bank. The area had branches of large banks, but no locally owned banks.
Estabrook said he believes the major difference is how decisions are made. Customers can make requests, ask questions and get answers from their bankers in person, on the spot.
Large banks have such complicated hierarchies and chains of command that almost no decisions can be made by people in the office looking at the customer, he said.
"People like that we know who they are and that we promote a homey feel," said Debbie Bump, branch manager and assistant vice president.
The products offered by banks (checking accounts, loans etc.) are basically all the same, Estabrook said, so the success of a bank depends on how they do business.
"We’re family oriented," said Don Rudy, vice president and senior lending officer. "Our staff is like a family, we treat our customers like family and plus we love Park City. You couldn’t beat this place."
In larger banks he’s worked at, Rudy said, when customers have a question they get directed to a specific department to handle their issue. At Frontier Community Bank, they can take care of any issue and don’t need to bounce people around.
"We want to sit down and talk with people," he said.
Wealthy customers can usually get that treatment at any bank, Estabrook explained, because the bank assigns people to be their "private banker." Because it is small, Frontier Community Bank has the resources to treat everybody like that, he said.
Bump has been with the company for nearly eight years and rose through the ranks during that time from a regular teller to the branch manager.
"I like the customer-service goals with this company," she said. "The team is great and the most important thing here is the customers and the service we provide them."
This one-on-one approach allows lending officers to continue evaluating and extending riskier loans that other banks have stopped completely like lot and construction loans, Rudy said.
The slowing economy has resulted in fewer people asking for loans, but if Parkites want a loan for a home renovation, to start a small business or purchase a second home, his team has the time to consider it, he said.
Another feature that sets the bank apart is its courier service for deposits. Customers can have their deposits picked up at their house and taken straight to the bank, Bump said.
Frontier Community Bank
1630 Short Line
Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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